What is Rice Water and Why Should You Use It on Your Plants?

  • The starch water remaining after cooking rice is called rice water.
  • Rice water can act as a fertilizer because it contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and B6 and B12 vitamins.
  • Rice water can last up to 7 days if kept in the refrigerator in a closed bottle.
  • Use rice water once per 2-3 weeks since overwatering leads to rotting of the roots.

If you’re a botanist at heart, you’ve probably tried different techniques to keep your plants healthy and strong. However, did you know that using rice water for plants can help them grow faster and also improve their health?

We’ll show you how to store rice water and create it using different methods. Read to learn a couple of tips to help you enhance your plant care routine.

What is Rice Water?

After cooking rice, the starch water that remains is called rice water. People have been using it for centuries, mostly for hair and skin treatments. However, it can also be used for plants. For example, have you ever wondered why is rice grown in water? Because it keeps the weeds and pests away from the fields.

Is Rice Water Good for Plants?

The simple answer is – yes. Namely, when it comes to the rice water plants correlation, the former acts as a natural fertilizer since it contains starch. In other words, adding starch to the soil will enhance the growth of microorganisms that support the development and growth of plants.

Creating Rice Water: Which Method Is Right for You


Now that you know why is rice water good for plants, you can create it using different methods. You can use all types of rice to create rice water. Just don’t use salt.

Washing or Soaking: Which Method Extracts the Best Nutrients?

You can create rice water by soaking or washing it. The former implies putting rice in a bowl of water and leaving it there to soak. The latter involves washing the rice in water for 2-3 minutes, after which you should leave it to soak for about 45 minutes. Remember to mix the water to blend all the dissolved substances and strain the rice water into a clean bottle.

How long is rice water good for? If you keep it in the refrigerator in a closed bottle, your rice water fertilizer for plants can last up to 7 days.

Boiling Rice Water: Unveiling the Benefits of Heat Extraction

Boiling is another way to create the perfect rice water for orchids and other plants because heat extraction retains more nutrients in the water. To do this, put the rice in a standard cooking pot. Don’t use a rice cooker. Cook it on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes with periodic stirring. After that, drain the water into a clean bottle.

The Science Behind Rice Water’s Plant-Boosting Abilities

This cloudy concoction includes many nutrients that make it beneficial for your plants. Considered to be the most important food source worldwide, it also offers other benefits.

Nutritional Components in Rice Water for Plant Growth

Rice water contains three chemical elements that can boost plant growth. Nitrogen encourages chlorophyll production, phosphorus helps in seed production, and potassium improves the plant’s overall health. Rice water also contains vitamins B6 and B12, which can help plants grow faster.

What Makes Rice Water Ideal for Plant Health and Development?

Many things make rice water ideal for your plants, including the following:

  • Rice water is an ecologically acceptable fertilizer
  • It prevents burns caused by inorganic fertilizers
  • It encourages a healthy bacterial population in the soil
  • You can use it with bottom watering, top watering, and misting

Step-by-Step Guide for Effective Plant Care

Once you learn how long does rice water last, you can also learn how to use it on your plants.

For indoor plants:

  • Put your garden rice water into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the soil and leaves of your plants.

For outdoor plants:


  • Put your plants in pots with holes underneath.
  • Add water until it reaches a height of about 1 inch.
  • Let your plants sit for 15 to 20 minutes in rice water.
  • After the plants have absorbed the water, i.e., once the soil is moist, dry the pots to avoid root rot.

Rice Water Tips and Tricks: Enhancing Your Plant Care Routine

Gardeners rely on their secret tricks that make us envious of how groomed and healthy looking their plants are. Below you can find a few tricks and tips on using rice water.

  • Tip 1: If you have a big garden and you need a large amount of rice water, you should learn how to ferment rice water. Put the rice in a large container. Use 3 cups of water per half a cup of rice. Seal the container and allow 2 days at room temperature for the rice to release its nutrients. If the mixture is translucent, strain out the water and use it immediately on your plants.
  • Tip 2: For best results, use rice water on your plants before they begin their growth cycle, i.e., from early spring to late fall.
  • Tip 3: Rice water works best on plants with acidic soil, like ferns, peppers, succulents, tomatoes, and spider plants.

Safety Measures and Common Mistakes When Using Rice Water

Using Rice Water

You should use rice water once per 2-3 weeks since a large amount of starch can create harmful bacteria that will lead to the rotting of the roots. For example, overwatering will not only cause money tree root rot, but it can also harden the soil and attract pests.


1. Is Rice Water a Natural Fertilizer?

Yes, since it contains phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. These chemical elements act as fertilizers, providing plants with all the necessary nutrients.

2. Can Rice Water Harm Your Plants?

Yes, if you overwater your plants. Namely, a large amount of starch can create bacteria that cause root rot. Furthermore, rice water can harden the soil and attract pests.

3. Is Pasta Water Good for Plants?

Pasta water for plants can also act as a fertilizer since it contains starch. However, before you douse your herbs with pasta water, make sure it’s cooled.

4. Is Bone Broth Good for Plants?

Yes, because bone broth contains phosphorus, which is one of the three main macronutrients necessary for plant growth. Bone broth is also an ideal fertilizer for cultivating root vegetables.

5. Does Milk Help Plants Grow Faster Than Water?

Yes, milk is also a natural fertilizer. What happens if you water plants with milk? Since it contains calcium and B group vitamins, milk will improve the plant’s growth and prevent end rotting.

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