Jade plant with white dots

Tap Water Conditioner for Houseplants – Is This The Answer?

My Jade Plant seems to have developed small white bumps, some bigger than others, on the leaves and I think I may be able to fix it with water conditoner. And what about brown leaf edges and spots on the leaves of my foliage plants? Maybe I have found the cure.

Why are these white bumps forming? Why do the leaf edges turn brown on my philodendrons and pothos?

Small Jade Plant in Hypertufa dish

I understand that these bumps and brown edges are caused by excess salt and/or mineral deposits coming out of the leaves through their stomata (pores). Rainwater and groundwater both contain salts and minerals as does most tap water too.

It seems that the tap water I’m giving my Jade plant and other tropical plants is too hard because deposits appear to be showing up on the leaves. Is there something I can do to remove these deposits? Is it harmful to use hard water for watering? Rainwater is something I collect when I can, but many times I miss it and the storm is over before I remember to get a container out there.

large Monstera leaf with brown spots

In some areas, the water is so hard that it is not fit to drink, let alone water your houseplants.

And are there “nasties” from it running off the roof shingles? Am I introducing pests? So I have ordered API Tap Water Conditioner. This will be a lifetime supply, I think.

Treats one gallon of water

I used to live in a house with a basement and I used the dehumidifier water. I felt that the water collected there was fairly pure and it always seemed to make the plants do well.

How Do I Know I Need Water Conditioner for HousePlants?

Jade plants have really big stomata (those little dots on the leaves). During the night, they open to let the plant breathe (respirate). While the stomata are open, excess salts and minerals also leak out. You should be able to wipe the leaves with a soft damp cloth to get rid of the buildup.

Stomata on jade plant leaf with white deposit

For our outdoor plants, you can let nature do the work by rinsing plus having the salt flushed out of the soil, at least to a degree. Rainwater is magical. It tends to have a slightly acidic pH, which should theoretically make it extra effective at getting rid of salt deposits on leaves.

For indoor houseplants, we have to flush our plants maybe a couple of times a year and clean off the white residue on the leaves by wiping them with a damp cloth or a cotton swab. I show this in my video.

Is Your Tap Water Safe For Houseplants? A Simple Tap Water Conditioner Will Make It Safer!

But can we prevent these spots on the plants and prevent any buildup in the soil? Yes, I have started to use API Tap Water Conditioner.

It my sound strange but this conditioner is for aquariums, but since those elements in water are harmful to fish and plant life in an aquarium, it follows that they can be harmful or detrimental to other living things too…like my houseplants.

Mixing The API Tap Water Conditioner

This type of tap water conditioner treatment involves removing harmful chemicals like chlorine and chloromine. ( Here is the report for Dayton Ohio, Montgomery County, I was able to find the levels of chlorine but not levels of chloromine (a disinfectant like chlorine).

ZZ Plant, Snake Plant, Philo Brasil Plant sitting on floor

The label says it is very concentrated and that surely is true. One milliliter of the solution will treat a 20 gallon aquarium tank. So if I need to water my houseplants, I need to figure out how much per gallon.

Since 1 ml is a very small unit of measure, we have to get down into “drops” to figure out an amount. If you have 1 ml of liquid, that is the equivalent of 20 drops

So if 1 ml of this conditioner treats a 20 gallon tank, then 20 drops treats a 20 gallon tank. If I want to measure 1 gallon of water to apply on my houseplants, then one drop treats one gallon of water!

1 gallon of water

On the side of the bottle, directions say that chloromines are treated with a slightly higher concentration of the conditioner (5 ml mixed into 30 gallons), so I am treating mine with 2 drops per gallon of tap water for now. I will let you know if any of my plants swoon and die.

I have great hopes for my houseplants during this dreary winter and waiting-for-spring period. It is always hard on my plants so I am hoping this will give them a great outlook. So here goes my experiment!

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