What Type Of Water For Succulents Is The Most Suitable (Rainwater, Distilled Water, Or …)?

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You can tell just by looking at them that succulents are unique plants. Although they’re considered low-maintenance plants, you’ll need to take special care with the type of water you use to irrigate them. Using the wrong kind of water can create problems that affect their well-being. In this article, we’ll tell you the best types of water for succulents and what to avoid. Keep reading!

Recommended Type of Water to Use for Succulents

The best type of water for succulents is the one that is free of harmful chemicals (fluorine, for example). Below are the best water sources you can trust:

#1. Rainwater

Storing rainwater in the garden by leaving the container outside in the rain. Next morning, you will have clean water for your succulents.

Rainwater is your safest bet when it comes to watering succulents (or any other type of plants, really). Rainwater is acidic and allows the plant root to draw up nutrients better. It also lets the soil release micronutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, and iron (all these nutrients are essential to their growth). Rainwater is the most natural and safest option here, but the downside is it isn’t readily available – you’d need to collect it and store it for later, and in some states, this is illegal. 

Read more: 7 Succulent Storage Ideas For Seasonal Changes, Pests Preventions & More.

#2. Distilled Water

Distilled water is also a good option.

Distilled water can also be used to water succulents. Distilled water is water that has been purified using the distillation process. It’s free of toxic chemicals like fluoride, chlorine, and other additives negatively affect succulents’ growth. Unlike rainwater, distilled water will cost you. But on the bright side, it’s readily available, and some online stores even sell them.

#3. Filtered Water

Filtered or purified water is free of harmful chemicals and safe for plants. You can water your succulents from any decent water filter or reverse osmosis system.

Can You Water Succulents With Tap Water?

The answer is no. Why? Tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals like fluorine that can harm your succulents. Many people use tap water on their plants without knowing the effects, and after a while, the adverse effects start to show themselves. These are some of the effects of using tap water on succulents:

  • Discolored Leaves: Watering succulents with unfiltered tap water leads to a buildup of minerals in the soil. This can cause discolored leaves and make plants unable to absorb the necessary nutrients.
  • Change in soil color: Regular use of tap water on succulents may cause the soil to change color because of the harmful chemicals that accumulate in the soil (the soil becomes whitish or pale).
  • Stunted Growth: Watering succulents with tap water can have dire consequences like stunted growth or malnourishment in your plants. You may notice worrying signs like succulents losing their branches, leaves, and vitality. This is your plant’s way of announcing that it can’t absorb all the necessary nutrients.
  • Root Burning: Root burning happens when plants are exposed to harsh conditions like excessive heat or chemicals. Tap water can cause your plants to experience root burn. This condition leads to decreased nutrient absorption, stunted growth, and other harmful effects.
  • White Spots: You may also notice white spots on your succulents when you use tap water. Again, this is because of tap water’s harmful chemicals. These spots can appear on the stems and leaves and are never a good sign. 

How to Make Tap Water Suitable for Succulents

Although tap water is terrible for succulents, there are ways to treat it and make it suitable for them.

These are a few things you can try:

Method 1: Use Water Filters

Filtering or purifying your water is the surest way to eliminate all the harmful chemicals and make it plant-friendly. Reverse osmosis filters or activated carbon filters (carbon filtering) remove chemical contaminants, alongside other organic contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, from water.

Method 2: Add Citric Acid Crystals or White Vinegar

If you don’t want to go the water filter route, add white vinegar or citric acid crystals to your tap water. These can help lower your tap water’s pH level and make it okay for succulents. But you’ll need to have a testing kit on standby to ensure the pH level is okay and you’re adding the appropriate amount of citric acid crystals or white vinegar. (Note, you should only add one, not both.)

The ideal soil pH level for succulents is 6.0-7.0.

Method 3: Let Your Tap Water Rest

Another way to have chlorine-free water is to collect tap water in a jar and leave the jar open for about two days. During this time, chlorine evaporates from water, and you can use it safely. This method also allows other contaminants to settle at the bottom of the jar. You can water your plants with the water on top and discard some of the water at the bottom.


Succulents may be low-maintenance, but they need care too. Ensure you water them with the right kind of water. We recommend rainwater and distilled water, but if you need to use tap water, filter it first. Let me know in the comment section if this article is helpful enough!

Here are more guides for your upcoming read:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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