How Too Much Iron In Your Water Affects Your Landscaping

Iron is a natural mineral which is ever-present in water. Most of the time, you will not see or feel any effects of iron in your water unless there's a problem. Depending on your source, your city's pipes, and your own home's pipe, you may have higher-than-average amounts in your system. This may have a direct effect on your indoor plants as well as your outdoor landscaping. Here some ways in which too much iron can affect your plants and landscaping and what you can do about it.

Signs of an iron problem in your water:

Often, you will notice orange or yellow stains just about anywhere your water touches, such as around faucets, on concrete where sprinklers spray, or along walls near where you water your plants. If your tap water has a red or orange tint, then it may be a sign that your plumbing is the problem. If you fill a basin with water and, after letting it sit for a while, you see that it turns orange or has a noticeable amount of rusty-looking sediment, then it may be a problem with the source. Having a professional look at the issue can determine its source and magnitude.

How too much iron affects your plants:

Normal and moderately high amounts of iron are not harmful and are beneficial, as plants use iron to aid in photosynthesis. However, too much iron over time can build up and cause discoloration and actually make photosynthesis more difficult. The leaves will have a rusty look or look more red or orange overall; however blooms and fruit may have normal coloration. There may be a metallic taste to vegetables with excessive iron buildup. Too much iron may also affect the absorption of other nutrients such as manganese.

Mitigating the effects of high-iron water on plants:

It's not hard to reduce or counter the effects of high iron in your water on your plants. There are iron filters, sometimes known as iron curtains, which help strain the iron before it reaches your faucets and hoses. There are also water softening systems which can help by removing a variety of excess minerals. Counter-balancing the high iron by amending the soil with other minerals is also helpful. However, before doing anything, have your soil tested for minerals, as it can be easy to over-correct this problem.

In general, too much iron is not good for either your plants and your home. If you have an iron problem that is affecting your landscaping either by overloading your plants with the mineral or causing stains on your walls and concrete, then contact a professional who can set up a system to reduce these minerals.