Watering your succulents is about the only care you really need to provide on a regular basis, and it isn’t even that often! So when you do water your succulents, we want to make sure you’re doing it right. The technique is important, (we recommend the Drench + Dry method,) but have you ever given thought to the kind of water you use?
We know what you’re thinking, water is water. But in the plant world, there’s so much more to it. There’s tap water, rainwater, distilled water, deionized water, and… we’re going to stop there because the list goes on. Here’s what you need to know about a few main types, and how they can affect your succulents.
This is the water that comes out of your faucet. Depending on where you live, tap water can contain all sorts of minerals and additives like fluoride, magnesium, or calcium. You may have noticed white dots on your plants’ leaves a few days after watering. That’s calcium that’s been left behind after the water dries. Succulents are hardy, and won’t be too affected by the traces of these materials, but they can build up in the soil over time, so it’s not a great long-term solution.
You guessed it, it’s the water that falls from the sky. Good news about rain-water, it’s free, it’s what your succulents would drink in their natural habitat, and it doesn’t contain additives like tap water. On the down side, it isn’t always readily available, you have to store it in something, and it’s *technically* illegal to collect in some states. (Crazy, right?) But, your succulents will thrive with it. So, in the more rainy season, (depending on where you live,) it could be worth looking into a rain barrel or another method of collecting and storing rain water for the dry months.
You can buy distilled water at the store, or make it by boiling tap water (it boils off the minerals, leaving only good ol’ H2O.) It’s the preferred water for pretty much all plants, including succulents, because it’s the only water that’s guaranteed to be free of minerals and additives. If you have access to (or time to make) distilled water, your plants will definitely thank you for it.
The verdict? Use distilled or rainwater if you can. And if you are going to use tap water (we get it, it is the easiest) avoid getting it on your succulents’ leaves and consider repotting your succulents into fresh soil somewhat regularly to avoid mineral build up in the soil.