Distilled water

Question: Distilled water

hello my name is andrea having learned that distilled water is needed for the azalea, is there a simple method for distilling water? Thanks

Answer: Distilled water

Dear Andrea,
azaleas are acidophilic plants, and as such they do not like the presence of calcium in the soil, this because this substance prevents the roots of acidophilic plants from absorbing iron from the soil. The reason why we tend to avoid supplying tap water to azaleas depends on the fact that in many Italian cities the water from the aqueducts is very hard, that is rich in limestone and therefore calcium; therefore supplying this water to our azaleas, we risk saturating the limestone soil, and therefore preventing the plants from getting the iron they need. In general, this drawback is bypassed by periodically supplying the azaleas with the soothing fertilizer, which is rich in bio-available iron. It would obviously be better to supply limestone-free water, such as rainwater: the water from the aqueducts collects the limestone passing through the rocks, the rainwater does not contain it, because it has not yet had the chance to touch any rock. Clear that not everyone has the possibility of collecting large amounts of rainwater, but if your azalea is only one you can also think about doing it, equipping yourself with some bucket or other container, to be filled during the downpours (I understand that it is a method that involves the availability of a lot of space, time, desire). In addition to rainwater, there are often those who supply their azalea with water from reverse osmosis, it is a method used to completely clean the water of the minerals it contains; generally this water is used for aquariums, and in pet stores they often produce it and sell it for very little money, in twenty-liter cans.
A simple and practical method, feasible only if we have one or two azalea plants (possibly in pots) consists in letting the water settle: we fill the watering can to irrigate the soil, and leave it in the shade to rest for about 24 hours; in this time the limestone, which is heavy, tends to fall to the bottom of the container, leaving the water (even that of the house tap) suitable to be used for our acidophilic plants. Even here, if we have 10 plants, it becomes complicated to prepare water for all; but if instead we have one or two it is enough to water it, refill the watering can, and leave it ready for the day of watering.