“What type of water is best for my houseplants?” is a very common question in the plant care world. To the beginner plant owner, this might not be an initial thought that crosses your mind. Plants need water, period. Right? Well, that is a great start when it comes to caring for your plants, but there are actually different types of water that may be better for your plant's health and growth than others. We’re here to discuss the different types of water you might have access to and which is best for your plants. 

Best Water for Houseplants


Tap Water

This is probably the most common source for many of us for watering our plants. On the positive, tap water has added minerals in it, so you can worry less about fertilizing your plants. However, different water has different minerals and chemicals and you may want to test to make sure it’s what your plants need. 

Tap water often has additive chlorine in it which can be harmful to your plants. Cities also have differing water qualities and some can be very low quality. If you use tap water, you may notice that your plants are not growing as tall and strong to the best of their abilities. To reduce the risk of harmful chemicals in your water, allow your tap water to sit out for at least 24 hours before using it to water your plants. This allows the chlorine to dissipate. If you have a charcoal filter installed on your sink faucet, even better, as these can remove harmful additives, including chlorine from your tap water.

Softened Water

This type of water is softened with added sodium carbonate. The extra salt content can not be handled by most plants and can throw off their water balance by tricking them into thinking they have taken in more water than they actually have. This can lead to leaf wilt and damage and stunted plant growth. It is best to keep your plants away from softened water.


There is a good reason why this is by far the best water source for your plants, as this is what they would receive in their natural habitat. It is natural, clean, and easy to source. It also has good minerals that aid in plant growth. You can collect rainwater in retention barrels or just in buckets. Not to mention- it’s free!

Bottled Water

Bottled water can be a great alternative to tap water if your local water is not safe for plants. If bottled water is the easiest option for you, try to use bottled spring water as it contains natural minerals that help plants grow. Just remember to recycle those bottles after use!

Aquarium Water

If you’re a fish parent in addition to a plant parent, good news! Using the water from the fish tank when you clean it out can be amazing for your plants! Dirty fish tank water has many of the same nutrients as fertilizers such as potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, and beneficial bacteria. 

Overall, the best water for houseplants includes rainwater, aquarium water, and spring water. All of these water sources include natural elements that aid in plant health and growth. Drink up, plant babies!

Do you have specific questions when it comes to watering our plant care? Reach out to us @maxandmilesplants on Instagram and we'd be happy to help!