The Popular Houseplant Hack You Should Stay Away From

The Internet is notorious for its snake oil approaches to solve nearly any problem and your home's indoor foliage is not immune. And, there's a "hack" that you can water your plants with a can of soda spreading all over social media. The theory behind this stems from the false notion that the high sugar content will benefit the plants, encouraging growth or blooming. While plants do produce their own natural sugars, added ones don't benefit them as the roots are unable to absorb them. So essentially, pouring a can of Coke into your pot is only adding sugar to the soil contents which comes with a plethora of issues.

Of several downsides, dousing your planters with pop can result in attracting pests like ants or fruit flies. Additionally, harmful bacteria and fungi are also likely to love the high sugar content of the soil, leading to infections. Finally, the high sugar content of the soda can also dehydrate your plants as it could prevent the roots from absorbing the water needed to survive. So, be wary of any claims you may see purporting that you should share your favorite soda with your flora friends. 

What you can water your plants with

Contrary to the popular yet misinformed suggestion to water with sugary soda, using club soda can actually benefit your houseplants. Club soda is plant-friendly as it contains carbon dioxide, which can help stimulate growth by providing a source of carbon for photosynthesis. It can also help to lower the pH of alkaline soil, making it more suitable for certain plants. Additionally, the minerals present in club soda, such as potassium and sodium, can provide essential nutrients for plant health. However, it is important to note that it should be used in moderation and not as a substitute for regular, plain watering.

Another great hydration source for your houseplants is to use collected rainwater. It may be free from chemicals and additives that may be present in your local tap water, making it a more natural and gentle option for plants. Secondly, rainwater is slightly acidic, which can help to lower the pH of alkaline soil and create a more favorable environment for growth. Additionally, it conserves water resources and reduces reliance on tap water. Installing a rain barrel or simply setting a bucket out during a downpour can collect enough for your indoor plants.