Do Orchids Grow Better With Tap Water or Distilled Water?

water.One of the facts that we have to accept in our moeedern life is that we really do not what is in our water. However, what we do know is that chlorine, which is present in water, is a substance that plants, orchids for instance, hate.

water orchidsAs orchids are confined to their growing medium, they usually do not have a way to get away from water that is tainted with this harmful chemicals. Therefore, as owners, it is very important to feed them water that is as good as the water that we, humans, drink. This means that if we filter our drinking water, we should also do so for our plants.

Which Water to Give?

Watering an OrchidIf you feel that your tap water has too much chlorine, you may either use distilled water, or as an alternative, allow your tap water to sit overnight. This will allow chlorine to escape as gas. By making it a habit to refill your containers, gases will escape slowly, and your water will again be ready when your plants need water.

There are some orchid growers who love collective rainwater to give their plants. Some also use melted snow, which oftentimes contain some traces of micronutrients. However, keep in mind that most plants actually love ‘soft’ water, compared to ‘hard’ water.

Soft water is one that contain really low amounts of magnesium and calcium salts. On the other hand, hard water, which usually flows through mineral rich rock deposits contain higher amounts of the mentioned elements.

What Studies Reveal

Thus, to answer the question, distilled water is way better compared to tap water for growing healthy orchids. A study was conducted in the Department of Plant Sciences in the University of Saskatchewan, highlighting the effects that tap water has on plant growth.

The study shows that tap water only exposes the plants to such harmful substances such as magnesium, salt, and calcium. On the other hand, distilled water is processed after boiling the water to vapor in order to remove impurities, and afterward, recondensing it. Even though distilled water may come at a premium, it is still better for the plants compared to what comes out of a regular kitchen faucet.

Types of Faucet

faucetsSpeaking of faucets where tap water usually comes out from, there are common types that are commonly found at home. Generally speaking, there are four common types of faucets used: ball, disc, cartridge, and compression faucets.


The first three types are those that are considered as washerless faucets. They are called as such because they do not use neoprene or rubber washers. On the other hand, the last one, compression faucet, is the basic washer faucet. You may be using one at home, where you get your water to feed your orchids. Take into consideration that your plants may not like the water that you give them.

Another thing that you can keep in mind is that regardless of the water source, it is very important to make sure that water is stored at room temperature as you give it to your plants. If you end up giving cold water to your orchids, the roots might be chilled, eventually causing them to rot.

Alternative Options

reverse osmosisThere are some ways in which you can turn hard water into soft water. Procedures such as the use of reverse osmosis, or other water softener systems, will help you in creating water that is perfect for your plants.

Orchids are very delicate. They are primarily cultivated as an indoor houseplant. When watering them, softened water should never be used, as this water contains salts which may damage the plants. While chlorinated tap water may be used, it should not be excessive.

orchide wateringOther expert orchid growers also suggest that the best water to give orchid plants is rain or distilled water. Orchids need to be watered at least once a week as it is blooming. The water should evenly drain through the soil, or else water may cause the roots to drown.

Since orchids do not prefer dry air, it is also important to replace your distilled water sitting in the saucer as it starts to evaporate.


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