Rainwater for Healthier Houseplants

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Rainwater falling on plants and rain boots

Rainwater for Healthier Houseplants

Rainwater is one of the best things for nature and that includes your houseplants. You will see a noticeable change in houseplants that have been exposed to it compared to those that are consistently watered with tap.

Benefits of Rainwater

Spring rainwater can offer many benefits to your plants. It’s much better than tap water and it’s free.

Rainwater is less Toxic

Tap water is not the best source of hydration for your houseplants. It’s likely to include chlorine as a disinfectant and fluoride to help prevent cavities. Unfortunately for houseplants, these elements won’t offer them any benefits. Most are susceptible to chlorine toxicity, which can result in burnt leaves and brown leaf spots. Others, including Dracenas and Spider Plants, are sensitive to fluoride toxicity and experience burnt, discolored, and spotted leaves. Tap water may also contain water softeners or a high concentration of sodium. These chemicals can cause stress and permanent damage to houseplants. Since rainwater does not contain any of these chemicals, it is less likely to stress out your plants over time.

Higher Oxygen Content

Rainwater contains far more oxygen than tap water. That’s a benefit for houseplants, as it improves the respiration process and enhances nutrient absorption. The long-term result is healthier plant roots and more growth.

Rainwater is Soft Water

Unlike tap water, rainwater is always soft, meaning that it’s free of salts, treatment chemicals, and unwanted pharmaceuticals that make it into the municipal water supply. A regular supply of rainwater can flush away toxins built up in potting soil to keep it refreshed for better plant growth.

Naturally Acidic

Unlike tap water, rainwater tends to be slightly acidic. Many cities treat their water to make it alkaline so as not to corrode metal pipes. This type of water can make potting soil unbalanced over time. Adding rainwater to your plant care routine works to rebalance the soil pH for better growth in the long run.

Organic and Microbia

Depending on how you collect rain, there’s a good chance it contains traces of organic material . This might include leaf debris, pollen, bird dropping and other materials with a host of microbial life. Use it to water plants and they will benefit from light application of fertilizer in the process. 

High Concentration of Nitrates

Rainwater is full of nitrates, which is one of the critical macro-nutrients responsible for plant growth. Without adequate nitrogen, plants struggle to produce leaves and grow lush foliage. This is the reason why grass appears very green after it rains. Houseplants that receive regular rainwater will be extra green and grow larger.

Rainwater is less toxic, more oxygenated, more nutrient dense, and all around better for you houseplants than tap water

Water tank collecting rainwater from gutter

Collecting Rainwater

There are many different ways to collect rainwater. What’s important is to have a system that allows you to always have access to rainwater while also ensuring that the water does not remain stagnant for too long or become too microbial.

Using a bucket

The easiest way to collect rainwater is to set out a collection buckets before the rain falls. You can even  install a rain gauge to track precipitation levels. After the storm, bring the water indoors and disperse it between your pots.

Set up a rain barrel

Make water collection easier by doing it automatically with a rain barrel. Most connect directly to your home’s gutters so that the water flows directly into a covered barrel. It may have a spigot near the bottom so you can access water when you want it, or you may need to lift the top off to dip in a watering can.

Collect Snow and Ice

For those who experience winter weather, it’s possible to harvest snow and ice to use on you indoor houseplants. When thawed out completely to room temperature snow and ice offer the same benefits as rain.

Collecting and using rainwater can be a simple process so long you have a good system for managing the process.

Rainwater stored in bucket

Storing Rainwater for Plants

Rainwater is prone to grow algae and becomes contaminated within one week. Its life can be extended by keeping it out of the light and away from insects. This could mean keeping it in a shaded area such as a backyard shed or cupboard. It’s also a good idea to clean buckets in between batches to minimize the microbial contamination between them. 

Another alternative is to use chlorine tablets to minimize microbial life overload. However, chlorine can harm plants, so make sure you wait at least 24 hours after treatment before using it for watering.

Rainwater is a wonderful option for plants and is a great way to extend the life of your houseplants!

Another great way to extend the life of your houseplants is routine professional care

Contact HousePlantSitter to learn how we can assist you and your plants