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Most people are taught that rice needs to be washed before boiling and rinsed again before consumption. Although this is optional, many people use their leftover rice water for meals, and some even use it to water their plants.
Is rice water good for plants?
Rice water is good for plants, as it is rich in phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium, which are crucial for plants. Rice water is beneficial as a fertilizer to prevent plant pests and to promote healthy bacteria in the soil. Rice water is not difficult to obtain and allows us to reuse kitchen waste.
Rice water can be derived from either washing or boiling rice. Rice water has many uses, and if you’re wondering what benefits it holds for your plants, keep reading as we look at all the things you need to know about providing your plants with rice water!
The Effect Of Using Rice Water On Your Plants
Recent studies have shown that rinsing rice and using water from boiled rice can extract beneficial nutrients. Rice water is usually milky white, and it can increase the number of leaves and add height to your plants. The more cloudy the rice water becomes, the more starch it holds.
To be specific, rice loses roughly 7% protein, 59% thiamine, 30% crude fiber, and 26% riboflavin. This is just a tiny portion of the nutrients that could be extracted from rice water.
Rice water will also be rich in Vitamin B1 and phosphorus, which is highly beneficial to both indoor and outdoor plants. As rice water benefits plants, it would help if you knew how to extract water from your rice correctly and how to use it on your plants!
Why Is Rice Water Good For Plants?
There are many reasons why rice water will benefit your plants so greatly. Using rice water will not only benefit your plants, but you may also thank these cheap natural fertilizers! Let’s take a look at the vast benefits of using rice water on your plants:
Rice Water Prevents Burns Caused By Inorganic Fertilizers
Plant damage caused by excessive application of fertilizers will cause plant leaves to be brown or their edges to become curled. The soluble salts from these fertilizers can pull the much-needed moisture out of a plant’s root tissues and cause yellowing, wilting, and stunted growth.
A plant’s leaves could also become scorched due to direct contact with fertilizers, which is where rice water takes the win. Rice water will cause no harm or burn to your plant’s roots or foliage, causing them to thrive.
Rice Water Is Rich In Beneficial Minerals
Rice water contains many minerals, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Nitrogen is a part of the chlorophyll molecule, which is responsible for giving plants their healthy green color, and it also plays a role when it comes to creating food for the plant through photosynthesis.
Phosphorus is directly involved in many crucial plant functions, which include the transfer of energy, the transformation of starches and sugar, photosynthesis, and how well nutrients can move within the plant.
Potassium is crucial for proper cell reproduction and protein synthesis, which gives a plant enough energy to grow healthily.
Rice Water Promotes A Healthy Population Of Bacteria
Bacteria love the sugars released from rice water into the soil, and they will thrive in such an environment as the food resources are abundant.
The bacteria in the soil will help significantly when it comes to breaking down any organic material in the soil, as they will turn it into valuable nutrients for the plants to grow.
With such a huge increased bacterial growth in the soil, more nutrients will be available for the plants as the carbohydrates continue to break down. This results in increased plant health and growth rate, enhancing fruit and crop production.
Rice Water Is An Environmentally Friendly Plant Fertilizer
Chemical fertilizers contribute to soil crust and soil acidification if they are overused. This results in these fertilizers reducing organic matter content in plant soil, humus content, and beneficial species.
This could cause a plant to stunt its growth, as the fertilizer alters the pH levels in the soil. This could lead to pests harming the soil, and it could even release harmful greenhouse gasses.
Rice water has no impact on our earth and will not harm your plants, making it one of the best environmentally friendly sources of fertilizers for any plants.
Rice Water Can Be Applied To Plants In Several Ways
You can apply rice water to your plants in numerous ways, depending on your watering preference. You can apply the rice water through bottom watering, top watering, or misting.
However, it is encouraged to let your plants soak up rice water from the bottom, as this will result in more healthy and stronger plant roots!
Rice Water Is An Organic Method Of Plant Pest Control
Rice water will be an effective method of pest control in plants, and you will have a much smaller risk of containing aphids, spider mites, scale, mealybugs, gnats, and fruit flies.
The smell of rice water may attract these critters, but you’ll be happy to hear that they will die after consuming only the smallest amount of rice water on your plants and the soil.
Rice Water Is Easy To Obtain
You can obtain rice water from everyday cooking, and if you place it in your fridge, it will stay fresh and usable for your plants for up to seven days.
Rice Water Cuts Down Costs Of Plants
Chemical fertilizers could be expensive if they are not purchased in large amounts, so if you have only a few indoor or outdoor plants, rice water will save you money on your plants.
Rice Water Allows You To Reuse Kitchen Waste
Where many people pour their rice water down the drain, you will be saving yours to benefit your plants. You won’t only be reducing your kitchen waste, but you will also be reducing your water footprint.
