If you cook rice for dinner, consider using that excess rice water on your houseplants! Using rice water on plants gives them valuable nutrients that they crave, like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). Not only can you give plants these nutrients with rice water, but using it is a green way to reduce unnecessary waste that would otherwise go down the sink drain.
So, what is in rice water after cooking it on the stove? What do plants crave via nutrients? Why is rice water so good for plants? Can you use rice water in your compost pile for future fertilization?
Here is the complete breakdown of using rice water with plants.
What is Rice Water?
Rice water comes from boiling rice in hot water. As the rice absorbs most of the water and cooks, there is excess water that most of us put into the sink drain. However, this water contains valuable nutrients that plants crave, so don’t waste it!
According to Doctors Health Press, rice water contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and nitrogen. Rice water also has protein, iron, zinc, and niacin elements. Finally, rice contains carbohydrates, B1 vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids.
What Do Plants Crave?
Indoor plants and garden plants crave appropriate sunlight, soil, and water. In addition to that, plants also need nutrients, which they tend to get from the soil. Liquid fertilizer tends to have NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium), which can help spark new plant growth. The burst of nutrients through the growing season can be your plant care secret weapon to having great-looking plants.
Why is Rice Water Good for Plants?
There are so many benefits to using rice water for plants. Here are some of the benefits of rice water on plants.
Gives Plants Essential Nutrients They Need
Consider giving your plants a few rounds of fertilizer to promote healthy green plants during the growing season. Giving plants a natural fertilizer like rice water as you water plants can provide that additional spark of nutrients for them to grow healthy and strong. Especially if the houseplant’s soil is becoming stale, pouring some rice water into the ground to get to the plant roots can spark new growth.
Rice Water Is Cheaper to Use than Other Fertilizers
One of the benefits of using rice water compared to store-bought organic fertilizers is that it will be cheaper. Buying a box of rice is relatively inexpensive, and all you need is to make a quarter-cup or so of rice to gather some rice water. By mixing regular tap water and rice water, you can create an excellent liquid diet for plants.
One tip is to put the rice water into a spray bottle as you water plants because it will conserve more water, which means you can use it more often. Otherwise, you might dump too much rice water on plants, so you will need to get more.
Rice Water Is a Green Way to Fertilize Your Plants
Rice grains are a regular part of many diets for people. It is quick and easy to make and relatively cheap to buy. Instead of dumping that liquid down the drain, you can save it for your outdoor garden. Rice water is a natural NPK fertilizer that is good for the environment.
Instead of buying chemicals from a store to put onto your plants and garden, you can give them something natural with loads of nutrients. That natural fertilizer that you can provide plants with is rice water.
Acts as a Pesticide
Using rice water on plant soil can act as a pesticide against unwanted pests. Some common bugs that rice water can detract from latching onto your plant include gnats, beetles, aphids, etc.
Beneficial Bacteria in the Roots of Plants
Rice water encourages bacteria known as lactobacilli to form in the plant soil. This healthy bacteria promotes healthy root growth in plants, which aids with overall plant growth.
Is White or Brown Rice Liquid Better for Plants?
Using white rice or brown rice liquid on plants won’t make much difference. They both have different nutrients, so it depends on what you seek. For example, manganese, an essential nutrient in growth, has more in brown rice than white rice. However, white rice tends to have fewer grams of sugar than brown rice, so it becomes an equal trade-off on what to use.
Can You Add Rice Water to a Compost Pile for Fertilizer?
While there are many benefits to using rice water on plants directly, another advantage of using this leftover water is adding it to your compost pile. If you are composting in your home and use that material as fertilizer for your garden, add the excess rice water to it. The rice water can keep the rest of the items in the compost pile moist and help break down things like banana peels, potato skins, coffee grounds, and tea bags.
One tip is not to put uncooked rice in the compost pile. Uncooked rice becomes harder to break down in your compost pile, so you are better off cooking the rice and putting any extra that you can’t eat into the compost pile than putting uncooked rice there.
Are There Any Downsides to Using Rice Water on Plants?
One thing to remember about using rice water on plants is to ensure that it becomes room temperature before dumping it directly on a plant. Just like how plants don’t like a burst of cold liquid, plants also don’t want hot and steamy liquid. After cooking and letting that water stay out for a bit, you can use it directly on plants.
Another thing to remember about using rice water on plants is that this is a fertilizer, so you don’t want to overdo it to start. Like using any liquid fertilizer, you want to introduce your houseplants to this new diet gradually. Consider using a 50% mix of rice water and regular tap water to give your plants a taste of these additional nutrients before giving them 100% rice water.
Conclusion: Is Rice Water Good for Plants?
In summary, there are plenty of benefits to using rice water on plants. To start, it is a cheap DIY fertilizer option, has loads of nutrients, and can also detract bugs from latching onto the plant. You can also add the rice water to your compost pile for future fertilization, so you don’t have to use it immediately.
While there are many benefits to using rice water on plants, plant owners should remember two things. First, only use rice water on plants when it reaches room temperature. You don’t want to shock the plant with hot temperatures if they are unfamiliar with it. Second, you want to introduce your plants to this new nutrient-rich diet gradually, so consider giving a 50% mix of water and rice water to avoid overloading your plant with too many nutrients.