Is Softened Water Bad For Plants? (Tips Included)

You have to understand the water-softening process to know whether softened water is bad for plants or not. Water softening takes place when you add chemicals like ammonia, borax, trisodium phosphate, slaked lime, and soda ash to water.

The ion exchange process can soften your water, but it can lead to excessive salt content in your water. The ion exchange process removes calcium and magnesium from your plant.

Softened water is not good for your plants. It lacks essential nutrients and minerals for plants. The softening process affects the pH level of your water. Soft waters are detrimental to plants because they have high pH levels.

Softened water is considered harmful to plants because it adversely affects the amount of water taken up by plants. In other words, softened water hurts the water balance in plants. It can be fatal for your plants.

Key Takeaways

  • Soft water is not good for plants.
  • Soft water leads to high pH levels.
  • It hurts the water balance in plants.
  • You can dilute soft water with rainwater.
  • You can use reverse osmosis-treated water for plants.
  • You can use distilled water for plants.
  • Leeching can be used to recuperate your plants.

Effects of Softened Water on Plants

Softened water can cause nutrient deficiencies in plants. Plants need calcium, magnesium, and iron for growth and development. Softened water does not provide calcium, magnesium, and iron to plants.

Softened water causes a pH imbalance for plants. Water softeners raise the pH levels of water to such an extent that it becomes alkaline. Plants like blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons need slightly acidic soil. Softened water provides an alkaline environment for these plants.

Salt levels in softened water tend to be higher than salt content in filtered water. Experts say that softened water can lead to sodium toxicity in plants. It can be responsible for root damage, wilting, and death in plants.

Plants grown in soft water tend to have yellowish color and stunted growth. Some water softeners use chlorine. Chlorine in water softeners can be harmful to plants. It can be damaging to the roots of the plants.

Alternative Water Sources for Plants

You can collect rainwater for plants. Rainwater is deemed ideal for plants. It contains essential nutrients and minerals for plants.

Reverse osmosis-treated water can be used to water plants. You have to check reverse osmosis water so that it may not remove beneficial minerals from water.

Distilled water can be another good option for plants. Distilled water does not contain harmful chemicals for plants. It does not damage your plants’ roots.

Tips for Gardening with Softened Water

Your gardener may advise against providing soft water to your plants. But what if someone has already grown a plant in soft water? You might need a few gardening tips to recuperate your plant. Here are a few tips for safe gardening with softened water:

  • You can dilute softened water with non-softened water. The process is known as “Leeching.” Mix softened water with rainwater to water your plants.
  • You should monitor plant health and soil chemistry to keep your plants healthy.
  • You can choose salt-tolerant plants. Softened water may not harm salt-tolerant plants.

Conclusion | Is Softened Water Bad For Plants?

Softened water can be harmful to plants due to its high salt content. Alternative water sources and proper gardening techniques can be used to minimize the negative effects on plants.

Leeching can be used to recuperate your plants. Experts test the pH of the water to test the water quality. However, it’s important to monitor the effects of softened water on your plants and soil and make adjustments as needed.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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