Distilled Water For Plants – Using Distilled Water On Plants

Hand Watering Indoor Yellow Potted Plant
distilled water
(Image credit: ronstik)

Distilled water is a type of purified water achieved by boiling water away and then condensing the vapor. Using distilled water on plants seems to have its benefits, as watering plants with distilled water provides an impurity free source of irrigation that may help prevent toxicity build up.

Why Distilled Water for Plants?

Is distilled water good for plants? The jury is divided on this, but many plant experts claim it’s the best liquid, especially for potted plants. Apparently, it reduces chemicals and metals that are contained in tap water. This, in turn, provides a clean water source that will not harm plants. It also depends on your water source.

Plants need minerals, many of which can be found in tap water. However, excessive chlorine and other additives may have the potential to harm your plants. Some plants are especially sensitive, while others do not mind tap water.

Distilling water is done through boiling and then reconstituting the vapor. During the process, heavy metals, chemicals, and other impurities are removed. The resulting liquid is pure and free of contaminants, many bacteria, and other living bodies. In this state, giving plants distilled water helps avoid any toxic buildup.

Making Distilled Water for Plants

If you want to try watering plants with distilled water, you can purchase it at most grocery stores or make your own. You can buy a distillation kit, often found in sporting goods departments or do it with common household items.

Get a large metal pot partially filled with tap water. Next, find a glass bowl that will float in the larger container. This is the collection device. Place a lid on the big pot and turn on the heat. Put ice cubes on top of the lid. These will promote condensation which will collect into the glass bowl.

The remnants in the big pot after boiling will be heavily laced with contaminants, so it is best to throw it out.

Using Distilled Water on Plants

The National Student Research Center did an experiment with plants watered with tap, salt, and distilled water. The plants that received distilled water had better growth and more leaves. While that sounds promising, many plants don't mind tap water.

Outdoor plants in the ground use the soil to filter any excess minerals or contaminants. The plants in containers are the ones to worry about. The container will trap bad toxins which can build up to unhealthy levels.

So your houseplants are the ones who will benefit most from distilled water. Yet, giving plants distilled water isn't usually necessary. Watch the growth and color of the leaves and if any sensitivity seems to arise, switch from tap to distilled.

Note: You can also let tap water sit for about 24 hours before using on your potted plants. This allows the chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride, to dissipate.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.