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Question
I water my VFTs and Sarracenia via the water standing in shallow dishes. Unfortunately, now that the weather is getting hotter, I need to fill the dishes on an almost daily basis. That means going through a gallon or so if distilled water on a daily basis, which becomes rather expensive.

My water comes from a deep well and it contains a fair amount of iron sulphide. I am in the Willamette Valley.

My testing equipment says that the TDS is 50-55 ppm, possibly OK for Sarracenia, but probably too high for VFTs.

I have an ion exchange resin that reduces the TDS to about 10 ppm (as NaCl). I am assuming this means that sodium is being exchanged with the dissolved metallic solids in the water.

My question is, would this be safe for my plants? If so, should I top water or can I continue with bottom watering?

Thanks
Bill

Answer
Your well water is at the upper range for what we determine as safe levels for long term care of carnivorous plants.  You can use your well water, but I recommend only top watering your plants and not allowing them to sit in water.  This might mean, however, watering your plants daily during the summer.  You can set your plants up on a drip system to make this easier for you.  You should still flush your pots with distilled water monthly to remove excess minerals.

Avoid using your water softener.  The sodium is toxic to plants of all types.  It's safe to use in homes because sodium doesn't accumulate in pipes the way calcium does.  But you should avoid using it on plants.

Since you live in Oregon, come out to our open house in July.  Details are on the website.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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