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Rice Water for Plants – GIY Plants

Woman watering houseplant with rice water for plants.

Using rice water for plants has surged in popularity in recent years. Home gardeners and indoor plant enthusiasts are discovering how this simple, homemade solution can benefit their beloved greenery. We’re here to unravel the secrets of this practice and help you understand how to harness these benefits for your plants.

Understanding Rice Water

Rice water is the starchy liquid left after either soaking or cooking rice. Both uncooked rice and boiled rice water can provide this nutrient-rich liquid. It’s a valuable resource we often overlook and discard when we could use it to nourish our plants.

How to Make Rice Water

Metal bowl of rice and water showing how to make rice water for plants.

Creating rice water for your plants is a simple task. For washed rice water, rinse uncooked rice in a bowl until the water turns cloudy. This water contains the rice’s initial surface starch, which benefits plants.

Alternatively, you can boil rice, capturing the water once the cooking process is finished. Remember, if you’re using a rice cooker, don’t add salt or flavorings that might harm your plants.

Fermented Rice Water

Fermented rice water is another potent variant you can create. Just let the rice water sit at room temperature for a couple of days. This process will enrich the water with more nutrients and beneficial bacteria, further stimulating plant growth.

Nutrient Composition of Rice Water

Rice water is rich in nutrients. It primarily contains starch, a crucial element for plant growth. Starch provides energy for plant cells and plays a pivotal role in photosynthesis.

Moreover, rice water contains small amounts of other vital nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These macronutrients help support overall plant health and development.

Using Rice Water for Plants

Watering indoor plants with rice water is relatively straightforward. Just replace your regular water with rice water for a nutrient-packed alternative. You can use the solution for outdoor plants as part of your normal watering routine or as an additional supplement.

Benefits of Rice Water for Plants

Jar of rice and water for the benefits of rice water for plants.

The starch in rice water promotes the growth of beneficial soil bacteria. These bacteria aid in breaking down organic material in the soil, making essential nutrients more accessible for the plants.

What’s more, these nutrients from the rice water can support the development of plant cells, encourage more robust root systems, and increase plant growth. Studies have shown that rice water can also help improve plant leaf color and resilience.

Precautions When Using Rice Water

While using rice water can be advantageous, be cautious and use sparingly. Excessive application might lead to soil starch buildup, which could feed harmful microbes.

Watering your garden with rice water once every few weeks is recommended. Observing your plants’ reactions can help you decide on the best frequency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is rice water, and how is it suitable for plants?

Rice water is the water that is left behind after rinsing or soaking rice grains. It contains beneficial nutrients and minerals that can promote the growth and health of plants.

Can I use fermented rice water for my plants?

Yes, using fermented rice water can be even more beneficial for plants. Fermentation enhances the nutrient content and makes it more easily absorbed by plants.

How do I make rice water for plants?

To make rice water:
1. Rinse uncooked rice under cold water to remove dirt or impurities.
2. Put the rice in a container and add water.
3. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the nutrients to seep into the water.
4. Strain the rice and use the rice water to water your plants.

Can I use rice water on all types of plants?

Yes, rice water can be used on various plants, including potted, garden, and indoor plants. It is beneficial for both flowering plants and foliage plants.

How often should I use rice water on my plants?

You can use rice water on your plants once a week. Be sure not to overwater your plants, as too much water can lead to root rot.

What are the benefits of using rice water on plants?

Using rice water on plants can promote the growth of your plants, increase their resistance to diseases and pests, and improve their overall health. It can also help boost the flowering and fruiting process.

Can rice water be used as a substitute for regular watering?

Rice water can be used as a source of moisture for plants, but it should only partially replace regular watering. Plants still need a sufficient amount of water to thrive.

Can I use leftover water from cooking rice?

Yes, leftover water after cooking rice can also be used for plants. Just make sure it has cooled down before using it.

Is rice water beneficial for plants that are sensitive to excess moisture?

Suppose you have plants that are sensitive to excess moisture. In that case, it is best to dilute the rice water with plain water before using it to ensure it does not overload the plants with too much water.

Can pasta water be used for plants in the same way as rice water?

While pasta water contains some nutrients, it may also have salt, which can harm plants. It is best to stick to using rice water for the health and growth of your plants.


Rice water for plants offers a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to supplement your plants’ nutrient needs. So the next time you cook rice, think twice before pouring that precious liquid down the drain! Your garden might thank you for it.

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