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Q.Water Softener And Water Osmosis Water Ok For Plants?

Zone 85296 | EmeryPlant added on November 26, 2022 | Answered

Hello, I have a salt water softener system. I know this isn’t good for plants, however, I also have a water osmosis filtration system for drinkable water. Is this water-Softened-osmosis-filtered water ok? Or is it just better to go for the hard water coming from the city? (I’m in Arizona and our water is Very hard).

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 28, 2022

This may sound crazy, but your plants will benefit more from the harder water coming from your tap than they will from reverse osmosis water! I would stick with your tap, or collected rain water.


A few things to consider:

There is quite a bit of redundancy with a water softening system AND a RO system. Using the RO system, effectively, removes everything but the water, itself. This is as pure as it gets. This would be best for your consumption. If it passes through the softener after this, then you will be adding salts back to the water. If it passes the softener, first, then it is an extra step. The RO system will, effectively, do the job of the softener, better, and without adding the salts.

Now, watering with RO water is not necessarily bad. The water, simply, lacks nutrients or anything but water. If you DO choose this route, then you will need to keep track of your pH of the soil, and nutrient content of each plant. They will likely be deficient without feeding on occasion, or at least a little more than usual.

If you choose to go the hydroponic route, this will be the preferred choice for complete control of your system, however.


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