So, you've purchased your first plant (perhaps a bromeliad, pothos or calathea), potted it potted it and found the perfect spot in your house, but how are you going to water it? There are pros and cons to all your watering options, let's dive into a few!
Generally the easiest, most available, and lowest cost option to plant owners is to use tap water. While what comes out of your faucet can vary greatly area to area. Tap water can have a favorable PH with only minor contamination. In areas where contamination is higher, running the water through a filter may help, although it won’t capture fluorine, chlorine and some heavy metals and minerals. Salt or mineral build up can also occur from water that is too hard or soft. Build up in your soil can be mitigated by flushing occasionally with distilled water.
Options for bottled water include spring water, which has minerals, and distilled water, which does not. Both of these options are more costly than tap water and use plastic packaging which may be of concern to some plant owners. Spring water is free of most harmful contaminants and contains necessary minerals like calcium and magnesium. Distilled water is free of minerals and contaminants, which means no build up in your soil, however the lack of beneficial minerals may slow plant growth.
Collecting rain water may be a great option for plant owners in climates with a good amount of rainfall and who have the space to collect and store it. It has no cost, and can be free from some harmful contaminants found in tap water. However, you need to be aware of what may be in your rain water from surrounding industry. You should also check your local laws to make sure it's legal to collect rain water in your area.