Is Soft Water Bad For Plants? The Real Truth

Is-Soft-Water-Bad-For-PlantHave you noticed that the new plants that you just got for your beautiful little garden area are slowly dying or going bad even when you efficiently and adequately water them? I am sure you wonder about what you are doing wrong because there must be a reason the plants are being affected; so is it the water or the soil or anything else?

To answer the question, let us talk about hard water; hard water is a kind of water that has a large number of minerals found in it. Some areas such as the rural or the ones with a water well have a high concentration of minerals and thus, you would prefer to get a water softener in order to soften the water for your personal consumption.

But what about the plants? Does the softened water affect your plants adversely? This article will help you guide through all the problems you have been facing related to soft water and plants and will tell if soft water is bad for your plants or not.

The following video explains why using soft water is not a good idea for your plants:
Is Soft Water Bad For Plants?

Let’s figure out why soft water is bad for your plants;

Soft water: High Sodium levels

Soft water High Sodium levels

If you are currently in a hard water area, it is normal for you to use a water softener in order to minimise the effects of hard water for your home and personal usage. On the contrary, this is not a good idea for your plants; the reason being that the water softeners use a very specific concentration of sodium chloride which makes it high for watering the plants with it. Because of the ionization process, the water softener replaces the hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

As a result, the sodium tends to build up over a period of time and messes up the chemical composition of the plant-soil as well as drying out the plants as they lose their ability to absorb water. So if you have noticed that even though you provide enough water to your plants, you can still see the edges of your leaves going brown and slowly dying, this is one indicator that the soft water is messing up the chemistry of your plants.

In addition, different plants have different tolerance for salts; some are more tolerant while others cannot absorb any more than they can, this is the reason you can see your fragile plants slowly dying due to dehydration. It will also hinder the growth of the plants as the soil is taking up more water than it should.

What you can do: Bypass Spigot

What you can do Bypass Spigot

The easiest and simplest way to solve this issue is to get a bypass connection, what it does is that it will take up the water from your main supply line before it actually goes through the softening process. This will ensure that you are getting the softened water on your personal usage side where you need it while the untreated hard water will be available for use in your garden area.

Plant Treatment: Use of Potting Soil

Plant Treatment Use of Potting Soil

Another way to fix your ruined garden plants is to perform a potting mix ritual. All you have to do is get a potting mix that is suitable for your plants and repot them. What the potting soil does is it helps the plant regain the lost moisture from the new soil providing them with essential nutrients necessary for growth.

It also provides air for the growth of plants which is essential because the balance between the moisture in the roots and the plants getting enough air from the environment helps the plant to regrow. In addition, it supports the stature of the plants by maintaining the plant’s position and helping it stay firm and supported so it does get affected by the gust of strong winds. Make sure that the potting soil you get for your plants is soft and gentle and your plants may require a certain amount of water after that.

Rain Water – An Alternative

Rain Water – An Alternative

Rainwater is the most affordable (because it is free!) and a healthy resource for your plants because it does not require any kind of treatment and it does not have any chemicals that unsettle the composition of the plants. It has been researched to increase the foliage and growth of plants, making them healthier.

For this purpose, you can store the rainwater in barrels and containers, this is exclusive for areas with normal to average rainfall, and use it to water your plants. So why does the rainwater work instead of tap water or soft water? Because the rainwater has a high content of nitrogen which is the essential component if your plants need to be grown normally and naturally.

Use of RO Water

Use of RO Water

If you are already using or have a reverse osmosis filter at your home, you can put it to good use for your plants as well. The RO water filter gets rid of a number of impurities that harm the plants in any way and provides clean water which is why it is the choice of most gardeners. It is also a great alternative to rainwater, especially in those areas where rain is scarce or rare. The RO-treated water helps the plants maintain their acidic and alkaline levels..


Is hard water bad for all kinds of plants?

No, you can use hard water on certain plants but if you have season-specific or fragile plants that require a certain amount of alkalinity or acidity or moisture, you need to avoid hard water at all costs.

How is reverse osmosis beneficial for plants?

Yes, reverse osmosis treated water helps choose and select nutrients for your plants so they can easily balance their composition.
Final Thoughts
I hope this article helped you to identify the problems as well as present solutions related to how soft water is bad for your plants and hinders plant growth by causing damage and accumulating sodium which is not good for the plant drainage system.