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Is it my water? Years-long mystery

Artist-FKA-Novice Zone 7B GA
6 months ago
last modified: 6 months ago

I've been having this problem for years now. In fact, I have asked about it here before but I still haven't figured out the issue.

Over time, all of my AV-s gradually turn tight, with very hard leaves. Eventually they become stunted.

I provide all the right care, including watering, adequate light, fertilizing, humidity, etc.

For a while I thought I may be using too much fertilizer but I really don't think this is the problem. I use Jack's for AV-s - a diluted solution each time I water. I follow their instructions for "every time you water," 1/4 tsp per gallon. Sometimes I have used some orchid fert too - but I really don't think this is the culprit.

And no, there are no pests.

Through the process of elimination, the only possible explanation I was left with is my water.

It turns out we do have hard water; in fact it is so hard that it has been the cause of many older pipes bursting in our area and I heard some people even considered suing the county.

However, I read that AV-s can be OK with hard water and may even be able to use some of the minerals there. Is that true? Even so, mine may be too hard.

It would make intuitive sense to imagine the plant slowly absorbing too much mineral matter and eventually turning rigid and tight as a result.

How should I go about testing this theory?

I am thinking to take them off the tap water and set them on a distilled water or spring water regimen, with no fert at first, to see if I notice a change in culture.

At the same time, I don't want to deprive them of bloom. If so, should I just switch to bottled water and continue with the fertilizer as always?

Any opinion/advice would be greatly appreciated.

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