Gardening with Soft Water and Hard Water

Spring and summer offer great chances in the garden. Let's explain how hard water, soft water, and reverse osmosis affect your plants.

Is Hard Water Bad for Your Plants?

Hard water contains calcium and magnesium carbonate salts. At home, it causes stains, spots, and build up on your sinks and fixtures. But in the right amount, hard water minerals can be good for your plants. Just be sure to check for any signs of stunted growth since very high levels of calcium and magnesium can hurt more diverse gardens.
If you're growing acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Caladiums, and Begonias, you'll need to check the pH of your water. High alkalinity is common in hard water and may cause problems for plant growth. In this case, reverse osmosis water can offer more controllable watering.

How Does Soft Water Affect Plants?

If your plants get plenty of rainwater, then occasional soft water won't hurt. But watering plants exclusively with soft water isn't recommended. Most water softeners use sodium chloride, which can cause a gradual build up of sodium in garden soil. This can cause plant growth problems.
Instead of soft water, use hard water or reverse osmosis for watering plants. Your local Culligan water expert can easily create a bypass for outdoor spigots, so you'll only get soft water where you want it.

Growing Plants with Reverse Osmosis Water

A reverse osmosis filter greatly reduces contaminants. And it's a very popular choice for gardeners with plant diversity. The biggest benefit is creating clean, consistent water. So you can easily control the nutrients and fertilizers you add. Gardeners with bacteria, iron, and chlorine problems will appreciate the benefits of reverse osmosis water. It's like having rain water from your faucet.
Plus, the pH of RO water can be easily changed. So plants with specific acid or alkaline requirements will benefit from the versatility of reverse osmosis.


Yes, it's okay to use hard water on your plants. But gardens with diverse or delicate plant life may have problems, especially if hard water is their only source of water. Keep an eye out for damage caused by alkaline pH water or high levels of minerals.
It's okay to use soft water, but it doesn't provide any benefit to your garden. And soft water should only be used occasionally on outdoor gardens that receive natural rain. Otherwise, use normal tap water for your indoor plants.
Reverse Osmosis is the best water for a serious gardener. It allows precise control of the nutrient flow to your plants. Use reverse osmosis if you take care of delicate plant life. Otherwise, use hard water for your normal house plants.