I live in what the local water company describe as a "very hard" water area (122.8 Ca mg/l, 307 CaCO3 mg/l, 21.49° Clarke, 17.19° German).

I usually drink filtered water (Brita Maxtra cartridges) - is it better to water houseplants with filtered or unfiltered water?

In this case I'm thinking about a Golden Coast Dracaena which is supposed to be watered weekly.

I've read in various places there can be issues with fluoride and salts, but unsure how fussy it actually is.

  • 1
    I've watered tomatoes with filtered water unfiltered water. They responded much better to the filtered water (about as well as they did to rain water). I imagine houseplants are probably similar there. I don't typically filter water for plants, though, as it's a lot of work, and not necessary in my garden. They seem to require less water when filtered water is used. Apr 24 '18 at 5:16

You're in the UK, tap water will be fine for the plant. The only thing you'll notice is limescale deposits just above soil level attached to the pot - over time. If you want to avoid that, use cooled, boiled tap water instead, boiling it gets rid of the limescale; standing it for half an hour, even from cold, gives time for any chlorine content to dissipate into the air if you're worried about that. In regard to fluoride content, that depends where you are in the UK; some areas have naturally occurring fluoride content, other regions might supplement in tap water, but not all authorities do. About 10% of people living in the UK will be receiving fluoride in their tap water, see here https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11430233/The-extent-of-water-fluoridation-in-the-UK.html

  • Naturally occurring FLUORIDE? Sorry, that does not happen. Fluoride is not natural anything in the natural world. Fluoride is actually Hydrofluorosilicic acid plus arsenic, lead and truly whatever they wanted to get rid of from the Phosphate and Aluminum Industries. It is second in toxicity only to Mercury. Time to stop this crazy insane asinine 'tradition' of dumping this stuff in our water. It DOES nothing for teeth and everything horrible for health. My conscience will not allow me to be PC about this issue.Thank you Bamboo for highlighting this fluoride issue!
    – stormy
    Apr 23 '18 at 7:36
  • @stormy fluoride can and does occur naturally - my local authority in my area does not fluoridate our water because it has some (low) level within it that has not been artificially added. Read the article in the link above for the facts in the UK... (I can see this is gonna be like ozone, which you refused to believe is so high here at times, its a serious air pollutant!)
    – Bamboo
    Apr 23 '18 at 8:36
  • We shall get this straight. Fluorine or fluoride or fluorite? Of course there is naturally occurring fluorine, ummmm, on the periodic table, atomic number 9 (had to look it up), with F as the designation. Highly toxic, plain old basic fluorine. Ozone is a little heavier than CO2. That is why it stays around within the 'bubble' of a city. CO2 is not toxic. In these stupid U.S. states, we 'fluoridate' the water in all large cities; something like 75 percent of all our drinking water in cities is fluoridated. 'Fluoride..one of the best things mankind has done'...Wikipedia.
    – stormy
    Apr 24 '18 at 3:57
  • Fluoride, hydro or hexasilicic acid does nothing for teeth. Not one bit. Not even a tiny bit. Really messes up brains and bones. One or two or three issues at a time do I chose to focus upon. The three I've chosen are the easiest to prove, without a doubt and are directly related to the world of plants...and all other life. Ozone? Living in a city is tough. All the heavier than air gases with coagulate around the city that produced them. Won't affect the atmosphere or climate...for a heck of a long long time. Fluoride, fluorite, fluorine...none at all are good for our health.
    – stormy
    Apr 24 '18 at 4:05

I am a gardener for many years. With very hard water there will be a visible mineral build-up on the top of the soil. Very white and unmistakable... if you soak them. Make certain that "fresh" water flows through the soil. Don't let water sit and stagnate. Fresh aerated water is good. That's about it unless there is literal poison in the water. Some plants have delicate balances. Can research the plant online to get the stats. There are ways to test the soil to maintain and "also" manipulate each individual pot of soil to suit each plant. I tend to raise plants that are hardy. The desert where I live (Eastern Mojave Valley) has some fairly ugly water out of the tap. Can buy filters that remove a lot of sediment;filters that attach right to the end of the faucet. What is "pure" water?... I think it would depend on who you ask. Don't poison the plant. There must be general guides available online. Here in the Western U.S. we have Western Gardener and Calflora.

  • The only way to filter fluoride and other salts from tap water is by distillation. No filter I know about is able to do this. Please let me know if you've found something that specifically filters fluoride without distillation. It is a classified DRUG that needs NO prescription. Everyone is forced to take it; babies up to big strong dudes as well as fragile old folks. It is in all our canned goods, soft drinks, bottled waters, preserved foods and stuff like Cheerios, Fruit Loops...our bodies store this stuff in our bones...forever. Plants absorb this waste, we ingest even more fluoride.
    – stormy
    Apr 23 '18 at 7:43
  • San Diego was the last hold out of the big cities in this country for fluoride. They refused for decades. Just recently San Diego was forced to put this industrial waste in their drinking water. If one of these companies were caught dumping this industrial waste near the ocean, a river, an aquifer? They'd be fined so large they'd go out of business. As it turns out someone started a rumor that this was good for dental carries. No tests. Supposed to COAT the teeth. Never meant to be ingested. Yet, we now give fluoride tablets to our babies! Some great documentaries on this subject!
    – stormy
    Apr 23 '18 at 7:48
  • The best water is well water that is hundreds of miles from Aluminum and Phosphate Industries. Hopefully well water not put through salt to soften. Distilled water is next. But who knows if that water is really distilled or not? Pretty much all other bottled waters, water cooler drinking waters, soft drinks...everything has fluoride in it...and it builds up. Plants are tough, house plants not so much. Flushing the soil or repotting with fresh potting soil once a year or so does help. youtube.com/watch?v=pkuHo2xFJr0
    – stormy
    Apr 23 '18 at 7:58

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