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Thread: Watering With Rain Water?

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Watering With Rain Water?

    This is probably an "obvious" question, but better safe than sorry. Keep in mind I don't have a TDS meter...

    It rained like mad here last week and I collected 20-30 gallons of rain water in some large plastic storage containers. I usually water my Nepenthes with distilled water, but I don't have any on hand right now and they're looking a bit dry.

    I used this water about a week ago to thoroughly fill my Sphagnum cultures and I haven't seen any negative effects. I just want to be sure I'm not about to throw off the balance of the world by watering all of my Nepenthes with rainwater. I know the rain water should be fine since that's what they get in the wild, but I'm worried about their sensitivity to that kind of stuff. There's likely more minerals and a different pH in the rainwater I collected than the distilled water I buy. Will this cause an issue?

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    The ground is covered with free water (snow) here. I've been tempted to scoop up a bunch of it, but it's probably not worth the mere week of rest my RO unit will get.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    To consider: If you are collecting water off an asphalt shingled roof, the asphalt leaches "stuff" into the runoff water and it can be toxic to CPs. Modern roof shingles often have "moss inhibitor" chemicals formulated into them and this can and does leach into the runoff, and these "algicides" are toxic to many (most?) plants. I mean, these are chemicals designed to kill plants. You put two and two together.

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    There's likely more minerals and a different pH in the rainwater I collected than the distilled water I buy. Will this cause an issue?
    No, unless you collected the water from an asphalt shingled roof, like Whim said, or scooped it out of a ditch filled with runoff.

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    The water should be fine. I've collected rain/snow for years and watered plants of all kinds with it. Snow always tends to be a bit purer, but other than maybe having to change pots a little bit sooner, no major side effects.
    Everything has a reason, whether big or small. Never underestimate the power of what is or is not.
    There is far more to everything than meets the eye.
    Growlist

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    there are very inexpensive meter's out there...get one and test the water would be my vote.

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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    I use nothing but rain water. My roof has also been on the house for 12 years, so it's done leeching chemicals. I have noticed that water collected from melted snow is much cleaner than water collected in mid-summer.

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