Water softener and watering plants

Asked June 2, 2020, 12:25 PM EDT

why you should not use water that has gone through a water softener to water your plants, flowers (annuals and perennials). My husband does not believe me when I tell him you shouldn’t.

Otter Tail County Minnesota

1 Response

You are right. Softened water has salt in it. It can harm the plants. But hard water isn’t great, either. For houseplants the saying is that hard water kills plants slowly; softened water kills them quickly. But it is not like we all have the option to water everything with rain or bottled water. Outdoors this is not as big of a problem as rain will wash away some of the salts and minerals. Some plants are more sensitive to water quality than others.


If you have a bypass that you can use for outdoor watering that is the best thing to use, meaning you will be using unsoftened water. I have a hose bib that uses water that doesn’t go through my softener and a couple that do. I try to remember to turn the bypass valve on my water softener when I am watering, but frankly it doesn’t always happen. Or if it does I forget to turn it back.

Hope this helps!