Regular watering is a must for well-kept houseplants. Most plant lovers simply use tap water for this purpose. But not all water is the same. Depending on where you live and the composition of your tap water, minerals such as calcium or magnesium are dissolved in it in various concentrations, giving the water different degrees of hardness. This can often be too high, making the water incompatible for houseplants. So, to avoid harming the plants, you should first soften the water. Here we give the best tips for decalcifying water for watering!
why decalcify the water at all?
Conventional tap water often contains too much lime or even heavy metals or germicidal substances. This can quickly harm young and sensitive houseplants. Taking cuttings can also be made more difficult.
This is because excessively hard water increases the pH value of the plant soil over time and the soil becomes alkaline. As a result, many plant species can no longer accept nutrients from the soil and die.
To prevent this, it is recommended to repot the plant regularly and use softened water for watering. Remember the principle: the higher the hardness of the water, the higher the pH value – the water is alkaline.
Not all houseplants are equally harmed by water that is too hard. But alocasias, orchids, camellias, ferns and rhododendrons are particularly sensitive to lime and should therefore definitely be watered with softened water. They prefer a slightly acidic substrate. Incidentally, a water hardness of up to a maximum of 10 °dH or water with a pH value of 6 is recommended for the majority of all houseplants.
this is how the decalcification of water works
The first thing to do is to determine the water hardness. This can either be obtained from the responsible water supplier or determined yourself using indicator liquids or test sticks. The indicators are added to the water and the water hardness can be determined on the basis of the color. This is quick and easy.
But the hardness of the water can also be found out with a little intuition and observation. Lime rings or a whitish layer on the plant leaves, as well as mineral deposits on the potting soil are all signs that the water is too hard. These deposits can often be observed in the kettle, for example. If this is the case, the water most likely contains too many minerals and should be decalcified before watering.
Once the hardness of the water has been determined, the next step is to dilute the water with distilled water or boil it. Caution. Even with completely distilled water should not be watered, because it does not contain any nutrients for the plants.
Therefore, it is better to mix it with irrigation water and feel your way to the right ratio with further pH measurements. Adding vinegar, bark mulch, peat, conifer compost or chemicals such as sulfuric or oxalic acid will also lower the hardness of the water. Here, however, the concentration must be right and the positive effect can quickly turn into the opposite.
That is why we only advise professionals to do this. For all others, we recommend the use of ready-made products from the garden trade for the decalcification of irrigation water. For example, the pH reducer from Plagron is recommended.
all the advantages of decalcified water at a glance
- Use rainwater as a cost-effective and gentle alternative to tap water
- No unsightly lime deposits on the potting soil or leaves
- Plants can absorb nutrients from the soil in the long term
- Substrate maintains an optimal pH value
- Houseplants that feel good and look beautiful
- Healthy growth of houseplants
- Hardly any effort with products from the trade to decalcify water
decalcify the water through filtration
To decalcify water also works with little effort. The Britta filter allows a particularly simple desalination of the water. It is also suitable for very hard water, as it enables ion exchange, making the water used compatible for indoor plants.
This saves work and you do not have to worry about boiling and the right concentration of additives in the water for watering, but automatically and conveniently gets the right water hardness.
The water obtained from the filter is also perfect for spraying your plants. Lime stains are a thing of the past. And perfect for all plant lovers: the filter system with 8.2 liters capacity.