Do House Plants Need Filtered Water Like We Do?

If you're like me and you really love your plants, this question has definitely crossed your mind once or twice. And even if you don't daydream of your house plants while at work like I do, it's still an important question to ask. After all, they are alive and they do rely upon us to stay that way. So maybe if you're one that has a brown thumb (as opposed to a green one), you should look more into what you're watering your plants with. It could make all the difference on the color spectrum (still talking about thumbs here). 

While city water is treated so as to be safe for humans (and "safe" is still a very loose term), it is not treated with plants in mind. Many of the chemicals used to treat water are not actually safe for plants. Some plants are more sensitive to specific chemicals than others. For instance, palms, spider plants, and dracaenas are pretty sensitive to fluoride. The amount of fluoride in our water is much more than these plants can handle. 

Tap water also contains salts that soften your water but can be harmful to your plants. A build-up of a white film crust can form on the soil which is a sign that the water contains too much sodium, which is a nutrient plants are not that fond of. Some plants cannot tolerate chlorinated water as it kills the microorganisms that live in the soil and are essential for the health of your plants.

Additionally, the pH of tap water is almost always the wrong level for plants. So yeah, we recommend using filtered water for your plants. Friends don't let friends use unfiltered water to water their plants. 

Another thing to consider when watering your plants is the temperature of the water, it's best to water them with room temperature water so as not to shock them. And don't over-water. It's more often that plants don't make it because they've been over watered (not under watered like you may expect). Plants are durable, and you may have noticed, that even after appearing fully dehydrated and lifeless, they can sometimes bounce back as if rising up from the dead. But if you can avoid getting them there in the first place, they'll thank you for it. They're already buried in the ground, but not six feet under (yet).

So as you're filling up your Epic pitcher, grab yourself and your plants a glass. Your body and your plants will thank you. 


Boyle, E. (2014, January 2). Urban Gardener: Is Unfiltered Tap Water Safe for Plants? Gardenista. Retrieved on April 19, 2020 from

Water Quality and Plants. Apec Water. Retrieved on April 19, 2020 from


Forrest G 

Crazy about clean water, rocks (climbing them), and gardening