Rice Water For Plants is a technique that many gardeners use as a natural substitute for synthetic fertilizers.

Woman Preparing Rice Water Closeup

This type of water is rich in starch and it can possibly do a lot of good things to all your plants. You can give natural nutrients to your plants and they will thrive. Are you minimizing the use of chemicals and water?

It looks like a winning idea! But is feeding plants rice water a good idea? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the Proven Benefits of Rice Water for Plants to help them get the boost they require.

Is Rice Water For Plants Helpful?

💥 Yes, rice water for plants is great because it holds a moderate fertilizer and encourages beneficial bacteria in the roots of plants. The reason it’s helpful is that bacteria in the soil need the scratch from the rice to feed on and increase their growth, resulting in a thriving plant. 



Of the little research that is available on the topic, it has been found that this residual water from rice has: 

Total N content of 0.011 percent, a P content of 15.30 mg/L-1, a K content of 0.03 mg/mL, and Vitamin B1 content. Not to mention the presence of iron, manganese, and additional plant components. This encourages the growth of plant seeds and the general growth of the plant when coupled with rice water. 

The soil now contains more nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and other minerals that the plant can use. (N) Nitrogen can be found in the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their green color and is necessary for photosynthesis, which is the process through which plants produce food.

(P) Phosphorus plays an important role in several essential plant processes, such as energy transmission, photosynthesis, the conversion of sugars and starches, and nutrient flow throughout the plant. The consequence is improved health and growth rate. (K) Potassium is necessary for protein synthesis and cell division, which provide plants with the energy to grow.

The presence of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) in rice water benefits plants, keeping in mind that these elements are the same elements that are used in special fertilizers that help are considered food for the plants.

Hence, the starch in the rice water provides carbohydrates to the plant’s cell membrane until they are converted to energy. It might be challenging to calculate the ideal amount of starch for you and your plants because different types of rice can have varying levels of starch.

It supports soil-based mycorrhizae and lactobacilli, which are beneficial bacteria. Carbohydrates in rice are also called complex sugars and are made up of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and other components. Due to the bacteria’s preference for these sugars, organic soil material is broken down into useful nutrients for plant growth.


How Does Rice Water Work?

In rice, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements combine to form carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are also called complex sugars. Bacteria adore these sugars and will flourish in an environment where food is plentiful. For plants to develop, bacteria in the soil help break down organic matter.

More nutrients will become available to plants from the breakdown of these carbohydrates when bacterial growth in the soil increases. The nutrition present in rice water, when added, is believed to be the cause of rice water’s effects on plants.

The plant will easily absorb the rice water’s minerals, and the microorganisms in the soil will convert the carbohydrates into simple nutrients that the plant can utilize.

Fruit output and plant growth are both increased as a result. This water can even be utilized as a fertilizer to boost crop productivity. By feeding the plant roots, it will grow stronger, healthier, and more disease-resistant.

The optimal time to use this water is just when the crop begins its growth cycle. In particular, the climate of North America allows for crop growth from the beginning of spring through the end of October.

Since plants are most active during this period and need food and nutrients to carry out their biological functions, this water can be a waste-free and ecologically responsible approach to provide plants with the food they need to thrive.

Benefits For Plants

Rice water is excellent for plants, and here are the benefits of using rice water as a fertilizer for your plants:

  • This type of organic fertilizer makes for an environmentally good fertilizer for plants.
  • Widely accessible and simple to obtain.
  • Rice water promotes the growth of foliage. 
  • increasing the number of leaves.
  • It makes it o you don’t have to dispose of useful byproducts.
  • Reduce the price of fertilizer purchases.
  • It guards against burns brought on by using inorganic fertilizer.
  • Unwanted pests like lizards, snakes, and iguanas are deterred from the garden by the sour alcohol-like odor that fermented water emits.
  • Fermented water can control pests such as fruit flies, gnats, plant lice, flea beetles, aphids, and other insects because the alcohol produced during the fermentation process irritates and sometimes even kills these tiny pests.
  • The plant’s height and leaf growth are enhanced by rice water.

Drawbacks for Plants

As many benefits as there are of using residual water from the rice, there can be a few disadvantages as well, here are the drawbacks:

  • Hardens the soil.
  • Attracts insects that feed on starch, such as ants and spiders.
  • Leave behind a bad odor since rice water ferments in a few days at high temperatures.
  • Give harmful soil microorganisms nourishment.
  • Overpowering plants since most root systems cannot absorb carbohydrates.
  • For plants that need a densely organic substrate, such as vegetables, orchids, and many other blooming plants, rice water fermentation can hasten the decomposition of organic soil mediums like moss and bark and cause root rot and other fungal problems.

