Indoor Plants You Should Never Water With Tap Water - Backyard Boss
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Indoor Plants You Should Never Water With Tap Water

Prized for their low-maintenance, adaptable nature, houseplants have become a staple in many homes, for good reason. They help cleanse the air you breathe and beautify your space. And while it’s generally safe to water most plants with tap water, you might be surprised to learn that there are a number of indoor plants that you should never water with this H2O.

Find out which plants you should avoid watering with tap water and how to best care for them instead.

First – What Is in Tap Water That Can Harm Houseplants?

Tap Water in a Watering Can
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If you’re a plant parent, you know that watering your plants is critical to their survival. But did you know that the type of water you use can also be critical? That’s right – using tap water to water your plants can actually be harmful to them!

Here’s why: Most municipal water sources contain chlorine, or, more accurately, chloramine which is a compound of chlorine. Chloramine is added to kill bacteria. However, this compound can also damage plant roots and leaves, causing them to become dried out and cause your leaf tips to turn brown.

One common myth is that if you leave your tap water sit out for 24 hours, it will help dissipate the chloramine. Not so! Chloramine is not like chlorine in that regard. Chloramine does not evaporate the same way. In fact, leaving your water out can actually concentrate the chloramine.

In addition, many municipal water sources also contain fluoride, which can build up in the soil and make it difficult for plants to take up nutrients. Fluoride can also cause leaf scorching and bud drop.

So, what’s a plant parent to do? The best option is to use filtered, distilled, or rainwater for your plants. This will help to ensure that they’re getting the cleanest possible water, as all three types are free of chemicals and minerals, which makes them much safer for your plants.

If you don’t have access to the above, then let them be! Just make sure you prune away any brown spots or leaves from your plants so they can be as healthy as possible.

Plants That You Shouldn’t Water with Tap Water

As mentioned above, tap water is treated with chemicals like chloramine and fluoride, which can be harmful to your plants.

Here are some common houseplants that are particularly sensitive to tap water:

Prayer Plants

Prayer Plant
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Prayer plants are beautiful, easy-to-care-for houseplants that are known for their interesting leaf patterns and vibrant colors. These tropical natives do best in bright, indirect light and high humidity. They are also sensitive to chloramine, chlorine, and other chemicals commonly found in tap water.

Ti Plants

Brown Spot on a Ti Plant
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Ti plants are native to tropical climates and thrive in humid conditions. However, they are sensitive to chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals found in tap water.

These chemicals can damage the leaves of the plant, causing them to become brown and discolored.


Image credits: ibrahimdogan via Shutterstock

If you’re like most people, you probably think that it’s perfectly fine to water your dracaenas with tap water. After all, what’s the harm in using the water that comes straight out of your faucet?

Well, it turns out that there is a very good reason why you should never water your dracaenas with tap water. Dracaenas are incredibly sensitive to the chemicals in tap water. specifically, chloramine and fluoride.

One of the most common problems that can occur when you use tap water to water your plants is brown leaf spot or brown leaf tip.

Spider Plants

Spider plant
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Spider plants are one of the most popular houseplants around and for good reason! They’re relatively easy to care for, they’re tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, and they produce lots of striking baby plants, or “spiderettes.”

One thing that spider plants need in order to thrive is clean water. That means you shouldn’t use tap water to hydrate them, due to the harmful chemicals that can damage the plant’s leaves.

Spider plants are also sensitive to fluoride, which is often found in tap water. Fluoride can cause brown spots on the leaves of spider plants, so it’s best to avoid using it if possible.

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants
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When it comes to watering your carnivorous plants, you should definitely avoid using tap water.

In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution when watering your carnivorous plants. They’re not as resilient as other types of plants, so they need to be treated with a bit more care. By avoiding tap water, you’ll help ensure that your carnivores stay healthy and happy.


Image credits: Magali Merzougui via Unsplash

As much as calatheas are loved, they really don’t like tap water. In fact, it can actually be harmful to them!

Calatheas are very sensitive to harsh chemicals, like the ones found in tap water. An overabundance of these chemicals can cause damage to it’s delicate leaves.

Try A New Water Source!

So, before you go to the tap to water your spider plant, make sure to check this list of houseplants that should never be watered with tap water. And don’t worry if you’ve already been giving your plants a drink from the faucet – just switch to distilled or filtered water instead.

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your indoor plants healthy? Leave them in the comments below!