Will Distilled Water Kill Plants? Coral, Grass & Houseplants

Water is a crucial part of our lives, whether it is used for drinking, cooking your favorite meals, or simply watering your plants. Irrespective of what you use water for, there is always a need to maintain a standard quality of water in terms of its overall composition.

Unfortunately, water can get contaminated in a number of ways, including soil pollution which directly affects the quality of ground or surface water. Similarly, industrial wastes leading towards the oceans also have a negative effect on the quality of water.

For this purpose, different purification methods are used such as filters like RO systems, and simply boiling the water to get distilled water which is ultimately the purest form of water. All of these ways filter out the harmful contaminants from water.

Overall, distilled water is up to 99.99% pure. What about using it for plants? Will it benefit your plants in any way or will distilled water kill plants? To answer this question, let’s first look at what distilled water is and how it is made.

A bonsai plant having distilled water

What You’ll Learn

  • What is distilled water? How Is It Made?
  • Will distilled water kill plants?
  • Is distilled water good for plants?
  • Will distilled water kill houseplant, grass and coral?
  • Will distilled water kill microbes present in the promix?

What Is Distilled Water? How Is It Made?

Distilled water is the resultant of distillation which is a process that separates water and the components that make up water.

It involves two key processes, including:

  • Evaporation
  • Condensation

Initially, water is boiled and once it starts steaming, the steam is collected in the form of condensed steam. Since this process separates water from the components that it comprises of, you ultimately get a pure form of water (H2O) free from all parts of water, including minerals.

Here are some of the components or parts of water that are separated from water using the process of distillation:

  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Organic and inorganic chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Volatile gases
  • Other harmful impurities

Will Distilled Water Kill Plants?

No, distilled water will not kill your plants. However, since distilled water is 99.99 percent free from minerals and impurities, frequently using it to water your plants may result in stunted growth.

Ideally, just like humans, plants too require a fair share of nutrients including minerals to support their growth and development. In fact, plants may even require a more healthy amount of minerals because water is their primary source of growth.

Now, since distilled water does not contain these minerals, it may be safe for your plants in terms of being free from harmful contaminants and impurities, but it lacks the minerals to support your plants.

To sum up, distilled water will not kill your plants but since your plants are not getting the necessary minerals from water, it will end up with a stunted growth and poor development.

Fortunately, there are water soluble nutritional supplements for plants that you can either add directly to the soil or mix it in water. Ultimately, this will yield in a safe source of water for your plants and the nutritional supplements will help ensure optimal growth of your plants.

Will Distilled Water Kill Coral?


No, distilled water will not kill coral in your reef tanks. But it all comes down to whether distilled water is beneficial for coral or reef tanks.

Coral requires a fair amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium amongst others. Unfortunately, distilled water is completely free from these minerals due to which it may not be recommended for coral.

Despite distilled water being free from harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and other impurities, it is not healthy for coral or your reef tank whatsoever. So, although it may not kill coral in your reef tank immediately, it will eventually affect the health of coral in the long run.

Before you go ahead and add distilled water for coral in your reef tank, you should consider their nutritional requirements. Without considering this, you will not be making a wise decision.

Will Distilled Water Kill Grass?


Unlike softened well water, distilled water will not kill your grass. In fact, it may be ideal for your grass considering the fact that there are no parasites, viruses, bacteria, harmful chemicals, or heavy metals in distilled water.

As long as you’re taking care of the soil and using nutritional supplements for the soil, you do not have to worry about using distilled water for your grass.

Will Distilled Water Kill Houseplants?


No, distilled water will not kill houseplants. However, if you continually use distilled water for houseplants, it will potentially lower the growth or development of your plants and may end up killing your houseplants.

Since houseplants are usually in pots, they do not have access to the same type or concentration of soil as compared to the plants in your backyard. Due to this, you will have to notice the color and overall health of your houseplants when watering them with distilled water.

If you start noticing any symptoms of stunted growth, you should understand that it is time for adding some nutritional supplements to the mix.

Will Distilled Water Kill All My Microbes In Promix?

Microbes In Promix

Promix is a type of soil used for gardening purposes and contains all the essential components required for plant growth. Unlike tap water with chlorine, distilled water will not kill microbes in your promix.

