Using melted snow to water indoor plants is not only economical, it’s easy. Plus, melted snow is the same as rainwater – and it’s SO GOOD for your plants! Keep reading to get step-by-step instructions for collecting and using snow for watering plants…
Rainwater is the best type of water to use on houseplants. In the summer, I use the water from my rain barrels and my houseplants love it.
Unfortunately, during the winter the water in my rain barrels would be frozen solid if I left them outside here in MN.
So, as an alternative to using rainwater, I melt snow during the winter to use for watering my houseplants.
Well, guess what – melted snow water is good for plants too! In fact, it’s just as good as using rainwater.
Using Snow To Water Indoor Plants
You can use melted snow to water plants just like you would use any other type of water. But, it’s super important to remember that icy water can be harmful to indoor plants.
So, before watering plants with melted snow, the water must be warmed to room temperature. It can take several days for snow water to warm up, so be sure to allow enough time for that.
How To Melt Snow To Water Houseplants
You only need a few things in order to get started. Below you’ll find a list of what you need, and the step-by-step instructions for melting snow…
- Large buckets (I recommend using 5 gallon buckets)
- Snow shovel
- Large Funnel
- Watering cans (or other containers to store the water, I use milk jugs)
- Old towels
Steps For Collecting & Melting Snow
Now grab your buckets and shovel and head outside. Follow these steps for collecting and melting the snow…
Step 1: Find some clean snow – Make sure you collect the cleanest snow you can. I go out into my backyard where the snow is pretty much undisturbed (steer clear of rabbit and other animal turds).
Also, don’t collect snow that is located near the street, a driveway, or a sidewalk where salt or ice melt was used. These chemicals will harm your houseplants.
Step 2: Pack the snow into your buckets – Use your shovel to fill your buckets with as much snow as you can.
As you fill the buckets, pack the snow in as tightly as you can. The more snow you can fit into the bucket, the more water you’ll get.
Step 3: Allow the snow to melt – Once your buckets are full, bring them into the house to let the snow melt. It takes longer than you would expect for the snow to melt, so plan ahead.
For a 5 gallon bucket of snow, it takes about two days to melt completely. Putting your buckets of snow in a warm room will speed up the melting process.
Step 4: Prepare to transfer the snow water – After the snow has melted, it’s time to transfer the water into your watering can or jugs. This part is a little tricky to do by yourself, so you might need someone to help until you get the hang of it.
Make sure to lay down some old towels, or do this in the bathtub juuuust in case you end up spilling water all over the floor (I’m speaking from experience here… ehem).
Step 5: Strain the water – There will likely be some debris in your melted snow, so you’ll want to filter that out. Lay the strainer over the top of the large funnel. Then slowly pour the water out of the bucket into your storage container.
This can be a bit of a balancing act (you should have seen me trying to take these pictures!). So you may find it easier to strain the water into another large bucket first, then pour it into your watering can later.
How Much Water Is In Snow?
Weeeeeellll, that depends. It’s important to understand that not all snow is created equal…
When I fill my 5 gallon buckets with light, fluffy snow I get less water than I do when I fill them with heavy, wet snow. That makes sense right, since heavy snow holds more water.
So, if you want to get the maximum amount of water for your efforts, then collect snow to water indoor plants after a heavy snowfall.
To give you an idea of yield… with lighter snow, three 5 gallon buckets of snow yielded almost six gallons of water. Not too bad.
After a heavy, slushy snowfall, these same three buckets yielded eleven and a half gallons of water. That’s much better!
Storing Your Melted Snow Water
As I mentioned before, I store the water I get from melting snow in plastic jugs, but you can use any type of watering can you have.
I try to keep my watering jugs full at all times. So, after I water my plants with melted snow, I collect more snow to fill the jugs again. That way I always have room temperature water for my houseplants on hand when I need it.
Melting snow to water plants is more work than simply using tap water. But, it’s really not that much more work – and it’s SO much better for the plants!
It takes me less than ten minutes to collect the snow, and then another 5-10 minutes to pour it into my watering jugs. Although, this is another one of those things I do where I’m pretty sure my neighbors are rolling their eyes and laughing at me. But it’s worth it; I have extremely healthy houseplants!
Do you struggle to keep your houseplants alive and thriving during the long winter months? Then you need to buy my Winter Houseplant Care eBook. It has everything you need in order to keep your houseplants healthy all year long. Download your copy today!
More Houseplant Care Tips
- How To Grow Indoor Plants: The Ultimate Guide
- How To Keep Indoor Plants Alive In Winter
- Houseplants Don’t Like Drafts
- Fall Houseplant Care Guide
Share your tips for collecting and using snow for watering indoor plants in the comments section below.