Use Leftover Nightstand Water for Your Plants


It’s true that every household has a CEO. And a CFO. A director of operations. And maybe a creative director too. Whether you synergize those responsibilities with roommates or family, or take them all on yourself, it helps to think about managing a home like managing a business. And like any smart businessperson, you ought to capitalize on a win/win situation any time you can circle back and find one.

I’ve discovered one such win/win moment in my morning routine. It’s good for me, it’s good for the planet, and it’s good for my plants. And it’s so supremely simple: I repurpose my nightstand water as plant water every morning.

Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve made a habit out of taking a full glass of ice water to bed with me each night. Some nights I’ve gulped it all down by morning. But most of the time, I wake up to a nearly full, now-melted and room temperature glass of water on my nightstand. I used to toss the old water into the en suite bathroom sink each morning to make room for each night’s fresh glass. But then I had an idea: I could just put a plant in the bathroom instead, and use the nightstand water to water the plant.

This is great for several reasons: One, I’m not literally throwing clean water down the drain. And two, plants actually prefer water that’s been left out for a while.

Leaving your plants’ water out overnight has a few potential benefits. Water that’s too hot can damage your plants leaves’ and coatings, and water that’s too cold can shock plants’ roots. It’s unlikely that the water you get straight from the sink — especially if you’re aiming for tepid with the tap — is hot or cold enough to result in either, but room temperature water solves the problem entirely.

Leaving water out overnight also allows added elements in city tap water that plants don’t appreciate, like chlorine, an opportunity to dissipate. Again, it’s likely not necessary — there’s not enough chlorine in most municipal tap water that you’d see an effect in your plants. But it can’t hurt! And anecdotally, lots of friends have told me that their Calatheas, in particular, are happier after drinking up water that’s been left out overnight.

So it truly is a win/win/win. No wasted water, and potentially happier houseplants. I actually added three new plants to my bathroom cabal, so I can rotate who gets watered each day. They’re all thirsty Fittonias (nerve plants) and Calatheas, which easily demonstrate with their droopy leaves whose turn it is for a drink.

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.





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