Alkaline water isn’t good for most plants. On the one end, it lowers the acidity of the soil in which plants are grown. On the other end, it removes iron, manganese, and other nutrients from the soil. Both these developments harm the growth of plants. Here’s how.
Researchers tell us that most of the micronutrients that are crucial to plants’ growth are readily available in acidic soils. That isn’t the case in neutral or alkaline soils (pH > 7), which is why the reduction in soil’s acidity might hurt the development and growth of plants.
Alkaline water also removes manganese and iron from the soil. These are unwelcome developments. While iron helps synthesize chlorophyll, the substance that converts carbon dioxide and water into food and glucose, manganese plays a crucial role in photosynthesis.
What is Alkaline Water Good for?
Research has proven that alkaline water is good for humans. It helps lower acid reflux in your body, boosts antioxidant activity and helps destroy free radicals that cause inflammation. Alkaline water also enhances your metabolism and provides you with more surplus energy.
Having said that, too much of alkalinity might be bad for your body. It might disturb your body’s pH, giving way to metabolic alkalosis, a condition that might lead to vomiting, nausea, hand tremors, muscle twitching, tingling in the face, or confusion.
Alkaline water is good for dogs, too. In most cases, it will induce chemical changes in your furry friend’s body that will convince them to drink more water to slake their thirst. This will lead to better hydration. Alkaline water has also been shown to remove the stink from your dog’s poo.
However, there are scenarios when you might not want to let your dog drink alkaline water. These include when they are being nursed, when they’re taking medication and after they have had their meals.
How Does Alkaline Water Affect Plant Growth?
Alkaline water harms the growth of most plants. It does that mainly by raising the soil’s pH level, which, in turn, also raises the pH of the groundwater. This leads to leaf chlorosis, a disease in which the plants’ leaves yellow due to lack of chlorophyll. Leaf chlorosis occurs due to high pH levels in the soil.
Alkaline water also removes three nutrients crucial for plant growth. They include iron, magnesium, and zinc. The deficiency of iron causes outer, young leaves to go yellow. Zinc and magnesium deficiencies, meanwhile, cause inner, old leaves to yellow.
Alkaline water also raises the salinity of groundwater, another factor that harms plant growth. Research has proven that plants grown with groundwater having high salinity are more likely to wilt and suffer from stunted growth than their counterparts grown with neutral groundwater.
All in all, alkaline water affect plant growth in three ways: by raising the pH of groundwater (which may lead to leaf chlorosis); by removing the nutrients from soil crucial for plant growth (forcing the plants to go yellow), and by making the groundwater more saline.
Which Plants Like Alkaline Water?
Here are the plants that like alkaline water:
- Perennials plants like alkaline water. These plants live more than two years and grow and bloom over the summer and the spring, before dying in the autumn and winter. Examples of perennials that like alkaline water include Anchusa azurea, columbine, daylilies, and hosta.
- Vines also grow well in alkaline water. Though you’d have to be careful before purchasing them for your alkaline soil because most vines are high-maintenance. Clematis, Boston ivy, Kiwi, Virginia creeper and Vinca minor are vines that thrive in saltwater.
- Shrubs thrive in alkaline water, too. Shrubs are most growers’ favorite plants because their color soars in winter when all your other parts have shunned their leaves. Arborvitae, deutzia, forsythia, lilac bushes, and yew bushes are shrubs that will grow in alkaline water.
- Some trees like alkaline water as well. Some trees that grow well in alkaline water are towering giants that will hover over your yard. Others are much shorter and are best used for providing shade to patios. Examples include horse chestnut, European beech, and mugo pine.
How to Make Alkaline Water for Plants?
Follow these steps to make alkaline water for plants:
- Fill a container with tap water
- Let the water sit for three to four days
- Boil the water and let it cool down to room temperature
- Add a suitable amount of baking soda to raise the water’s pH level
- Use a pH test kit to check water’s alkalinity – if the equipment shows pH above 8, your water is alkaline enough for your plants
Frequently Asked Questions
How does water pH affect plant growth?
Water pH affects many plant characteristics such as lateral spread, height, flower number and size, biomass and pollen production, according to the International Society for Horticulture Science. That is the reason why, while cauliflower and garlic cannot grow well in acidic soil, rosemary and apple might not realize their growth potential in alkaline soil.
Is acid water good for plants?
Acid water is good for plants that grow well in ‘sour’ soil. It helps such plants break down organic substances and prevents an excess of iron, magnesium, and aluminum by causing these compounds to precipitate.
What is the best pH water for plants?
For the majority of plants, the optimum pH range is between 5.5 and 7.0, though some plants will grow in more alkaline water and others may require a more acidic soil. Make sure you do your research before irrigating your plants with high- or low-pH water.
I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and have written for a number of nationally recognized publications in the home improvement space. My skills include fluid mechanics and process engineering and I have worked on numerous projects, including in waste water flow rate calculation and heat balance of steam rollers in the paper industry. My goal as a technical writer is to make complicated topics easy to understand for the average person.