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rain water?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jai, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    Are their advantages or disadvantages to using rain water than other filtered water?
    I use rain water how about you?
     
  2. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    There's no way for me to effectively use rain water. If I could, I would. The advantage being I know the salts that might accumulate from my fertilizer. The disadvantage being there is nothing else besides H20 maybe some H3O+ to a small amount.
     
  3. PhalGal

    PhalGal Rachel

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    I collect and use rainwater on all my orchids, for watering , misting and applying fertilizer. Living in Florida, its easy to keep a fresh supply up. My tap water here is on the hard side so I avoid it and opt for what is natural and the health of my plants is much better.
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    There are significant advantages to using a pure water supply (pure meaning very low in dissolved solids), whether that is rain water, snow melt, reverse osmosis, distilled, etc.. Unless the "filtered" water is passing through a several-thousand-dollar microfilter, it's not removing dissolved solids at all.

    Orchids have evolved to take up their nutrition from the rains that cascade through the forest canopy and run down the trunks of the host trees. A few studies have shown that the average analysis of that is around 15-25 ppm TDS. As they are "designed" for such low loading, it makes sense to me that exposing them to much higher levels might not be the best.

    Indeed, when you start using a pure water supply, you will notice your plants looking brighter, shinier, and overall "better", and may see fewer rots, as well.

    I think it is wise to apply very low doses of fertilizer with every watering, flooding the plants thoroughly each time, mimicking nature. Once caveat, though - use a COMPLETE fertilizer containing Ca and Mg in addition to standard nutrients, as unlike most other water supplies, pure water provides none of them.
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I also use rain water when I can, but in the middle of winter, I have to go back to RO. Only disadvantage is that it is not always available, so I need lots of rain barrels. But in OH, you'll get enough rain most of the time, I guess.