What is the Best Water for Growing Plants?

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Growing a luscious garden takes time and a lot of effort. Knowing how to tend to each type of plant, how much water they should get, and what the best way to plant them are all things you need to know to have them grow as big as possible. But, one thing that sometimes gets overlooked with new gardeners is the type of water being used to water your plants.

Knowing the best water for growing plants can help you know what to use in your garden, and what type of water to steer clear of. Also, you need to know the differences between hard and soft water and how they will affect your plants.

Once you know if your home runs on hard or soft water, you can learn about what you can do to make soft water safer for plants, and what effects to look for when you think that the water you’re using isn’t doing the trick.

What is the Best Water for Plants?

Everyone knows that in order to grow a large garden, then you need to water your plants to allow them to grow. But, with different types of water, you also need to know what type of water is best for plants. So, we will go over the two main types and discuss the benefits and negative effects that either might have on your plants and soil.

Hard Water

The kind of water that you have in your house is one of two basic types: hard or soft.

The term hard water means that the water has high traces of the minerals magnesium and calcium. Although hard water can be measured and can vary, hard water is pretty easy to see. Hard water tends to leave residue on glasses and dishes in the dishwasher and can be felt on your hands even after you wash them.

It is often known for a less satisfying taste, and also for the damage that it can do to your hair. However, it is also known as the better option for plants because of the lack of salt in the water. The salt doesn’t affect humans, but the salt makes plants take in less water, which could cause them to grow less and possibly die. This is the better choice of the two because it doesn’t kill the plant.

American Home Water and Air has discussed multiple ways to test the hardness level of your water, so you know what kind of water your home has.

Soft Water

The term soft water means that the hard water you have has been softened, which is the process of removing the minerals and replacing it with salt. Soft water has higher levels of salt and is known for its effects on hair growth and a more pleasing taste when consumed.

However, soft water is also known for stunting plant growth and causing them to die from lack of water absorption. This is caused by the salt in the water, which tricks the plants into thinking that they have enough water to live on while dehydrating it. This kills the plant and makes for a bad option for watering your garden.

How Does Water Affect Plant Growth?

Water is needed for the growth of plants, but it is needed for more than thirst, the way that it is for humans. Plants are made up of 90% water, and plants use water to keep their leaves and stem strong and for photosynthesis. The process of photosynthesis is how plants create their food, and cannot begin without proper watering.

However, watering plants with the wrong type of water will not help the plant as much as you would like. In fact, using soft water can harm your garden and force it to stop growing due to the high levels of salt. The water you use could potentially keep the plant from performing photosynthesis and getting the food it needs to grow.

So, not only does water affect plant growth, but the type of water also makes a big difference.

Best Water for Plants

Whether you want the best water for indoor plants or your outdoor garden, there is one type of water that comes out ahead every time. Hard water is the best water to use for your garden, hands down. Because of the negative effects of soft water on plants, you do not want to use it for watering. Instead, you should use hard water to help your garden flourish.

Soft water not only affects the water content of the plant itself but can also harm the soil. Salt can build up in the soil and cause the plants to be unable to absorb water in the same way as it did before. This will not improve without your intervention through leaching, which takes out the salt from the soil.

What if You Have Soft Water?

If you have soft water in your house and are worried about your garden, then you can take steps to lessen the effects that it has on the plants. The best thing that you can do is to find a spigot that will bypass the softened water in your home and bring hard water to your garden. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of soft water in your home, without harming the plants as a result.

Also, diluting the water with natural rain or distilled water can also keep your plants healthier when being watered with soft water.


Keeping your plants happy and healthy takes work, but if you use the right kind of water to help them grow, then you will have a luscious garden in no time. Since you now know that hard water is much better for your plants than soft water, you can use this knowledge to grow a better garden.

Also, if you have soft water in your home, then finding the right spigot or diluting the water will help your plants get back to their full size without needing to switch to hard water for your home.