Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Is rain water collected from roof safe?

This is a discussion on Is rain water collected from roof safe? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I would like to water my orchids with rain water. The only way I can ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
    Real Name
    Dana
    My Grow Area
    On a Windowsill.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    42
    Member's Country Flag

    Question Is rain water collected from roof safe?

    I would like to water my orchids with rain water. The only way I can think of to get enough is to collect runoff from our asphalt shingle roof. Would this water be safe for the orchids?

    If it's not safe, I will appreciate any suggestions on how I can collect enough rain water to as least flush through the pots once a month.

    Thanks, Dana

  2. #2
    John D. is offline Member
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phragmipedium
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Powhatan VA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    That is what I use on mine. As long as the roof is not brand new should be fine. I try to dump the first water after a dry spell to let any collected dirt wash off.

  3. #3
    Slyjester's Avatar
    Slyjester is offline Member
    Real Name
    Jake
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Phrags
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Minnesota Zone 4
    Posts
    72
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Dana,

    I've often wondered this myself. This is a GREAT question. I've placed a bucket outside during rainstorms, but it also collects dead bugs and leaves. I'd rather not put that in my orchids.

    I think this year, I'll harvest SNOW! I may just do the same thing with the bucket, then let it melt inside. I'm interested in what everyone else has to say about this.

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    33,829
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I have never collected rain water for the orchids, but it sounds like it should work. Maybe do a water test and see what the water is like (ph, etc). That should give you a more scientific answer.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    nicki is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    don't know yet
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    pittsburgh Pa
    Posts
    803
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I have a bucket that sits under the gutter my grandpap put on his shed to collect water for me. I use a paint strainer over the bucket and this keeps bugs and other debris out.

  6. #6
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Connie
    My Grow Area
    Porch/Patio.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West of Tampa, FL
    Posts
    9,069
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    We use rainwater caught from runoff...and we live close to the coast here in Florida. So far, I have to rinse the pots a little more often due to salts, but the front porch plants seem to like rainwater. I'm getting lazy lately though, so lately the hose has been used more often. lol Sometimes I think the hose is better as it has nutrients in it that I have to add back with rainwater.

  7. #7
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I was doing that here in Bremen until last summer, when I was stung by a nettle while collecting the water (and I found out that I could get deionized water from my lab hehe). It works great if you do not live in a very polluted city and you do not have any metal gutters (aluminum, copper etc).

  8. #8
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
    Real Name
    Dana
    My Grow Area
    On a Windowsill.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phalaenopsis
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    42
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    It works great if you do not live in a very polluted city and you do not have any metal gutters (aluminum, copper etc).
    Hmm. I do have aluminum gutters. How does that make the rainwater unusable? Since we do have significant air pollution, should I not even use rain that falls directly into a container (not roof runoff)?

  9. #9
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrazy64 View Post
    Hmm. I do have aluminum gutters. How does that make the rainwater unusable? Since we do have significant air pollution, should I not even use rain that falls directly into a container (not roof runoff)?
    Rain water has a very high solvability since it has nothing already dissolved in it. So when it rains, CO2 and NO2 from the air dissolve in rain water, this makes the water slightly acidic. Rain water will have a pH of roughly 5.5 to 6 which is actually ideal for plants. But when this acidic water comes in contact with metals, it corrodes them (i.e. some metal dissolves into the water. Elements like aluminum and copper are required by plants in very small quantities and are usually present in the potting mix and fertilizers, so this additional metal can lead to toxicity over the time as the metals get concentrated in the pot.

    Because of air pollution, there is simply more CO2, NO2 and many other noxious gases and particulate impurities like lead and various oxides (car exhaust) in the air, this makes the water even more acidic (pH of 2 is known from areas near oil refineries) hence it becomes unsuitable.

    Having said this, it would be still possible to use the rain water if you follow this:
    1) Don't collect the very first rain water, if it has not rained for a few weeks, let the first rain just wash away the impurities.
    2) Only collect when it is raining heavily, so that the water flows quickly into your bucket, and is in contact with the gutters for a very short time.

    And for the first time you might want to do a pH test with the water (it should be easy to get a DIY kit or something)

  10. #10
    Halloamey's Avatar
    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pune, India
    Posts
    5,363
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Heheh after writing such a long reply, I noticed that John D had already written what would work practically, which you could have followed without this boring 5 th grade school lecture (I love teaching so much hehe)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Stained Rain Water ?
    By rich63 in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 15th, 2009, 12:13 AM
  2. rain water collectors
    By nicki in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: April 9th, 2009, 04:04 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.