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Old 04-16-09, 07:03 AM   #1
Daox
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Default Watering plants - hard vs soft water

I was talking to a coworker of mine who lives in the same town. He said that it it not good to water your plants with softened water and that he uses hard water instead. I'm really not knowledgeable as to how a water softener works except that I have to fill it with salt every now and then. Is it true I should be using hard water? I don't think any of my indoor faucets are plumbed to hard water.

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Old 05-05-09, 02:04 PM   #2
Tango Charlie
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Rain water is naturally soft. It's done a pretty good job so far.

I've never fully understood how a water softener works. Is the salt dissolved into the water that comes out of the tap? If so, maybe that's why it's not good for plants.
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Old 05-05-09, 02:29 PM   #3
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The salt has something to do with reverse osmosis... You can read up on it here. If you are using tap water to water house plants, the chlorine and such can build up in the soil, so every year or so you should really water those plants well, letting the hose run on them until they have a good chance to flush out all the built up chlorine. If I remember correctly, it's once a year for 10 minutes... I think a good rain outside would do the same.
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Old 05-05-09, 03:24 PM   #4
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Sorry, I was thinking about indoor plants.
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Old 05-06-09, 02:18 PM   #5
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Water softened with salt has a high salt content which is why you shouldn't use it to water either your indoor or outdoor plants if possible. If you have high blood pressure, you probably shouldn't drink it either. An undersink mounted reverse osmosis system would be better for drinking water.

Water is softened by ion exchange - exchanging sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions. Wikipedia has a good description. Water softening - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In reverse osmosis, water is forced through a membrane that filters out salt and other elements.

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