Rice Water Takes Away The Need For Tap Water
Because rice water is only water with the nutrients released from rice, you can take watering your plants with normal tap or filtered water out of the equation! You will still be using water to grow your plants, but just higher quality water with endless nutrients!
How Do You Make Rice Water?
There are three ways you can derive rice water, and with all three of these methods being so easy, you’ll be able to provide your plants with their nutrients in no time!
How To Make Rice Water: The Boiling Method
Rice water obtained from boiling will contain the most nutrients compared to washing or fermenting. This is mainly due to the heat from boiling that will cause more nutrients from the rice to leach into the water.
Let’s look at a few easy steps:
- Take half a cup of uncooked rice (or how much rice you need according to your cooking recipe)
- Place the rice in a suitable-sized pot on your stove. It would be best if you do not use a rice cooker, as too much water will evaporate.
- Place on medium heat
- Allow the rice to boil for between 30 and 40 minutes, stirring continually and properly, as you won’t want the rice to burn to the bottom of the pot.
- Strain the rice and save all the water residue.
- Ensure the rice water is cooled to at least room temperature before giving it to your plants, as the water could burn the soil if it’s too hot.
If your rice water is too thick, you may also add small amounts of water to thin it down, as too thick rice water may smother the surrounding soil of your plants.
How To Make Rice Water: The Washing/Soaking Method
Preparing rice water through the soaking/washing method is one of the easiest, quickest, and most well-known ways to obtain rice water.
Use the following steps:
- Depending on how much rice water you need, you can take about half a cup of uncooked rice.
- Place your desired amount of rice into a small bowl. You don’t need to use a pot, as there will be no heat. A plastic container would be more than sufficient.
- Add two to three cups of water into your bowl containing the rice, depending on how much you have added.
- Rinse the rice thoroughly under a running tap for between two and three minutes.
- Leave the rice to soak for between 30 and 45 minutes.
- After soaking, make sure to stir the water thoroughly to mix any unsettled nutrients.
- Strain the rice into a bottle or any clean container.
How To Make Rice Water: The Fermented Method
Fermented rice water is the method that will take the longest to obtain, but it remains highly effective. This method would be best for you if you need larger amounts of rice water for your plants.
The steps involved are as follows:
- Depending on how much water you need, you can follow the ratio of half a cup of rice to two to three cups of water.
- Place your desired amount of rice in a large enough container.
- Add your amount of water.
- Cover the container, ensure it seals completely, and store it at room temperature.
- Wait between one and two days.
- Once the solution has turned opaque to translucent, you can strain the water.
- Give the rice water to your plants immediately, as no cool-down period is required. Store any remaining rice water in your fridge to stop any further fermentation.
How Often Should Rice Water Be Used On Plants?
As a good rule, you should never use rice water on your indoor and outdoor plants more than two to three times weekly, according to their needs. The main reason behind this is that rice water contains rich carbohydrate content, which could cause the soil to become hardened.
If you use rice water, it would be most beneficial to apply it to your plants when they are at the seedling stage. This is because they will be most active during this time and will only benefit from the gentle boost rice water provides them.
If you use rice water for plants passed the seedling stage, apply them to plants during their active growing cycle, as stunted plants may die due to rice’s soil-hardening properties.
Additionally, it would be best if you never overwatered your plants using rice water, as it could lead to their foliage yellowing and root rot. Then again, this will happen when plants are overwatered with regular water, so always test your plants to know when to water them.
How To Use Rice Water On Plants Correctly
Using rice water on your plants is just as easy as watering them, as you can mist them on your houseplants, apply them to the soil of your garden plants, or top water them as usual.
If you’re unsure about how to provide your plants with rice water effectively, take a look at this informative video:
When you decide to mist your houseplants with rice water, transfer the rice water into a watering can, spray bottle, or mister.
Take extra caution to ensure that the inside of your tool is clean and has no residue of chemical fertilizers or household chemicals, as it could be harmful to sensitive houseplants.
When you decide to use the bottom watering method on your outdoor container plants or houseplants, you need to make sure the pots have drainage holes underneath.
Place your potted plants into the base of a dish, tray, or kitchen sink, and allow them to sit in the rice water for between 15 and 20 minutes.
During this time, the roots of your plants will thoroughly absorb the rice water’s necessary nutrients. Always allow the pots to drain thoroughly afterward, as you won’t want root rot or limp roots!
Rice water is one of the best environmentally friendly ways to stay away from harmful fertilizers while reaping all the benefits you would have if you used them! Obtaining rice water is not difficult, and it all depends on your preferred method. You’d be surprised at the amazing effects something so simple could have on your plants!