Because it doesn’t need to be treated before use, rainwater is seen as an alternative supply of water. There are no chemicals in it. Sediment may be present, but plants are not at risk from this.
Nitrogen in the form of nitrates, which plants utilize to grow green, lush foliage, is provided by rainwater when it is used to irrigate plants. Rainwater’s pH, which ranges from 6.2 to 6.8, helps soil nutrients for plants to be released. Plants in gardens and inside can both benefit from rainwater irrigation.
It depends on how it is gathered, stored, and applied to plants to determine whether or not it will be an excellent free source of water for your plants.
Continue reading to learn about the many advantages rainwater offers for plants.
Table of Contents
Is Rainwater Good for Plants?
Since it has fewer chemicals, minerals, and salts, and nearly no medicines, rainfall is superior than regular water in many respects.
If you want to learn about the advantages of rainwater for plants, please consider yourself a farmer or gardener. Farmers and gardeners may have claimed that this year’s lack of rain is to blame for the crops’ low quality.
What makes them say that? Why are they unable to just utilize tap or well water? The chemistry plays a role here. More chlorine is typically present in tap water as a disinfectant. Chlorine can be highly harmful to plants.
Additionally, fluoride is added to tap water to prevent cavities. According to reports, many indoor plants suffer from fluoride toxicity in the form of burns, color loss, or leaf spots.
Contrarily, rainwater is devoid of all these pointless compounds. The plants crave heavenly water that comes directly from the source.
More harm than benefit is caused to the plants by all of those chemicals. Additionally, rainwater has a higher oxygen content than tap water.
After rain, plants typically appear greener and more vibrant. Rainwater comes down with nitrogen in the form of nitrate, which causes the more vibrant appearance
Rainwater brings down a lot of nitrogen, which the plants quickly absorb. Nitrogen is one of the most crucial components of plant growth. That explains why plants appear healthy after a downpour.
The Benefits of Using Rain Water for Plants
Supplies Nitrogen for Greener Plants
Nitrates, which are dissolved nitrogen that plants can absorb, are found in trace amounts in rainwater.
Unlocks Nutrients in the Soil
Rainwater’s reduced acidity allows plants to access essential nutrients in the soil.
Rainwater does not include chlorine, which is a possible harm to plants when compared to regular water obtained through taps.
Rainwater has very little to no mineral content, thus plants won’t be harmed.
Conserves Municipal Water Usage
Rainwater cuts down on the amount of tap water used to irrigate gardens and plants, saving municipalities money on water and treatment.
Since rainwater is a free resource, we use less city water and pay less to make it potable for consumption.
What Does Rainwater Contain?
Sodium, magnesium, chloride, calcium, potassium, and bicarbonate ions are only a few of the many ions that make up rainwater, an electrolyte.
Along with nitrogen, nitrogenous substances, nitrite, and ammonia. What sources do these components have? Oceans, seas, freshwater lakes, volcanoes, industry, and many others are the sources.
Many people claim that they used an equal amount of rainwater and tap water on their plants separately. You probably already know what happened.
These elements are crucial to all of this. What would rainwater be different from other types of water if it weren’t for them?
Again proving to be crucial for plant growth, it contains carbon dioxide. In regions with high CO2 levels, the pH of rainwater ranges from 5.6 to 6.8, making it acidic.
According to a study, plants thrive in pH levels that are neutral or slightly acidic. Here, too, the rainfall is given the thumbs-up.
There is no risk in using rainwater instead of well water for primary consumption by communities around the world.
However, too much of anything is harmful. Drinking too much of it could be harmful due to the substances it contains. You are not an animal.
Properties of Rain Water
Rainwater is Slightly Acidic
Many plants need a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0 for optimum growth, hence it’s beneficial for plants’ well-being to have a slightly acidic pH.
How Low Acidity in Rain Water Affects Plants
Although rainwater’s decreased acidity has no direct effect on plants, it does interact with the soil and increase the availability of nutrients, which is where the magic happens.
The Scientific Justification of Low pH and Soil Interaction –
Fewer protons (positively charged ions) are present in the soil when the pH is lower. For plants to take nutrients from the soil, they require these positive charges. The plant will not be able to absorb adequate nutrients if the soil is excessively acidic.
Higher pH values have the same effect.
The pH of rainwater is 6.5, making it somewhat acidic and more palatable to plants. This is only one of the many benefits of rainwater over tap water.
The reasonably priced Trazon Soil 3-in-1 Meter can be used to measure the soil’s pH and moisture content. It checks the pH as well as the amount of moisture and light. Clicking here will take you there!
Rainwater contains Nitrogen
One of the three essential macronutrients that plants require to thrive, nitrogen is important for the growth of lush foliage. There are some forms of nitrogen that plants don’t actually take.
Nitrates, which are dissolved nitrogen, can occasionally be found in trace levels in rainwater. These nitrates are very important to plants.
The production of proteins, amino acids, hormones, chlorophyll, vitamins, and enzymes in plants also need nitrogen. While some plants absorb nitrogen through their leaves, others do it through their roots.
Because plants use their roots and leaves to take up nitrogen from the air, no matter how they are watered, they will still be able to take up nitrogen from rainwater.
Different places will have rainwater with varying levels of nitrogen.
How To Collect and Store Rainwater?
The fact that rainwater is free is a huge benefit. Installing rain barrels or cisterns incurs only a small expense. Installing a rain barrel is simple if you have a roof and want to collect rainwater. You might also decide to irrigate your landscape with rainwater.
Instead of taking it straight from the ground, it is ideal to collect rainwater from gutters or rooftops. By doing this, you can be sure that no soil will come into contact with the rainwater.
Rainwater can be collected or stored in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes. Irrigation systems and rain buckets are common methods. Use the containers as soon as possible if you intend to use them to collect and store rainwater.
