Succulents have become extremely popular over the last number of years.
This, in part, is because of their special ability to store water in their tissues which makes them a hardy and mostly maintenance-free plant to keep.
But this raises questions such as, “what type of water is best?” And, “is distilled water good for succulents?”
Do Succulents Need Distilled Water?
Succulents do not strictly need to have distilled water to survive. In fact, rainwater is better for succulents because it is acidic and allows their roots to better absorb nutrients. There are two types of water that succulents like – distilled and rainwater. Although rainwater should be your number one choice, distilled water is the next best thing and succulents do just fine with it.
Succulents are great houseplants for beginners because they are so easy to take care of.
They can adapt to pretty much any type of environment and won’t die if they haven’t been given water in a while.
But many new plant owners aren’t quite sure what type of water their new succulent likes.
To keep your plant healthy, distilled water or rainwater is a good choice.
What Do I Water My Succulent?
Succulents need water with a specific ph level to remain healthy.
They need water that is more acidic with a ph level that sits between 6.5 and 6.0.
Distilled water has a ph level of 7 when it is pure, but once it hits the atmosphere and absorbs some carbon dioxide the ph levels lower to 5.8.
Rainwater is a bit more acidic than distilled water and it’s ph levels range between 5.5 and 5.0.
Acidic water is healthier for the roots of the succulent and helps them to absorb nutrients easier.
Which Water Is Bad For My Succulent?
On the other hand, tap water (especially hard tap water) is not a good choice for succulents.
It has way too many minerals and calcium, which can build up in the soil.
The calcium could also end up appearing on the plant’s leaves in the form of a white dot.
This water could turn the soil alkaline and if that happens the succulent will no grow as well.
Many people have unknowingly killed their succulent plants by giving them tap water.
Municipal tap water maybe even worse because it is more likely to contain fluoride or chlorine.
Hard tap water has traces of magnesium, which isn’t beneficial to the plant’s growth either.
And well water isn’t much better, as it has higher traces of salt.
What If Rainwater Isn’t Always An Option
The most natural way to feed a succulent is by collecting rainwater.
Some people do this by placing buckets outside.
Although this solution may be great for people in the right climate, it isn’t suitable for everyone.
When collecting rainwater is out of the question, distilled water has the right ph level to keep succulents healthy and is a much better choice than tap water.
Giving succulent plants distilled water doesn’t have to be expensive either.
Most succulents only need to be watered every 14 to 21 days.
In order to keep a succulent alive, it’s crucial not to overwater it.
Make sure the soil has completely dried before giving the plant water.
It’s also important to make sure they are in well-draining soil.
These plants absolutely hate sitting in wet soil for prolonged periods.
Many succulents also do not like it when water gets on their leaves.
Try to get the water as deep into the soil as possible.
Keep A Watering Schedule
The best way to ensure you’re giving your succulent the right amount of distilled water is to keep track of when you water it.
This will help you stay on top of your plant’s feeding schedule and prevent overwatering.
Once you get used to this schedule it becomes easier to tell when the plant needs water.
There are many different ways that you can keep track of how often you’re watering your succulents:
- Pen and paper.
- Calendar or agenda.
- Excel spreadsheet.
- Succulent tracker apps.
A lot of seasoned succulent owners are not experts.
They literally have a succulent tracker app and distilled water to thank for their thriving plants.
Keeping a succulent plant happy and healthy really doesn’t have to be complicated.
Once your plant is on the right watering schedule and is getting the proper type of water, taking care of it is a breeze.
When it comes to water types, natural is always better.
However, when rainwater isn’t an option, go for distilled.
Although succulents don’t only need distilled water, it is a good choice and has the right ph level to keep your succulent’s roots healthy.
So, if you can’t get your hands on rainwater, distilled water is your next best option.
And avoid giving tap water to your succulents.