Can I use my spa to water my garden?

Going green, conserving water, saving on the water bill … whatever your motivation, using your spa water for more than just soaking makes good sense. Your hot tub has to be drained every 3-4 months for proper maintenance, so it seems like a waste to just let the water run off, especially in the middle of a Texas summer. Although your spa water can’t be used on every type of plant, there are several that would love a refreshing drink from your spa. We’ve put together some helpful information so you can make the most of your spa water.

Which plants work?

Hot tub water is considered “greywater,” meaning it may have some non-hazardous matter in it, but the water has not been contaminated. It’s fine for watering many plants, including your lawn, without concern. If you plan to use the water in more concentrated ways like watering your garden or specific plants then you should take extra care. Plants like rosemary, aloe, deer grass, oleander, marigolds, juniper, and Texas ranger all take spa water like a champ. These are great options for planting near your hot tub. Not only do they like the spa water, but they also create great scenery to enhance the look of your tub.

Which plants don’t?

Roses don’t do well with greywater. Your vegetable garden and any fruit trees should also be avoided. Of course this list of plants that work and plants that don’t is not exhaustive. We recommend using caution with any plants that you’ll be eating. You can use a trial and error method for other plants you’re unsure about. Give them spa water in small doses and watch for any adverse effects. If you notice any, give the plant a healthy dose of fresh water to help flush the greywater.  

What about the chemicals?

Chlorine is the most concerning of the hot tub chemicals for your plants. Although chlorine is found in freshwater, the amount is much higher in spa water. The fix is easy. Chlorine evaporates quickly, so leaving the water to sit overnight is the best solution. If you’re planning to drain your entire hot tub, avoid treating the water for at least 24 hours prior to draining. You can also run the jets with the cover off for a little while to help the chlorine evaporate faster. To make sure your water is safe you can test the water prior to using it on your plants.

Safe chemical levels for watering plants

Chlorine should be below 1.5 ppm

Bromine should be between 2.0-4.0ppm

pH should be between 7.2-7.4

You’ll also want to avoid watering directly from the hot tub, as hot water isn’t desirable for plants.

How does it work?

You can use your spa water to water your plants even if you aren’t planning to drain your hot tub. Simply dip your watering can in your spa, fill it up, and let the water sit overnight to neutralize the chemicals. Then use the water for watering as you normally would. If you’re planning to fully drain your tub, you can fill up a few 5 gallon buckets to use later. Then direct the rest of the water out to the lawn.

To maximize your spa water usage, you can plan your tub cleaning to hit in early spring and late summer. This gives you two great opportunities to conserve water during times of high water usage.

Keeping all of these tips in mind will certainly help you to save water. You’ll be doing your part to conserve water and you’ll be saving money in the process. If you have questions about using your spa water in your garden, let us know. At Texas Hot Tub Company, we’re always happy to help!


The 2019 Limelight Collection Owner’s Manual will help you understand your spa’s features, and answer questions you might have regarding spa operation, water care, and maintenance. There is also a troubleshooting section included for your convenience.  

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