Why is it ok for a person to drink softened water but not ok to water plants with it (sodium level too high)?


We just got a water softening system installed and we’re told it was fine for us to drink but would kill our plants because of the sodium. I’m worried it’s not safe to drink.

In: 2

When you water plants with it, especially potted plants all the minerals stay behind. Over time the minerals will continue to build up in the soil leading to very high concentrations of salt in the soil.

Humans need sodium and a lot of other minerals for our nervous system. Plants do not have nervous system. So while humans and animals have a good way to manage the mineral levels, for example by filtering excess out of the blood stream through the kidneys, plants do not. The plants just leave the excess minerals in the soil. However because of the way plants, fungi and bacteria take up neutrition they can not do this from high mineral soil. So if you put sodium or other salts in your soil then it is going to kill the plants in it.

I actually looked into this when I got a water softener because I have many plants.

Every _credible_ source I checked says that softened water is perfectly safe for plants. There is a negligible amount of sodium in it. There are a bunch of blogs and personal sites saying it’s not safe, but I couldn’t find anything credible.

I’ve had a water softener for years and my plants have been just fine.

Ehh… Soft water is a water poor on minerals. So if anything, it could be dangerous for plants because it could wash out minerals in soil. I don’t understand why everybody here keep saying about high sodium.