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Typically, indoor houseplants always slightly struggle in an indoor environment, no matter how much time and effort you put into creating the best climate for them.
Well, rainwater could help those struggling houseplants to blossom.
If you live in a rainy area, it might be time to stop using tap water for watering the houseplants and switch to rainwater.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about watering houseplants with rain – how to collect rainwater properly and what the benefits are, so let’s begin.
Advantages of Using Rainwater
1. Harmless, without toxins
Tap water usually contains some chemicals. Chlorine is one that has to be added since it is a disinfectant.
Another chemical element you will find in your tap water is fluoride, which should prevent the development of cavities.
Both of these can be quite harmful to some species of plants.
Spider plants and fruit trees are the most susceptible ones. No matter how much you water these plants with tap water, they will still develop burns or yellow spots on their leaves.
Other chemicals that are destroying your garden are calcium, magnesium, and sodium – the first two are the cause of “hard water”, while the third one is added to soften it.
All of these minerals are the cause of white sediment that builds upon the leaves. Also, they can cause irreparable damage to the plant’s tissue.
For plants growing in their natural habitats, rainwater is almost the only source of irrigation.
One of the biggest advantages of rainwater is that it is entirely free of these toxic minerals.
Around 78% of rainwater is nitrogen (or some nitrogen compounds such as nitrogen oxide), which makes the plants look greener and overall healthier.
Other elements and compounds that rainwater has are oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Because of the high percentage of oxygen in rainwater, even if you overwater the soil, roots won’t rot.
There is no waterlogging when you are using rainwater.
Carbon dioxide will promote the delivery of macronutrients.
2. Helps with the elimination of accumulated salts
You are probably familiar with flushing the soil – the process is quite time-consuming, so not many gardeners are happy to do it.
However, it needs to be done to have a healthy garden.
If you are using rainwater, you can speed up the process a bit.
Rainwater eliminates those accumulated salts way easier than tap water, and once you are done, you will notice a rapid growth of your houseplants.
If you switch to rainwater, you won’t be using the drinking supplies of water, and your water bill next month will be significantly lower.
You can spend a few extra bucks on something you’ve been wanting for some time, and your local lakes and rivers will maintain their water level.
4. Simple to collect
Using rainwater for irrigation might seem like too much hassle at first.
However, many of these irrigation systems are super easy DIY projects, so it isn’t too much of a hassle to collect rainwater and deliver it to the plants.
How to Collect Rainwater
There are a few different ways you can collect rainwater and later use it for irrigation.
Here are some ideas:
As soon as you see a few raindrops, bring out as many buckets, trashcans, or containers as you can.
If it is pouring, they will quickly get filled up.
Once the rain stops, bring the buckets inside.
The rainwater should be left until it gets to room temperature, and then used for watering. You can either pour it into the water bottles or use it straight from the buckets.
2. Use the gutters
So, instead of just wasting water that is pouring from the gutters, use it to water your garden.
In this case, all you have to do is change the orientation of gutters so the water can reach planting beds.
Yes, it is simple as that!
Of course, this is in case you have an outdoor garden. You don’t want all that water in your house! 🙂
3. More complex systems
What about the dry periods? Do you have to switch to tap water?
No, but you will have to build a little bit more complex system for collecting and storing rainwater.
The gutters will lead the rainwater to the water tank or cistern. All of the water will be stored in the tank, and when you need it, you can easily get it.
When it comes to the delivery mechanism, it doesn’t have to be super complicated, but building it will still take some time.
Some gardeners even add electric pumps, so the automatic mechanism is delivering the water and making sure their garden gets enough of it.
Other Kinds of Water You Can Use
If you still aren’t too sure about switching to rainwater but would like to stop using tap water, here are some of the alternatives.
Many species adore snow – for example, orchids, so if you own one, definitely give it a try.
Just like rainwater, snow is also free of toxins, and the benefits are almost the same.
Since snow isn’t available throughout the entire year, it isn’t a good long-term solution.
However, during those winter months, just collect some in the buckets and test it out. Keep in mind that you should use it melted.
Also, if you see any dirt, filter it once it is melted. All you need is a mesh fabric or a strainer.
2. Boiled water
As I said, tap water is full of different minerals that could damage your plants’ leaves and tissue, especially if you are only using tap water for watering.
So, you could boil it before watering the plants.
Use either a kettle or boil the water on the stove, then let it cool.
This method is a bit time-consuming, but it will help your plants to grow big and healthy.
3. Distilled water
Purified water is another solution. It doesn’t contain any chemicals or toxins, so you don’t have to worry about spots, burns, or sedimentation.
You can get distilled water (or deionized) at any supermarket.
Keep in mind that this is one of the most expensive alternatives. Due to a lack of minerals, you will use fertilizer more frequently than before, so be prepared for all additional costs.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!