Water softener using Potassium not salt

contrarymarypat(5)January 4, 2010

Does anyone know if it's OK to water the violets with water softener using potassium instead of salt?

I know she has what they call suburban water which she thinks is treated well water but it is full of nasty stuff. I hate to buy 2 or 3 gallons of spring or distilled water every week but will if I need to.

My plants are not liking the shock of moving in the cold and new water... big break in culture.

Thanks again,


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minimac(6 So In. Louisville Ky)

Hey Mary,

I don't have any experience with this, but in a google search this is what I found:

"Solving the Problem with Potassium Chloride Water Softeners
The great advantage of potassium based water softeners is that there is no need for you to make use of sodium. Meanwhile, potassium is still considered to be a very beneficial element to your body, and often people lack this mineral."

"And when it comes to the environment, the water that is being regenerated is considered to be more environment friendly. When you are going to use the water to nourish your plants, you better make sure that you use a potassium water softener."

Here's another:

"An Alternative to Softening with Sodium
(from Pipeline, a newsletter of the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, Winter, 2001)
"Sodium really has no redeeming value in the environment outside of saltwater or brackish water ecosystems. If alternatives to sodium chloride for water treatment can be developed, they should be used. Potassium chloride is a logical choice to reduce sodium discharge from water softening systems, to provide additional potassium in human diets, and to serve as a nutrient source for plants."

From "Potassium Chloride: Alternative Regenerant for Softening Water" by Dr. Kim Polizotto and Dr. Charles Harms

Thanks for asking this question. I have a water softener. Think I'll give this a try, unless someone here advises against it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Potassium Chloride

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 8:21PM
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Hi Mac,

Thanks for the info! I didn't even think to google it. I knew I had seen warnings not to water violets with water treated with salt, but I didn't know anything about using potassium chloride in the softener. It just dawned on me today to ask. What little water they have received since I moved in has been treated with it so I hope it's all right. Thanks again,


    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 9:18PM
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2 months have passed since I posted this question. In the meantime, my AVs have been watered (mostly wicked) with the Potassium softened water and I am embarrassed to say I have not fertilized. (Life is messy) At any rate, I have lost a few plants, mostly minis which should have been bagged for humidity, but the plants that have survived are HAPPY. Many are in bloom & quite a few that have never bloomed since I got them are in bud - I can only assume they like the water and the positive energy in this house.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:03AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Mary -

thank you for doing the testing for all of us.

What I am thinking is you are now heavy on potassium - and you missed the rest of elements. I would do some fish emulsion to catch up with nitrogen. You cannot wick on fish emulsion if they are on a tray - it will stink the place for good - but if they are on deli containers - it will work - or you can just do some top watering.

Break in culture is break in culture - even if it is for the best. You can expect some different size leaves coming from this time of change.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:04PM
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