Even though it is the easiest method, it is not the most reliable. Pre-fabricated tanks may be your best option if the heavens are kind enough to throw a lot of rain your way.
The water can also be gathered and sent down to the water storage using gutters and pipelines. Rainwater harvesting is what it is known as.
It is as straightforward as keeping water in barrels, but if used properly, it may meet all of your household’s needs. As a result of the lack of fresh water in many nations, rainwater collection has emerged as a crucial economic strategy.
This is something that many of people perform to take control of the water supply coming from the water that is just pouring on your roof. Simply clear a path for it to enter the water storage tank through the pipes.
It is advised to water plants with this, which is also known as clean rainwater.
How Long Can You Store Rainwater?
Typically, it takes around 7 days for it to get polluted. But if you keep it away from insects and light, you may keep it clean for as long as you choose.
The rainwater might even hurt plants after losing its quality. But how does it begin to degrade? Its quality deteriorates as soon as it is contaminated by air, light, and other elements.
Algae needs sunshine to thrive, thus it is quite likely to start growing if you continue to keep stored water in indirect sunlight.
If you are in a densely populated location with plenty of factories and automobiles, the rainwater becomes severely contaminated and unusable. Acid rain results from this.
Should Plants be Left in the Rain?
After knowing the advantages and disadvantages of rainfall, you should think about putting them under it. In contrast, the minerals in tap water, such chlorine, are thought to be harsh on plants. Your plants would receive a long-awaited bath if you placed them under the rain.
Your plant’s leaves will be cleaned of any debris and made easier to absorb CO2 for photosynthesis if you spray direct raindrops on them.
Think about asking, “Do my plants need watering?” With just a little daily watering, the majority of house plants thrive. Not a lot of water is required all at once.
If a plant is just left outside in the rain, it could get too much moisture.
Even if it is precipitation, too much water of any kind will cause the soil to lose essential nutrients.
Overnight exposure to rain could also seriously harm it.
Can Indoor Plants Be Placed in the Rain?
Moisture is necessary for indoor plant survival. They will dry out and perish if they are not watered frequently. Additionally, plants require airflow around them to prevent overheating or freezing.
When it’s raining, leaving them outside enables both of these.
You can put indoor plants outside in the rain depending on the weather. While gentler drizzles will quickly supply plants with enough water, heavier downpours are not ideal.
Weather can be erratic, and leaving a plant in the rain for an extended period of time might cause leaching to harm the soil.
It is not advisable to leave plants outside in the rain during periods of severe precipitation.
Rain Water VS Tap Water for Plants:
Rainwater is softer than tap water, as was already established. Most plants don’t mind tap water, but what they really want is rainwater. Its presence of dissolved nitrogen, slight acidity, and capacity to absorb carbon dioxide are the causes.
Rainwater is more desirable because it doesn’t include the substances that make tap water hard. You can give it a shot. Try watering a plant with a pail of tap water and the same quantity of rainwater.
You’ll notice that rainwater actually revitalizes the plant, makes it greener, and aids in its growth, as well as that of vegetables and fruits.
Additionally, rainwater is more oxygenated than tap water, and you can probably imagine why that is a positive characteristic of this water.
In general, rainwater performs better when it comes to being good for plants. I’m grateful.
How Water Plants with Rainwater
A misting system is a fantastic way to hydrate indoor plants. With this technique, water is sprayed directly into the leaves of the plant, preventing evaporation and maintaining soil moisture. Additionally, it offers humidity, which is necessary for good growth.
You may provide the plant with the necessary amount of rainwater without running the risk of overwatering by collecting the rainwater and utilizing an effective watering can.
If you have any concerns regarding overwatered soil and how to fast dry it, our piece will provide some useful advice.
By misting your plant, you can increase the humidity around it and water it sparingly without risking the negative effects of overwatering. You might try this misting bottle from Amazon, which is reasonably priced, reliable, and effective.
In order to ensure that the full mass of soil receives water without the risk of overwatering, bottom watering with rainwater is another effective irrigation technique.
Pond water is a wonderful substitute for rainwater because it is not only cost-free but also has a much higher nitrate content.
This indicates that using less water will allow plants to absorb more nutrients.Pond water usage is comparable to an aquaponic system, in which plants are grown in a system of circulating water using fish excrement as fertilizer.
Before using pond water for irrigation, depending on where it is, it should be checked for pollutants from nearby sources that could potentially degrade the water’s quality and damage plants.
When compared to rainwater, river water is a fantastic alternative to use or a terrific option if rainwater collecting is not possible.
The issues with river water are the same as those with pond water previously discussed.
A cost-effective way to give plants nutrient-rich water with minerals like calcium and magnesium and a pH between 7.0 and 8.0 is to use spring water.
To make sure that springwater doesn’t include any biological or chemical contaminants that could harm plant growth, it should first be examined.
One of the best sources of water for plants is rainwater. This is as a result of the pH and mineral concentration being lower. The nicest thing is that rainwater is free and is simple to collect and store so that plants may be watered whenever needed.
When watering indoor plants and vegetable garden plants, rainwater is a wonderful substitute for tap water.
Is rainwater cleaner than tap water?
Like we have explained, rainwater is gentler than tap water. While most plants don’t mind tap water, they prefer rainwater. The fact that it contains dissolved nitrogen, is slightly acidic, and absorbs carbon dioxide are the causes.
Is rainwater healthy to drink?
Rainwater is more enticing because it lacks the substances that make tap water harsh. You could give it a go. Try giving a plant the equal amount of rainwater and tap water at the same time.
What is another name for rainwater?
You’ll notice that rainwater actually refreshes the plant, making it greener and promoting its growth, along with vegetables and fruits.