I'm living in an apartment, and after I water my plants the water goes to plates below the pots. The pots are in a metallic structure above the plates, so I can take the plates to reuse the water (throwing it at the plants again).

This reuse seems beneficial, because I think I can get rid of mosquitoes that would reproduce in the stagnated water. And also some nutrients of the soil (as well as earthworms) can return to the vase.

Is there some negative points in doing that?

EDIT: I think I must add that I'm at 3 degrees of latitude, in a hot and humid tropical rainforest, where the precipitation used to be around 1700 mm. So I use lots of water everyday, more than once a day sometimes, so the reused water is a small fraction of the water used.

  • i think you mean "pots" if they have dirt in them. "vases" hold water and cur flowers. Mar 17, 2016 at 14:53
  • Yes, @KateGregory, you're absolutely right. That's because in Portuguese we call them "vasos" :)
    – Rodrigo
    Mar 17, 2016 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


In my experience plants suffer in the long term from accumulation of salts in the soil, so fresh water would be better than reusing the water. Even better would be to get hold of fresh rain water (tricky in an apartment though, unless perhaps you have a balcony that gets rained on) for watering them, as that won't contain the salts that tap water does.

More detail here.

  • Actually, I use a lot of fresh water (from tap) too, great part of the recycling water just evaporates (what increases the problem of the salts you mention). But just as we can have excess of salt, we could also have deficit of some substance, not? Maybe I'll only know by trying? Thanks for the idea of the rain water! I'll try that too.
    – Rodrigo
    Sep 4, 2015 at 12:58
  • 1
    In your link, "House plants should be leached at least every 4 to 6 months. To leach plants, pour excess water on the soil and let it drain completely" Maybe I can recycle the water as usual, and leach once in some months...
    – Rodrigo
    Sep 4, 2015 at 13:02

Recycling water is always a good initiative, but there is one golden rule: You MUST avoid re-use it in a "circle", because of the accumulation of minerals and chemicals.

Always think of a "chain" when re-using water. For example: use potable water for drinking and cooking. Water left from cooking: use to make sauce. Taking a shower/bath can be done with rainwater. The same counts for cleaning/laundry; for end cleaning you maybe prefer fresh water. Last part of the chain: your toilet and then maybe a septic tank as sewage storage. Water from the septic tank can be used for gardening/agriculture.

In short: every time you use water, you can use it for a task which asks for"lower quality" water. IF you bring it back in the chain (retour-flow) you must drain a part of it, to prevent too much accumulation of unwanted materials.

  • In you end statement did you mean drain or filter the water to remove contaminants?
    – Fred
    Sep 17, 2015 at 2:10
  • 1
    You must drain a part of it. Filtering is not possible,because some compounds can have a high solubility, like all sodium compounds. Leaching will save you a drainflow. Just try everything out and watch your plants carefully!!
    – Terradon
    Sep 17, 2015 at 10:22

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