What is Springwater in the first place?
Springwater is groundwater that enters the surface of the earth through some kind of opening on the ground. The quality of water the spring will have depends entirely upon the rock strata composition below the earth’s surface of that particular place. Depending on the composition, the water can be quite rich in minerals and fresh.
- However, the presence of different elements like limestones, gravels, sand, the kind of rainfall the place receives, its proximity towards cities or farmlands or industries, and a wide variety of other factors play a role in determining the quality of the water the spring will have.
Is using Spring Water OK for Plants?
Springwater is generally found to be rich in a variety of minerals and unlike tap water or river water in most instances, fresh spring water doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.
- However, in many cases, the water can contain unknown loads of microbes that can be harmful to the succulents & other plants. This becomes especially more prone if the water had been frozen or remained immobile for some part of the year( in winter). This can create ideal conditions for the development of many bacteria and parasites.
- Also, you should avoid using spring water for watering the green plants if the spring is located near a city or an industrial area where the pollution is quite high. This is because the rainwater that maintains the water volume of the spring can contain harmful chemicals.
- You should also avoid using the spring water in case you live near farming land. Springs generally have their main source of water from the underground reservoir. Farming lands are commonly treated with insecticides and pesticides that damage the soil quality over time and this can directly affect the underground water reserve of that particular area. Though the probability of this happening is low, there is definitely a chance.
- Aside from all these, the mineral and chemical content of the water is totally unaccounted for, and in case the water is rich in elements that are totally unrequired for the growth of the succulents, they can eventually accumulate in the soil with time and slowly affect the plant health.
So yes you can use spring water for watering your succulents however there are some important variables you need to keep in mind while doing that. In most cases, things will be okay especially if the water is in constant motion and does not have any kind of farmland or industry nearby.
What are the effects of using Spring water rich in unknown components?
- Those microbes can lead to infections: As the water is not properly treated for making them contamination-free, the harmful microbes can start multiplying in the soil. This becomes especially more troublesome if you are growing the succulent indoors in potted conditions, have a bad habit of overwatering them and the succulents receive improper sunlight on a daily basis. Succulents, in general, are quite low maintenance plants but they are quite sensitive to microbial infections.
- Change in the leaf color: The succulent leaf color can start to change into yellow and brown edges can also occur. The overall succulent body can look a bit pale and white dots can also occur throughout the stem and leaves.
- Improper root health: Accumulation of contaminants and chemicals in the soil can lead to root burning. Roots are the most sensitive parts of the succulents or of any plants for that matter. Also, they are the most vital parts as well. So damage in the roots can affect the overall growth of the plant.
- Soil accumulation can lead to stunted growth of the plant: As the root health is compromised, this can lead to improper absorption of water, nutrients, and minerals from the soil. Shortly this will start to get reflected on the upper plant body. The growth of the plant will be stunted and the succulent can start losing leaves and branches to counter the deficiency of nutrients.
How to remove harmful microbes and minerals from Spring Water?
So this brings us to how to make the spring water suitable for being used for watering the succulents.
- Keep the collected water under direct sunlight for a few hours and then use them for watering the succulents. Exposing the water under full sunlight is an excellent way of naturally purifying the collected water as the UV rays will get rid of the major pathogens present in the water.
- Use a little bit of chlorine in the water to get rid of the harmful microbes. Chlorine helps in killing most of the pathogenic microbes and makes the water purified. Leave them overnight and use the water the next day for watering the succulents. Most of the chlorine will easily evaporate at that time. The unwanted minerals and salts will be deposited at the base. So when watering the succulents leave out the water at the base as it will be rich in unwanted salts.
If you think the spring water is suitably clean enough and you still wanna go that extra step, then these two methods are powerful ways of purifying the water. Using both of these together will be superbly beneficial as well.
What to do now in case you have been using Spring Water for watering your succulents?
- Check the Soil Health: If the spring water is filled with unwanted toxic components, the soil health of the succulents will be affected within weeks. The soil color will change and it will look pale or white. If it looks even a little bit off or if you have not changed the soil in two years then consider repotting the succulent in a new soil mix.
- Next, give a thorough deep look at your succulents: See if it is looking jovial or pale. Touch the succulent stem and leaves and see it feels firm or extremely mushy. Check for improper color patches or leaf discolorations. If it all checks out then you are good to go. However, also make sure you are not overwatering your succulent as these issues can also occur if the soil remains wet regularly.
Raw Spring Water Alternatives
The safest water to use for growing succulents is rainwater. Why? Firstly it’s totally natural and most are free of harmful chemicals. Secondly, you can easily collect it if your place gets rain multiple times a year. You can easily store it for future use as succulent has ve very low watering needs.
- The rainwater is slightly acidic which is just what succulents love. Besides this slight acidity helps to get rid of soil contaminants and restores the normal microflora of the soil. So try to reserve rain the next time it rains.
Distilled water basically is water free of any salts, minerals, microbes, or any sort of add ons. It is just plain water. Now like rainwater is of course not free.
- On the upside, they don’t have harmful contaminants but on the downside, they also don’t have the beneficial minerals as well.
- Remember to fertilize your succulents a few times if you use distilled water as they won’t get any added nutrients from the water.
Water from Reverse Osmosis filters
This is the most viable option you can opt for. Even though rainwater is the best but you have to depend on nature to some extent for that. But this is something which will not only help your succulents to get a weekly dose of purified water but will also help you to be healthy.
- The reverse osmosis filters trap not only microbes and other contaminants but get rid of chlorine, iron, and other unwanted components on its own. The good thing is they won’t remove all the minerals from the water, they will keep the necessary ones and get rid of the chemicals.
- Also, you can control the water pH with many Ro purifiers. So this is a really handy investment you can make.
Bottled Spring Water
Generally, true spring water is collected and then subjected through some purification treatments so that the beneficial components of the water remain intact but the unhealthy ones along with the microbes get destroyed completely.
- This is a way better option than tap water as unlike bottled spring water, tap water undergoes vigorous treatment through chlorine which is an excellent disinfectant however it is not healthy for our body and for the plant cells as well.
So under normal circumstances even though they may be slightly expensive than packaged water, by using bottled spring water you will get the goodness of the natural mineral content of the springs which will be totally purified and safe for watering the plants’ (source).
However, rainwater, filtered water, and distilled water are still better options for watering succulents than bottled water or tap water(source).
Treated Tap Water
Now, this is the last resort which you should consider only when you by no means cannot opt for any of the other ones. Tap water is filled with uncontrollable amounts of minerals and chemicals like chlorine, fluoride which helps in making the water germ free.
- This excess chlorine and other unwanted chemicals can build up in the soil and damage the succulent growth.
- So what you can do is leave the water container overnight and let the chlorine evaporate. The next day you can water the succulents with this.
However, this is not a viable option. I have discussed this on 5 Ways You Are Damaging Your Succulents using Tap Water
- Succulents are easy to care for plants that can survive on neglect however problems with watering are the number one reason behind their frequent death.
- Their roots are extremely sensitive to overwatering and to unwanted chemicals and salts in the water.
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So what kind of water do you use for watering succulents? Will you use spring water or will opt for the other options? Comment below to let me know!