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What is it about rainwater?

B3B3 Posts: 18,676
I get that in heavy or persistent rain, the ground gets well soaked and there's plenty of moisture for your plants.
However...... How is it that after a good soaking of rain, potted plants that you've been keeping watered make a growth spurt?
For example, I bought a tray of mixed verbena, cheap. I decided to pot them up until I could see what colour they were going to be. We had apocalyptic rain and hail  this afternoon and when I looked out this evening, they were about twice the size. Is there something in the rain or is it the humidity?
In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,198
    Full of trace elements from all the lovely atmospheric pollution?
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,676
    There must be good stuff in there too. My glass is half full today @Obelixx
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,198
    Just kidding @B3 Even here where our rain nearly all comes straight off the Atlantic 20kms away plants seem to respond better to rain than tap water - except when there's a drought and then they'll take what they can get when I wheel out the hosepipe.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,676
    There's definitely something about it.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • hatty123hatty123 West YorkshirePosts: 96
    Could it be because tap water is treated eg chlorine so isn't so good for the plants? ...just a random thought based on my dog preferring ditch water to the clean water from his indoor bowl 😂 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,198
    Our water comes from a reservoir about 5kms away.  It is filtered but not chlorinated.  Our cats and dogs and hens all drink it quite happily.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,676
    edited 17 May
    Well our London water has been passed by the queen, among others 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,030
    Rain rain and rain. You cannot do better for the plants in your garden.
    When there is no rain you water water and water and the plants say thank you but don't really give them what they want.
    The rain when it does come is slow (or a deluge) but it soaks into the ground.
    When we water we are aware about wasting water and so don't water enough.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,818
    I can't say that I have personally noticed a difference with potted plants between lots of rainwater and lots of tap water.

    I do see a difference with those planted in the garden, but long rain gets deeper and more properly saturated that I can do with a hose, so that isn't really a surprise.
  • Back in the day, I used to empty the childrens (and later, the grandchildrens) paddling pool into one border. I noticed the difference it made.
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