Growing plants is impossible without moisture, and houseplants are no exception.
They need regular watering for normal development. Without water to help the roots assimilate nutrients, flowers will quickly die. But the water used for watering can be different. Among flower growers, there is no consensus on what water is best to water indoor plants: each option has its own characteristics.
What water is better to water the flowers
Filtered and standing water
Tap water can be used for watering flowers only after preliminary preparation: for purification, various substances are added to it, including chlorine, which is harmful to plants. The percentage of its content is safe for humans, but the flowers exactly will not do any good and can leave the roots with burns. If you irrigate with hard water, the salt deposited in the soil can affect the degree to which the substances needed for flower growth are assimilated.
Filters help rid the liquid of some of the salts that are harmful to the flower. To purify the water from chlorine, it is defended in an open container for at least a day. During this period, the chlorine can evaporate on its own, and then the liquid can be used to water or spray. In addition, standing water will have room temperature, which also has a positive effect on the health of plants. Watering them with ice water is not allowed – in these conditions, the roots will not be able to assimilate the moisture received.
Mineral water contains many different natural salts. Calcium and magnesium are important for flowers. But not all plants are capable of absorbing such a “cocktail” of minerals. In most cases, the use of mineral water for watering will only lead to salinization of soil and deterioration of its quality. Only a few house flowers (e.g. begonia) is allowed to water with mineral water, but they must be non-carbonated.
The opposite of mineral water can be considered distilled water, purified of all impurities. For some capricious crops, it is considered preferable. But the neutral composition of such a liquid for most domestic plants will be too poor. Continuous use of distilled water can lead to a gradual washout of all nutrients from the soil and impair the growth of the flower. Sometimes distilled water is used to dissolve the necessary fertilizers for planting, and only then water or spray flowers with it.
The harm of tap water for plants
The growth and development of all indoor plants depend on the composition of the water. And after all, tap water is often a more harmful substance for plants in excess of allowable standards. It contains numerous soluble salts and salts of bromine, chlorine, sodium, and fluorine. For example, fluoride salts have a toxic effect on plants. Plants such as palm trees and dracaenas can die altogether.
The harm of tap water to houseplants lies in its high salt content. The salts prevent the roots of the plants from absorbing the right amount of water, which means the plants experience a lack of moisture. But low salt levels in irrigation water can also harm potted plants. True, the process of wilting of the plant will be longer. The flower will slowly die, starting with the root part and then the above-ground part. And it does not matter at all what amount of water is used when watering if it contains high levels of salts. The plant is harmed by both large and small amounts of water because the flower cannot use that water.
How to soften hard water for watering plants
You can water indoor flowers with water obtained outside the window: rain, river, or meltwater. But in large cities, the possibility of obtaining water of proper purity does not always exist. To get out of the situation, flower growers practice various methods of softening hard tap water.
Standing. Spending a day in an open container has a positive effect on water quality.
The introduction of special additives that can affect the composition of the liquid. Among them – citric acid (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water) or peat (10 liters of water add 100 grams of peat, wrapped in a bag).
Making a purifying filter. Normal water is previously passed through a layer of cloth with a pad of absorbent cotton and activated carbon.
Cooling hot water. It is considered less hard than cold water – when heated, some of the salts precipitate.
To determine the hardness of tap water for sure, you can go to a special laboratory or use a commercially available tester. Water hardness greater than 10 mg eq per liter should be softened.
Can I water my flowers with beer?
In addition to ordinary water for watering, flower growers often use other liquids, sometimes quite unexpected. It is believed that the elements they contain can benefit plants.
Among these compositions is beer, which contains yeast. The benefits of yeast are known to many plant lovers. These fungi help to activate the micro-organisms which process the organic material in the ground. In this way, the flowers obtain their potassium and nitrogen.
Quickly depleting soil in pots can benefit from yeast, which is why yeast-rich beer is used for irrigation. Among the plants that love such “supplements” – roses, dracaenas, as well as milkweed and Thistle. But only “live” drinks are suitable for them. Long-stored bottled and canned analogs contain preservatives and additives that are harmful to plants. But it is also not worth pouring a “live” drink into the pot undiluted. Beer is added to water in the proportion of 1:10.
Aquarium water for watering house plants
There is no single opinion about the use of aquarium water. In fact, the aquarium is a closed ecosystem, inhabited by various organisms. The inhabitants of such a vessel with water – fish, gastropods, etc., make urea in the water – a plant fertilizer. In addition, it contains oxygen and many different nutrients. Aquarium water is rich in organics, free of chlorine, and has an ideal temperature for watering.
For some flower growers, the use of such water gives excellent results, especially on flowers that love moisture. Others don’t notice the change and don’t think it’s clean enough for the flowers. Periodically, plants can still be watered with water from the aquarium, but to do this, it should first blow through an aerator.
Can I water the flowers with whey?
Another unusual natural way to water and fertilize at the same time is to use whey. Fans of eco-flower care have adopted this method. Sour whey contains many nutrients, including amino acids potassium and phosphorus, which are especially important to flowers. In addition, it has a depressing effect on pests. Do not use whey pure, it will change the soil too much. As in the case with beer, for watering it is diluted 10 times.
In addition to using the normal solution, additional additives can be added to it. Recipes for such fertilizers include:
- Iodine (1 drop per 1 L) and ash are mixed into the whey solution.
- To 10 liters of the solution add 0.5 kg of sugar and a pinch of yeast. The mixture is poured into mowed grass.
- For root irrigation, 1 part of the resulting fertilizer is diluted in 10 parts of water. When spraying, the dosage is changed, using a solution in the proportion of 1:3. But it is recommended to use such fertilizers only during the period of active planting growth.
Can I water plants with tea and tea brew?
Tea also contains many beneficial substances. Tea leaves contain tannins and elements such as iron, potassium, and manganese. But the application of such a fertilizer along with watering has both advantages and disadvantages.
- Tea increases the acidity of the soil, preventing it from becoming alkaline;
- Tea additives loosen the soil and promote better absorption of nutrients;
- The brew improves the breathability of the soil;
- The brew can be used as a mulch that prevents the soil in the pot from drying out.
That said, regular use of tea in flower pots can also lead to unpleasant consequences. These include:
- Souring of the soil, manifested by the appearance of a greenish buildup on its surface, as well as an unpleasant odor;
- The appearance of mold, and with it, pathogenic bacteria;
- The presence of sweet tea in the soil contributes to the appearance of annoying pests of house flowers – sciurids (fungal mosquitoes);
- Flavorings in the tea can upset the soil balance.
To be sure not to make a mistake and not to water a flower with a folk remedy that can have a bad effect on its development, numerous tips should be carefully analyzed. The modern range of nutrient additives on an organic or mineral basis will provide any house flowers with all the necessary substances without risk to their health. The main thing is to follow the instructions and not overfeed the plants.
In addition to the quality of water for watering, special attention should be paid to the schedule of this procedure. Even the most suitable water can kill the plant if you don’t follow the correct watering schedule. This should be calculated according to the needs of the species, how dry the soil is, and the temperature in the room.
Some species can go weeks without water, but most still require systematic moistening of the soil. If the owners of such flowers are away and there is no one to take care of them, you should provide a system of automatic watering. Both purchased and homemade devices are used for this purpose. Among the most popular are an inverted water bottle, wick watering, hydrogel, etc. To make the plants evaporate less moisture, they are placed in the shade during the vacation period.