In fact, distilled water is free from bacteria, viruses, chemicals and harmful impurities so it will not affect your promix whatsoever.

Is Distilled Water For Plants Better Than Tap Water?

Yes, using distilled water for plants is certainly better than tap water. The reason behind this is that tap water is filled with chemicals like chlorine. These chemicals are essentially used for the treatment of water that comes to your home via the municipal water supply line.

But, unfortunately, tap water containing these harmful chemicals are bad for your plants, specifically if you are using tap water for your house plants. This is primarily because unlike outdoor plants, house plants do not have access to open soil to drain out the excess chemicals.

So, ultimately, the chemicals from tap water end up building in the pot and cannot be washed away by rain like outdoor plants.

Related: Is Rain Water Distilled?

Apart from the harmful chemicals, tap water also has another disadvantage in terms of the hardness of the water. Hard water is usually an issue with well water, but your main water supply line from the city may also contain hard water.

Hard water can have a negative impact on the growth and development of your plants -comparatively your plants will be healthier with distilled water simply because some plants are sensitive to the hardness of water.

Talking of well water, you may be tempted to use a water softener to make it safe and better for your usage. Water softening systems essentially lower down the hardness of your water which not only makes it better for general usage, but it is also less staining for your sinks and equipment.

Despite that, softened well water may not be safe for your plants.

Technically speaking, water softening systems use certain like sodium and potassium. These are extra chemicals that can alter the growth of your plants and can be potentially damaging as well.

As you might have noticed, neither is tap water safe for your plants nor is softened well water. All of this ultimately makes using distilled water better and safer for your plants irrespective of whether they are your house plants or outdoor plants.

How To Get Distilled Water For Your Plants?

Distilled water is readily available in all of the stores like Walmart or Costco depending on where you’re based at. However, you should know that it doesn’t come cheap and may be expensive in the long run specifically if you have a greater number of plants.

If you do not have much time and price isn’t a factor, you can simply get distilled water from your local stores.

However, if you can spare a small portion of your day, you can make distilled water at your home without having to spend a single dime.

Here is how you can make distilled water yourself:

  • Start by taking a large pot, preferably one with a capacity of 4 to 5 gallons. If you can, use a stainless steel pot that has a lid or cover.
  • Add water in the pot and ensure it is not completely full. You can either fill it halfway or up to ¾ portions of the pot.
  • Next, you will be requiring a temperature sensitive glass bowl (must be heat proof), and a baking rack.
  • Carefully place the baking rack in the pot and place the glass bowl on top of the rack. The backing rack will avoid the glass bowl from touching the bottom surface of the pot.
  • Once everything is set inside, cover the pot with a stainless steel lid.
  • Place some ice on the lid and turn on the heat to bring the water to boil.
  • Once the boiling process begins, let it sit for a good 35 to 45 minutes.
  • As the water boils, the ice will melt away, so you need to replace it with more ice periodically during the process of condensation.
  • During the 35 – 45 minute time period, the evaporated steam from the pot will be stopped by the ice-cooled lid of the pot which will condense the steam and convert it back to water. The condensed steam/water will drop to the glass bowl that you placed within the pot.
  • Check on the glass bowl and if it is filled, turn off the heat and let the water cool down before taking out the glass bowl.
  • Ta-da! That is all you need to do to make your own distilled water -ready to be used for watering your plants.

Conclusion: Will Distilled Water Kill Plants?

Will distilled water kill plants? Certainly not! Distilled water is a purified form of water and is free from harmful bacteria, viruses, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, and harmful impurities. It is comparatively safer than tap and well water which are filled with chemicals.

However, since distilled water is entirely pure, it may not have the necessary minerals required for plant growth. So, continuously using distilled water to water your plants, it will end up in lowering the rate of growth of your plants.

When using distilled water for your plants, make sure to use nutrition or soil supplements to ensure the nutritional needs of your plants are met. This way, you can use distilled water for your plants safely, regardless of whether they are houseplants or outdoor plants.

Distilled water will not immediately kill your plants, but it will lead to stunted growth due to frequent usage. Distilled water lacks necessary minerals which can impact the plant’s growth.


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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