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How Do Different Types of Water Affect Plant Growth?

Last Updated on: August 3, 2021

Plants with a watering pot

Summer is just about here, which means it’s gardening time! For those who have a green thumb, it’s important to make sure you properly care for your plants. Plants need water to grow, but did you know that you can boost your plants’ growth by using different types of water like antioxidant water?

In order to grow, every plant needs air, nutrients, sun, and — of course — water. While most of us may water our houseplants and gardens with water straight from the tap or hose, the type of water you use to care for your plants could affect their growth. If you want thriving houseplants or a lush garden, it may be time to change the type of water you use.

WHY WATER IS IMPORTANT FOR PLANT GROWTH

All living things need water to grow and survive. For plants, water is the main mode of transporting nutrients from the soil into the plant, allowing the plant to continue growing. Water also makes it possible for a plant to stand; if there is not enough water, the plant can become malnourished and physically weak, causing it to droop. (1)

CAN DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATER HURT PLANT GROWTH?

Yes! While general tap or hose water may oftentimes be sufficient for your plants, it is important to keep in mind that the nutrients and minerals in your water could affect how your plants grow. These are some of the most common impurities and contaminants to watch out for in your water: (2, 3)

  • Salt: Plants tend to thrive better when watered with water that has low salt levels. If a plant absorbs too much salt, it can end up looking yellowish or burned.
  • Tap water: Depending on where you live, tap water can contain harsh chemicals, and you may want to filter your water before using it on your plants.
  • Hard water: Hard water contains excessive amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other chemicals that can end up raising the pH of your soil. If the soil’s pH level changes too much, it can reduce the overall health of your plants.
  • Chlorine: Commonly used in tap water to kill bacteria and microorganisms, chlorine is often poisonous to plants. If you water your plants with water that has chlorine in it, you can end up killing your plants over time.
  • Copper: Repeatedly introducing copper into the soil around your plants can cause the leaves of your plants to curl up and eventually die. Watering with higher levels of copper in the water can limit your plants’ ability to grow and end up stunting growth.
hands holding soil with growing plant
Different types of water can contain contaminants that can hinder your plant’s growth.

HOW SOIL PH AFFECTS PLANT GROWTH

While watering your plant with the right water is important, another major factor to healthy plant growth is soil pH. If your plants are in soil with the wrong pH, it won’t kill your plants right away; however, it will affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and could result in hindered growth, blossoms, and crops. (4)

For most home gardens, a soil pH of 6.5 is just about right. Most plants thrive in soil that has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0; However, some plants may grow better in more acidic or basic soil. (4) In order to test your soil’s pH level, you can use a simple soil pH test that you can purchase online or from your local gardening store. You can also have a state Cooperative Extension System test your soil. This test can provide you with a more in-depth analysis of your soil to help you know how to better care for your plants. (4)

To know what the best soil pH level is for specific plants, check out this list!(4)

Graph comparing soil pH levels of different plants

Plant

Soil pH

Apple Tree 5.0 – 6.5
Asparagus 6.0 – 8.0
Azalea Shrub 4.5 – 6.0
Baby’s Breath 6.0 – 7.0
Beets 6.0 – 7.5
Blackberry Bush 5.0 – 6.0
Blueberry Bush 4.0 – 6.0
Broccoli 6.0 – 7.0
Carnation 6.0 – 7.0
Carrots 5.5 – 7.0
Chrysanthemum 6.0 – 7.5
Cucumber 5.5 – 7.0
Daffodil 6.0 – 6.5
Douglas Fir Tree 6.0 – 7.0
Garlic 5.5 – 8.0
Geranium 6.0 – 8.0
Hibiscus 6.0 – 8.0
Kale 6.0 – 7.5
Lemon Tree 6.0 – 7.5
Lilac Bush 6.0 – 7.5
Lily of the Valley 4.5 – 7.5
Marigold 5.5 – 7.5
Oriental Poppy 6.0 – 7.5
Peach Tree 6.0 – 7.0
Pear Tree 6.0 – 7.5
Peony 6.0 – 7.5
Pole Beans 6.0 – 7.5
Potato 4.8 – 6.5
Pumpkin 5.5 – 7.5
Purple Coneflower 5.0 – 7.5
Raspberry Bush 6.0 – 7.5
Rhododendron 4.5 – 6.0
Spinach 6.0 – 7.5
Sweet Pea 6.0 – 7.5
Sweet Peppers 5.5 – 7.0

WHAT TYPE OF WATER SHOULD YOU USE FOR BETTER PLANT GROWTH?

