As climate change and agriculture burden water resources globally, there is a need for more efficient water use including irrigation with recycled water in greenhouses. While research has proven that properly treated recycled water can be safe for use, many growers still express concern. Underlying most studies on growers' perceptions is the assumption that they understand recycled water the same way scholars and policy makers do—as municipally treated wastewater. We question this assumption and explore whether the ways in which growers conceptualize recycled water is associated with the ways they perceive its usability. Our findings reveal that growers define recycled water in four different ways—captured water, treated water, recirculation and in a general sense as ‘reuse’. These definitions do appear to suggest trends in the way recycled water is perceived by growers. While these definitions do not significantly affect growers' willingness to use, other factors such as prior experience using recycled water appear to be significant.