Photo: Yana Tikhonova (iStock)
Today I LearnedToday I Learned is a feature where The Takeout writers share something they learned today.  

I actually learned three things today, all courtesy of the same source: Refinery 29’s Ask A Plant Queen column. Here they are.

  1. There exists an advice column called Ask A Plant Queen. In it, readers ask questions about houseplants.

  2. Some people water their plants with LaCroix. (Presumably after they’ve conducted a thorough sage smudging, consumed their morning Brain Dust Latte, and written no fewer than five daily affirmations.)

  3. They might actually be on to something.

I concede this last point with great difficulty, because watering your houseplants with sparkling water seems like exactly the kind of faux-New-Age b.s. that a YouTube vlogger sipping a Unicorn Frappuccino would peddle.

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And yet.

According to the aforementioned Plant Queen, one Christan Summers who founded plant company Tula, there could be merits to this sparkling water for plants idea.

She makes the distinction between carbonated waters and club soda; carbonated waters (and unflavored seltzers) contain just water and carbon dioxide, while club sodas contain additional minerals that could include sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, and disodium phosphate. Sparkling mineral waters (like Perrier) also contain naturally occurring minerals.

It’s those latter two categories that could be potential boons to your aroid, ficus, or spider plant. Plants need some of the nutrients in club soda and mineral water, so watering them with those types of sparkling water delivers them an extra boost that’s not found in regular water. (An often-cited experiment from University Of Colorado Boulder researchers found that plants watered with carbonated water grew significantly taller shoots than their tap-water counterparts; though the limited sample size means we can’t take these findings as gospel.) Furthermore, The Plant Queen cautions against watering your plants solely with fizzy waters, as it could provide too much of a good thing.

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My takeaway? I’m not going to start buying cases of Pellegrino to water my inch plant, but if I have a few swigs of club soda left in the bottom of a can, it couldn’t hurt to give the plants a splash.