If you use soft water in your home, you may be wondering if it’s also safe to use for your garden and plants. It’s easy to assume that because soft water is so beneficial to us, it is also beneficial to the plants we keep inside and outside our homes. Unfortunately, this is not the case: you should not use softened water on your plants. However, you may be curious about why that is and what you can do to water your plants if hard water isn’t readily available to you.
Hard vs. Soft Water
If you’re unsure about the difference between hard and soft water and the effect they might have, we are here to help. Essentially, hard water contains an undue amount of calcium and magnesium. This can cause several problems with your home water supply:
- High amount of soap scum on dishes and glasses
- Residue or filmy texture on your hands after washing
- Damage to appliances
- Increased costs (more soap needed to get things clean, additional appliance maintenance)
Water softeners typically solve these issues that can occur in and around your home.
Softened water will:
- Save you money on soaps, detergents and cleansers
- Lower water heating costs
- Extend the lifespan of your water-focused appliances
- Brighten your clothes
- Give you smoother skin and healthier hair
- Remove soap scum and water spots
You Shouldn’t Water Your Plants with Soft Water
Softened water includes a higher amount of salt. Due to this, when you use softened water on plants they believe they’re receiving more sustenance than they actually are. Ultimately, they will die of thirst if this goes untreated for a certain length of time. The softened water will also soak deep into the soil, so if you’re using this type of water in your garden it could affect the things you plant in the future. If you’re beginning to panic reading this, don’t worry! The situation can be remedied, and there are other options available for watering your plants.
What to Do If You’ve Been Using Soft Water on Your Plants
If you’ve been using soft water on your plants and you’re noticing that they are starting to wilt, you should begin leaching as soon as possible. If you opt for this method, you will frequently water the soil with un-softened water to reverse the harm done. You won’t be able to remove the salt from your plants or soil, but with regular leaching you can begin revitalizing your plants. This approach may not save your entire garden, but in time it will correct your soil and help your plants get back to thriving.
Your Next Steps
The benefits of softened water in the home are numerous and hard to let go of. That’s why we recommend you don’t do so. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice all the things you love about softened water (or your garden!). Instead, try two other alternatives:
- A bypass spigot. After installing a bypass spigot on the side of your house, your plants will be able to enjoy hard water while you enjoy softened water inside! The spigot will take water from your water line prior to the softening process.
- Rainwater. It might seem like a lot of extra legwork to collect and haul rainwater, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and place some buckets close to your garden in an open area when the time is right. After it rains, you’ll have a supply available right there! You could even use an open-topped watering can instead of buckets and save yourself a step.
Your plants will be thrilled to get the water they need, and your garden will bloom with vibrant colors as a result. Then you can head back inside and do the laundry without worrying about mineral build-up or an inconvenient, powdery residue on your clothes due to hard water. Your appliances will last longer, it’ll save you money, and you can cook with fresh, healthy veggies from your backyard. It’s a win-win situation.
Learn More about Soft Water with Hague Quality Water of Maryland
At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, we make sure you never have to sacrifice the quality of your home’s water. Whether you’re in need a Hague WaterMax® to soften your water, or a water filtration system, our team is here to help. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland today at (410) 757-2992.