If you use rice at home. Then there is good news for you. You can use rice water as a liquid fertilizer in your garden. Rice water is a liquid that is left over after rice has been washed or cooked. It is a popular natural fertilizer for plants because it contains a number of nutrients that are beneficial to plant growth.
Benefits of using rice water fertilizer:
Rice fume water, also known as rice water, is a traditional method of using the water in which rice has been soaked or boiled for various purposes, including plant care. Rice water contains a variety of nutrients and compounds that can benefit plants, such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Nutrient Complete (NPK) Fertilizer:
Rice water contains small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, three important nutrients for plant growth. Nitrogen promotes leaf growth, phosphorus promotes root growth and potassium promotes overall plant health. Also, this liquid fertilizer is rich in important nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, sulphur, copper, boron and zinc.
- Magnesium(Mg): Can fill for chlorophyll deficiency in plants.
- Calcium(Ca): plays an important role in the structure of cell walls and membranes.
- Iron(Fe): Iron is involved in the synthesis of chlorophyll in plants and is an essential element for chloroplast formation and maintenance of its function.
- Manganese(Mn): Maintains the metabolic role of plant cells. And it is an important micronutrient for plant growth and development.
- Sulphur(S): Sulphur is essential for nitrogen metabolism, enzyme activity and much plant growth.
- Zinc (Zn): Zinc supports flower and fruit development in plants and enhances their resistance to diseases.
- Boron (B): Boron is essential for cell division in plants and facilitates the transport of sugars.
Rice water contains starch, which is the natural source of carbohydrates for plants. These Carbohydrates are essential for plant growth and development. It is the primary source of energy for plants, which helps to keep the plant respiration process active.
If the plant gets a sufficient amount of carbohydrates
- Gives strength and vigour to plants.
- Grows quickly and produces more flowers, fruits and seeds.
- Provides rigidity to the plant trunk. That is, it protects from various natural disasters
- Able to withstand environmental stresses such as cold, heat and drought.
- Makes more resistant to pest and disease attacks.
3. Amino acids:
According to studies, rice water contains several amino acids, including glutamic, aspartic, alanine, arginine, etc. All these amino acids are essential compounds for soil and plants. For example:
- Glutamic helps in the formation of plant tissue, increases the concentration of chlorophyll in plants and synthesis of chlorophyll.
- Aspartic plays an important role in plant development and stress resistance.
- Arginine recycles nitrogen in plants and plays a leading role in the biosynthesis of substances such as nitric oxide.
- Alanine It plays an important role in plant metabolism and enables plants to withstand various stresses such as hypoxia, waterlogging and drought.
Rice water contains certain vitamins, including B vitamins such as thiamine (B1) and niacin (B3). These vitamins play important roles in plant metabolism and growth.
Rice water contains many enzymes, which are biological catalysts that can help break down organic matter in the soil. This can help improve soil fertility and make nutrients more available to plants. For example:
- Amylase: Amylase easily breaks down complex carbohydrates, such as starch, into simple sugars that can be useful through synthesis.
- Cellulase: Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate that helps form plant cell walls. And these enzymes can help release nutrients from organic matter in the soil.
- Protease: Protease enzymes help convert proteins into amino acids, which are essential for plant growth and development.
- Phytase: Phytase helps release phosphorus from organic compounds, such as phytic acid, which is commonly found in seeds and grains. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth.
Rice water fertilizer is not only rich in enzymes but also contains various beneficial microbes. These microbes play a vital role in promoting plant growth and enhancing soil health. Here are some of the common types of microbes found in rice water fertilizers:
- Bacteria: Rice water can contain beneficial bacteria such as Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Azospirillum spp. These bacteria have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, solubilize nutrients, enhance nutrient availability, and suppress harmful pathogens.
- Yeasts: Yeasts like Saccharomyces cerevisiae are often present in rice water. They contribute to nutrient cycling, help decompose organic matter, and improve soil structure.
- Fungi: Various fungi species can be found in rice water, including Trichoderma spp., Aspergillus spp., and Penicillium spp. These fungi promote organic matter decomposition, enhance nutrient availability, and establish beneficial symbiotic relationships with plant roots.
- Actinomycetes: Actinomycetes are a type of beneficial filamentous bacteria found in rice water. They help in breaking down complex organic compounds, producing growth-promoting substances, and suppressing plant pathogens.
- Lactic Acid Bacteria: LAB species such as Lactobacillus spp. are commonly found in rice water. They contribute to the fermentation process, produce organic acids, and can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
It’s important to note that rice water should be used as a supplementary treatment alongside a well-balanced fertilizer or compost to provide plants with a complete range of nutrients.
How to make rice water fertilizer:
You can make rice water fertilizer very easy to way and in a short time. This liquid fertilizer can be prepared in two different ways. Follow the preparation method below.
