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Re: Question about water use

  • Subject: Re: Question about water use
  • From: Albert Huntington <balberth@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 14:18:53 -0600 (CST)

Hello Celeste,

  I don't have a definitive answer for you, but I do have some experience
growing aroids both with purified and with somewhat questionable water.

  The city water where I live comes from wells sunk deep into limestone, and is
very hard.  I use water purified through reverse osmosis for most of my
tropicals, though I am growing various colocasias and some amorphophallus
successfully with the straight city water.

> our outside tapwater, even
> when allowed to sit for a couple of days, is just too much for it, even
> though it tests only slightly above neutral, pH-wise.

  pH may not be a great indicator of water hardness - the dissolved minerals
tend to buffer the pH, but do not increase it in proportion to their
concentration.  If you're interested in finding your water's hardness, you can
buy a cheap test kit from your local aquarium supply store.

  Letting water sit out will not significantly change its chemical impurities. 
You may get some out-gassing of some types of chlorination, and the balancing
of carbon dioxide concentration might cause a small change in pH, but this
won't change the hardness.

  There is a pretty good discussion of plant-related water issues at:
  It is primarily directed at owners of carnivorous plants, but the information
applies to water purity in general.

  To answer your original question, it has been my experience that many species
of amorphophallus seem to do okay with the hard water I give them, but I have
found, as you have, that there are plenty of plants which do better with
purified water.  Given the choice, I would suggest using purified water, but I
have had some success without.

Best Regards,

Albert Huntington           San Jose, CA U.S.A.
           Visit my greenhouse at:

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