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  • Writer's pictureTeena

The Hidden Risks Of Water Softeners To Your Plants

man watering plants
Water From A Water Softner Can Wreck Plants

If you've got a water softener, congratulations! You've made it.

That means you and your family get to enjoy the many benefits of softened water without having to worry about hard water stains or soap scum build-up on your dishes and shower doors.

Those are some great upsides!

If you're thinking about watering your plants with softened water, think again!

Well water softener systems do filter out some minerals from your tap water (that's why people call it "soft"), but they don't remove everything–particularly salts. In fact, they add salt to your water.

This can be a problem for plants: plant roots need minerals like calcium and magnesium in order to grow properly, but too much salt can lead to dehydration, stunted growth and poor plant health overall.

watering plants
Risks of Salt To Root and Plant Growth

You're probably thinking, "Well it can't be that bad", but you'd be wrong. The problem with using softened water for your plants is that the salt in well water softeners can kill your plants.

This is because softened water has higher concentrations of sodium (shocking) than regular tap water and this can cause dehydration in plants.

If you think about it, it makes sense–I promise! Plants need water right? And the water can't be too salty or the plants will die! Have we said that enough? Okay, good. Moving on.

So if you're watering your outdoor plants with softened water from your well system (or even just from your regular tap) you might notice that your plants leaves are yellowing or have drooping branches. That's because they're dying from the inside out due to dehydration–which is caused by high-sodium levels in their roots' soil.

woman looking at glass
We All Want Crystal Clear Water, Right?

If you're using softened water from your well to water your plants, you're probably wondering why the heck I'm telling you this. Well, let me explain:

Water softening can be good for your plumbing because it prevents hard water deposits from clogging up pipes and shower heads. It is beneficial for maintaining healthy plumbing systems in your home!

There are other downsides to softened water that people don't think about enough: it contains high levels of salt (or sodium) because salt burns leaves and causes root rot–and if that sounds bad enough already, wait until I tell you what else happens when your plants drink it!

When plants absorb softened water through their roots, they get sick too fast for anyone's comfort level (including theirs). The result? Leaves turn brown or drop off altogether within days of watering with softened h2o at more than one-half teaspoon per gallon.

This can be even less if there has been recent rainfall! Rain helps dilute minerals in standing puddles around our homes which then finds themselves in the soil where your plants are trying to grow.

If you're concerned about the affects of bad water, check out my blog called, Well Water Contaminants - How They Affect Your Home and Health


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