There is a reason why gardeners often say, “It really needs to rain.” Even if you regularly water your plants through a hose or sprinklers with tap water, your flowers or crops would still not look as lush and healthy compared to when they’ve been nourished with several days’ worth of rain. There are many reasons why rain water is more beneficial for plants than tap water.
Tap water contains chlorine, which is necessary for disinfection, as well as trace amounts of fluoride, salts, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. All these elements are known to be toxic or harmful to plants. For instance, chlorine toxicity is real for most plants; an indication of a plant exposed to excessive amounts of chlorine is burnt leaf margins.
Even fluoride, which is put in our water to prevent cavities (provided we each drink one glass per day), is especially toxic to indoor plants, pines, and fruit trees. Some symptoms of fluoride toxicity are burnt, spotted, or discoloured leaves and stressed fruit.
In addition, calcium, magnesium, and sodium do a bit of harm to plants. The white substances on the leaves of your plants are calcium and magnesium sediments, while sodium has been proven to be toxic to plant tissues. Also, when it reaches the ground, sodium leaves damaging effects on the structure of the soil as it disperses beneficial aggregates of soil particles and creates cracks on the ground.
Rainwater has more benefits for plants than tap water. Firstly, it makes plants more green and lush because of the nitrate and ammonium elements found in rain. This element is absorbed by the plants through its roots and leaves.
When you accidentally overwater your plants with tap water (it causes anaerobic soil conditions and may cause the roots of your plants to rot), it causes waterlogging. However, this is not so much a problem with rainwater as rainwater has an abundance of oxygen, which guards the soil even when it is saturated.
Rainwater also contains carbon dioxide, which gives rainwater an acidic pH. When it reaches the soil, helps to unlock micronutrients locked up in the soil such as manganese, copper, zinc, and iron. (This kind of rainwater is different from acid rain, which is caused by an excessive amount of pollutants in the air.)
The above benefits are just some advantages of using rainwater instead of tap water in gardening. You can also save on monthly water bills and use rain for your other household tasks like doing the laundry, flushing the toilet, and washing your car.
If you’re looking into storing rainwater for your household needs, the quality containers such as those provided by Rain Water Tanks can help you. Storing rainwater is worth investing for your plants and water bills. Feel free to share your thoughts right below!
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.