HomeGardening GuideScientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants

Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants

Have a detailed look at some of the best Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants and give them the right boost in growth they need!

Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants

According to a study done by the Department of Agrotechnology, Universitas Riau, Faculty of Agriculture, Indonesia, the use of rice water in plants can help vastly in growth along with fruit and flower production. Sounds exciting? Let’s have a look at more such Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants!

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What is Rice Water?

The strained water left after boiling rice is richer in nutrients than the one collected after washing. It is also popular for its skin healing benefits. This nutritious kitchen byproduct has an excellent use for fertilizing plants.


Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants

Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants 2

According to research, rice water is better than tap water and helps the plants to grow at a much better rate. 

  • 6-8% protein
  • 30-40% crude fiber
  • 10-20% free amino acids
  • 20-30% calcium (Ca)
  • 45-50% total phosphorus (P)
  • 45-50% iron (Fe)
  • 10-12% zinc (Zn)
  • 40-45% potassium (K)
  • 55-60% thiamine
  • 25-30% riboflavin
  • 60-65% niacin

All this gets mixed in the water and thus can be beneficial for the plants in a lot of ways. It also has starch that promotes healthy bacteria that grow in the rhizosphere. 

  • Rice water is environment friendly
  • It promotes plant growth
  • Boosts healthy bacteria in the soil
  • Pocket-friendly as it saves the cost of buying fertilizer
  • Enhances crop and fruit production

How Rice Water is Good for Plants?

Research conducted at the Department of Biology, Hasanuddin University, INDONESIA states that Rice water contains a total N of 0.011%; P of 15.30mgL-1; K of 0.03me/mL, and Vitamin B1. Not to mention the fact that it also has iron, manganese, and other plant elements.

This, when combined with coconut water, stimulates the growth of plant seeds and the overall growth of the plant. It also stimulates foliage growth, so the number of leaves increases.

Rice water has traces of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK), which has a positive effect on plants. Also, starch in the rice water supplies carbohydrates to the cell membrane of the plant till it is used in the form of energy. It also encourages good bacteria such as mycorrhizae and lactobacilli that already exist in the soil.

Also known as complex sugars, carbohydrates in rice consist of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements. Bacteria are fond of these sugars, hence helping in breaking down organic material in the soil into beneficial nutrients for plants to grow.


Best Organic Alternative Fertilizer

According to research done at the Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra, Malaysia, washed rice water (WRW) contains leached nutrients (from washing the rice prior to cooking) that could be used as fertilizer. It increases the growth of plants like spinach, bok choy, lettuce, mustard, tomato, and eggplant.

Use it as an alternative to water, once in 2-3 weeks, for best results.


Rice Water for Foliage Growth

Add rice water in a clean spray bottle, mist the plant from the top and undersides of the leaves. Do this process in the morning or evening so that the plants absorb nutrients and moisture.

A study by GreenPrints, the institutional repository of De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, also states that rice water improves the height of the plant and the growth of the leaves. It is also one of the best organic fertilizers to use.


Using Rice Water for Plants 

Scientifically Proven Rice Water Benefits for Plants 2

Place the plant container in a bowl or tray filled with rice water, so that it gets absorbed entirely into the soil. Let the plant sit in it for 15-20 minutes. Check the soil moisture with fingers or a moisture meter and remove the plant from the bowl.

Alternatively, you can also pour the rice water around the plant base every few days!

Note: Top watering is one more technique that includes watering the soil using the solution.


Precautions While Using Rice Water

  • Make sure that the rice water is at room temperature so it will not kill the bacteria in the soil.
  • Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot and yellowing of the foliage.
  • The best method for using rice water is through bottom watering.

Check out the best organic neem oil uses for the garden here


How to Make Rice Water?

Rice water can be prepared either by washing the rice grains or by boiling and straining the remaining water. It is a byproduct, so you are not required to throw the rice. There are two methods to obtain rice water:

  • From Soaking or Washing: Soaking is the fastest method to make rice water—simply take a bowl to add some rice and water to soak.
  • From Boiling: Boil rice water for 30-45 mins and strain.
  • Fermented Rice Water: Fill rice water in a jar, add one teaspoon sugar, add four tablespoons of milk. Cover the jar and let it sit for 3-4 days. The solution will become opaque to translucent.

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