Method 1: Soak the rice in the water for about 30 minutes to an hour. After soaking, gently swirl the rice in the water to maximize its nutrients. Now pour the liquid into another bowl and keep it aside. The water should look slightly thin milk white. That indicates that it contains nutrients. And it is ready to apply to plants.
Method 2: After boiling the rice, strain the rice and collect the liquid into a separate container and cool it. The liquid produced in this way is thick. It is better to say here, that it is more effective as a second method than the first. Because its nutrients can be found at higher levels.
How to use rice water fertilizer:
Dilute the rice water: To ensure the effective use of rice water as a fertilizer, it is crucial to dilute it properly. Dilution helps prevent potential issues associated with the high concentration of starches or sugars present in boiled rice water, which can attract insects or promote fungal growth. While dilution is not as critical for rice washing water, it remains essential for boiled rice water.
To dilute rice water, mix it with fresh water at a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5, depending on your specific requirements. This means combining one part of rice water with four or five parts of fresh water. By understanding the density of rice water, you can increase the amount of fresh water. By diluting the rice water, you reduce its starch and sugar content, making it less likely to cause problems in your plants.
Remember, if you are using boiled rice water, it is particularly important to dilute it properly to ensure the best results and avoid any potential negative effects on your plants.
There are a few different ways to use rice water fertilizer. You can:
- Water your plants with it: Pour the diluted rice water around the base of your plants, avoiding the leaves if possible. Pouring it at the base ensures that the nutrients reach the roots where they are needed most. The roots will absorb the nutrients from the water, promoting healthy growth.
- Water the plants if necessary: After applying the rice water fertilizer, check the moisture level of the soil. If the soil feels dry, water your plants with regular water to ensure they have adequate hydration.
- Fertilize your plants with it: You can also use rice water as a foliar fertilizer. To do this, dilute the organic liquid with water at a ratio of 1:10 and spray it onto the leaves of your plants.
- Make a compost tea: Compost teas are a great way to add nutrients to your soil and improve plant health. To make a compost tea, simply add some rice water to a compost pile or bin. The microbes in the compost will break down the rice water and release the nutrients into the water. You can then water your plants with the compost tea.
- Additional Tips:
• Use rice water from boiled or rinsed rice. Avoid using rice water that has been seasoned or contains additives, as they may harm your plants.
• Apply this water fertilizer in moderation. Too much can lead to nutrient imbalances or excessive moisture in the soil, which can be detrimental to plant health.
• Rice water is particularly beneficial for acid-loving plants such as citrus trees, roses, and ferns. It provides them with a source of nutrients like potassium, which they require for healthy growth. Remember, while rice water can be a helpful organic fertilizer, it should not be the sole source of nutrients for your plants. Using a balanced organic or synthetic fertilizer alongside rice water will provide your plants with a more comprehensive range of nutrients for optimal growth.
When to use rice water fertilizer:
You can use rice water fertilizer at any time of year, but it is especially beneficial to use during the growing season. This organic liquid fertilizer can help to promote healthy plant growth, improve flower and fruit production, and boost plant resistance to pests and diseases.
How often to use rice water fertilizer:
You can use water fertilizer once a week as a foliar fertilizer. When used as a foliar spray, dilute this fertilizer according to the directions on the label.
How to store rice water fertilizer:
You can store rice water fertilizer in a jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you are storing this fertilizer for longer than a week, you may want to freeze it. However, fresh rice water is generally more effective as a fertilizer. But it must be brought to normal temperature before use.
Disadvantages of using rice water fertilizer:
- Soil hardening: Rice water can contain high levels of starch, which can cause the soil to harden over time. This can make it difficult for water and nutrients to reach the plant roots.
- Attracting pests: The starch in rice water can attract pests such as ants and spiders.
- Sour smell: Rice water can ferment over time, especially in warm weather. This can produce a sour smell that may be unpleasant.
- Overfeeding plants: Rice water is a concentrated source of nutrients, so it is important to dilute it properly before using it. Overfeeding plants with liquid fertilizer can damage their roots and leaves.
Overall, rice water fertilizer is a safe and effective way to boost the growth and health of your plants. However, it is important to use it properly and to be aware of the potential disadvantages.
While rice water does contain these nutrients, it’s important to note that the concentrations may not be as significant as in specialized plant fertilizers. This liquid fertilizer can provide some supplementary nutrition to plants, especially when used in combination with a well-balanced fertilizer regimen.
It’s worth mentioning that the nutrient content of rice water can vary depending on factors such as the type of rice used, the soaking or cooking process, and the dilution ratio. The nutrient composition of this liquid fertilizer is not as standardized as commercial fertilizers, so it’s difficult to determine precise nutrient levels.
Using rice water as a supplemental nutrient source for plants can be a natural and cost-effective approach. However, it’s important to monitor your plants closely and consider other factors such as soil conditions, light exposure, and water requirements to ensure their overall health and growth.