If you want to help your plants grow and potentially get better blossoms and crops, you can try watering your houseplants and garden with different types of water. By changing the water you use to water your plants, you can not only remove harmful toxins, but you may be able to adjust the soil’s pH level to better support plant growth.

Antioxidant Water ™

If you want a flourishing garden, perhaps one of the best types of water to use on your plants is Antioxidant Water ™. Not only is Antioxidant Water ™ pre-filtered to remove contaminants that can harm your plants, it is infused with hydrogen gas, which has been shown to boost plant growth.

One study found that using hydrogen-rich water promoted the growth of seedlings by stimulating the elongation of root cells and the hypocotyl (which pushes one of the plant’s first embryonic leaves above the ground). Hydrogen-rich water also increased levels of Indole-3-acetic acid (the most important plant growth hormone) and gibberellic acid (GA3), which is a plant growth regulator that stimulates flowering, germination, and elongation of the stem. (5, 6, 7)

If you want to water your plants with hydrogen-rich water and boost the growth of your plants, you can use any of our Echo Antioxidant Water™ Machines. With an Echo Antioxidant Water ™ Machine in your home, you can easily water your plants with hydrogen-rich water any time you want!

Three potted plants on small table
Antioxidant Water™ has been shown to help boost plant growth.

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water is typically filtered, which helps eliminate common contaminants, such as fluoride and chlorine, from your water. As a result, your plants may end up looking healthier and more beautiful. However, because alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular water (which is a pH of 7), it can end up changing the pH level of your soil, making it more basic. This can be good for plants that prefer a higher soil pH than 6.5. However, alkaline water may also remove some of the nutrients that your plants need to grow, including iron and magnesium. (8)

To know if your plant is too low in iron, keep an eye out for leaf chlorosis. This condition causes plant leaves to turn yellow; however, the veins of the leaves remain green. Leaf chlorosis most commonly occurs in the tips of new leaves, but it will eventually spread to older leaves if the iron deficiency continues. (9) Low magnesium levels often result in the older leaves. They will turn yellow between the veins and around the edges, and sometimes you may also see brown, purple, or red discoloration. (10) If you notice any signs of iron or magnesium deficiency in your plants, you can increase the levels with compost and adjust your soil’s pH level.

If you wish to water your plants with alkaline water, the Echo Ultimate™ produces pre-filtered alkaline water as one of four water options. Not only that, but the Echo Ultimate™ has four different levels of alkaline water for you to choose from, making it easy to water your plants and increase your soil’s pH level in smaller increments.

Acidic Water

Acidic water has a pH lower than water’s natural pH of 7. Just like some plants prefer a more acidic soil pH, others prefer soil with a slightly more acidic pH. By watering your plants with acid water, you can change the soil’s pH to be lower. If you wish to use acidic water on your plants, the Echo Ultimate™ produces pre-filtered acidic water. Not only that, but the Echo Ultimate™ has four different levels of acidic water for you to choose from so that you can increase your soil’s pH level gradually.

Filtered Water

If you are happy with the way your plants are growing or do not want to affect your soil’s pH level, you can always water your plants with filtered water. Filtered water is a simple and great alternative to plain tap or hose water. By filtering your water before watering your plants, you can remove contaminants that may stunt the growth of your plants. However, depending on the type of filter you use, you may also end up removing beneficial nutrients, such as iron. To ensure that your plants stay healthy, you might want to consider doing regular soil tests that can tell you the levels of different micronutrients.

To get top-quality filtered water, we recommend using the Echo H2 Machine™ or Echo Ultimate™. Both of these machines use our Echo Filter, which has been tested and proven to remove a large amount of contaminants, including harmful pesticides and herbicides, from your water. As a result, you can be confident that you are giving your plants clean, fresh, pure water to help them grow.

Two people watering a small plant
Having the right soil pH can help boost plant growth and crop production.

GIVING YOUR PLANTS A BOOST

As you plant your garden this summer and care for the plants both indoors and outdoors, be sure to give your plants an extra boost by watering them with the most beneficial type of water. By properly caring for your plants, you can enjoy healthier plants, beautiful flowers, and plentiful crops all season long!

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