Is hard water bad for plants? To put it simply — as consumption of polluted water can be harmful to human beings, hard water can be disastrous for plants. Today, we’ll explore the topic in detail and tell you the destructive impact of hard water on plants.

Let’s dive into the details then.

What Is Hard Water?

It’s found that almost 85% of Americans live around hard water. What’s upsetting is that most of these people aren’t even aware of what hard water is. The softness or hardness of water is determined by analyzing the number of mineral constituents in the water.

Water is considered hard when calcium and magnesium are found dissolved in high quantities. These minerals are harmless to humans, but they may harm plants in certain cases.

Why Is Hard Water Bad For Plants?

Minerals such as calcium and magnesium can be beneficial for plants as well as human beings, as both of these minerals help us in growth. However, whether they’ll be harmful or harmless depends completely on the hardness level of the water.

A high level of hardness means that the pH level of the water is also high, meaning that the water is alkaline. This is why it’s very tough to grow plants that aren’t tolerant towards a high pH level in areas with hard water.

For example, you can try growing daffodils, azaleas, or hydrangeas with hard water, and the chances are high that you won’t succeed.

However, there are still some workarounds. You’ll need to work harder if you want to grow plants preferring acidic water in hard water areas, as you’ll have to maintain the plants much more frequently.

One of the primary things that you’ll need to do is repotting the plants frequently. This will prevent the buildup of alkaline substances in the pot, thus extending the life of the plants.

If you’re watering the plants with hard water, then the chances are high that you’ll find calcium deposits on top of the leaves. In such cases, you’ll need to wipe the leaves clean. To do so, we highly recommend using water mixed with slightly acidic solutions like lemon juice.

As soon as you find yellow or pale-colored leaves on your plant, add acidic fertilizers to the pot frequently. This will help in preventing the buildup of alkaline substances in the pot as well.

If there’s no source of soft water around you, then you can get yourself a water purifier that’s capable of removing the hardness of the water. With these, you’ll be able to use water of a balanced pH for watering your plants.


Is hard water bad for plants? Yes, it definitely is. So, you should try following the mentioned steps to ensure an extended life for your plants.