How To Make Rice Water For Plants

Washing the rice grains or boiling and filtering the leftover water can both be used to make rice water. You are not required to discard the rice because it is a byproduct. Rice water can be obtained in two ways:

  • From Soaking or Washing: The quickest way to prepare rice water is to soak some rice in some water in a bowl.
  • Boiling: Boil rice water for 30 to 45 minutes, then strain.
  • Fermented rice water: Add rice water to a jar with four tablespoons of milk and one teaspoon of sugar, and For three to four days, cover the jar and leave it alone. The mixture will change from being opaque to translucent.

How To Apply Leftover Water From Rice To Plants

There are many ways to administer rice water to your plants.

– Misting plants with rice water

Succulents can be watered with rice water while also receiving essential nutrients simultaneously.

Most succulents prefer more dry, aerated soil, so the rice water needs to be diluted so it can be sprayed on. Succulents only really need a small amount of water and nutrients at any given moment.

The best way to ensure you give succulents the advantages of rice water without overwatering them and generating problems with overwatered soil is to mist them.

It is always better to spray plants in the early morning or late at night to aid in the plant’s absorption of moisture and nutrients.

The liquid is also prevented from being overly quickly dried off by the heat of the sun by doing.

– Bottom Watering Using Rice Water

Another technique to benefit plants using rice water is to irrigate them from the bottom up.

Watering from the bottom may ensure that the soil is adequately moist without overwatering the rice. By doing so, the entire mass of the plant roots will have access to the nutrients that the rice water is providing. Here is the way to settle a bottom watering technique for your plant:

  • Use a tiny, flat container that is two inches bigger than the planter.
  • Put the plant inside the pot.
  • Add the rice water until the plant pot’s side is one to one and a half inches high with water.
  • The plant should soak in the water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After some time has passed, stick your finger into the soil to feel for moisture.
  • You can remove the plant when you observe that the soil is moist but not soggy.
  • Placing the plant will allow any extra water to drain.

– How Frequent You Must Apply

Because of its high carbohydrate content and soil-hardening properties, rice water should only be used once every two to three weeks or less frequently. If you do utilize it, it is ideal to do so at the seedling stage of your plants when they are most active and in need of a gentle boost.


– Is Rice Water Suitable for all Plants?

Yes, rice water for plants is considered effective in promoting plants’ fuller and larger growth. This is because such water contains a lot of starch; the more starch water contains, the cloudier it is. Nitrogen, a key ingredient in starch, draws in the naturally occurring microbes in the soil.

Another benefit of residual water is that it also contains protein, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc, in addition to its high nitrogen content. When used on plants, this water has proven to increase not only the size of plants but even vegetables.

The bacteria subsequently convert the nitrogen into nitrate, a naturally occurring chemical that aids photosynthesis beginning at the root. In other words, because the roots are strong and prepared to expand, rice water can aid in your plant’s growth.

However, it generally appears favorable for plants in common potting soil! Reusing rice water is an excellent strategy to lessen your water footprint if there is one thing you can count on.

Since NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are in tiny amounts in rice water, balanced fertilizer should still be used to meet all plants’ requirements. With an acidity level of 6.0, which makes it slightly acidic. 

– How Long Does Rice Water Last When Used For Plants?

Since rice water doesn’t contain any additional preservatives, it can spoil quickly if left out at room temperature. Still, if kept in the refrigerator in a well-closed container, it can keep up to 5-7 days. In the case of fermented water, water can only be stored For up to three days.

– Can Rice Water Be Used for Succulent Plants?

The answer is Yes. Succulent plants require little fertilizer. Therefore, this water will do right. The best practice is to mist the succulent. 

– Can Plants Benefit From Pasta Water The Same As Rice Water?

The starch and healthy minerals found in cooked pasta water promote growth and fertilizer. Use only unsalted pasta water; using salted water can destroy your plants. Also, let the boiling water cool on plants to prevent shock.

Rice Water For Plants


Rice water promotes exceptionally well at repelling insects and providing nutrients to plants.

Let’s summarize what we have learned :

  • Rice water will help in promoting the growth of plants and act as a pesticide.
  • Utilizing rice water helps reduce the loss of water and nutrients.
  • It is an environmentally beneficial strategy because you are abstaining from using chemicals. It might significantly advance organic farming.
  • After washing the rice, many individuals throw the water out, claiming it is useless.
  • This water will help your plant in thriving in terms of growth and even vibrance of the foliage.

Thus, the next time you prepare delicious rice, save the water for your plants instead of discarding something jam-packed with nutrients.

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