Is Brita Water Safe for Plants?


Ill.: &, montage:

Question: I have a Brita water pitcher I use for improving the quality of my drinking water. Can I also use this water on my plants? 

M. Carmichael

Answer: Sure, but why would you bother? Plants are actually excellent water filterers in their own right. They take up the impurities that could be harmful to humans and actually use for their own growth. 

Brita filters and others of that type are basically composed of loose carbon granules that are very good at removing chlorine from the water and also filter out, to a much lesser degree, heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Basically, they’re designed to make water taste better, but plants have no sense of taste … that we know of!

It has to be said that chlorine is not nearly as harmful to plants as the urban legend claims. It’s not chlorine that burns leaf tips (that condition is most often caused by dry air, insufficient watering, mineral buildup in the potting mix or very hard water) and in fact, chlorine (Cl) is an essential element plants need for their growth. 

The purpose of chlorine in tap water is to provide protection from pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa that could cause diseases in humans. The same pathogens would be filtered out and actually consumed (indirectly) by plants as the water flowed through the soil and their root system.

There are indeed some plants that don’t tolerate hard water , that it, water containing a large quantity of dissolved salts and minerals such as magnesium and calcium (carnivorous plants are the most obvious example), but water pitcher filters don’t soften water to any noticeable degree. You need to water such plants with rain water, dehumidifier water or distilled water.

So, go ahead and use your Brita water pitcher to water your houseplants, but don’t expect that to help them in any obvious way!

6 thoughts on “Is Brita Water Safe for Plants?

  1. Hi there: I always let my tap water sit overnight before watering. I know for my large dracenas it made a big difference to their health when I started doing this. I thought that having at least some of the chlorine evaporate off was a good thing for all the plants. Am I wrong then? I’d like your thoughts please. Thanks. N.

    • It’s not the chlorine directly harming the plant itself, but the chlorine does have a detrimental effect on the bio culture in the soil. If it kills germs harmful to humans it also kills germs beneficial to plants. Small amounts of chlorine (CI) are essential but these amounts are micro compared to the chlorine in drinking water. I prefer to leave water to stand for 24 hrs before using, to evaporate chlorine and allow other undesirable to sink to the bottom. I have however just learned that unless uv light is involved such as direct sunlight, the evaporation of chlorine will not take place. As you see im still learning. 🙂

  2. That sounds silly, but I actually had a reader many years ago who thought here new pistache tree (outside) might appreciate Holy Water from Saint Joseph’s Cathedral. I had to explain that Holy Water is actually saline, so is therefore toxic.

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