Rice water is the remaining water left behind after rinsing or boiling rice. Rice water has been proved to be beneficial not only for skin and hair but also for plants as a fertilizer. Rice water has a cloudy white color due to the starchy powder’s presence in the covering of the unwashed rice.
The presence of nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous, and starches helps the rice water effectively in the fermentation and growth process of many pre-existing bacteria in the soil. Additionally, these rice water components also help the N2-fixing bacteria, which further helps in photosynthesis resulting in better plant growth.
The question that arises here is whether rice water fertilizer is good for plants or not?
The cloudy suspension has proved to be very nutritious. It decomposes in the soil, releasing the nutrients it holds. Unlike chemically processed fertilizers, rice water is a natural fertilizer. It is a mild fertilizer because the starches in the rice water help promote the beneficial bacteria in the roots of the plants.
In addition to this, the nutrient-infused water incorporates nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK), and other trace elements into the soil. The main component that aids in the plants’ growth is the starch that encourages the bacteria called Lacto Bacilli. This beneficial bacterial, in return, helps the growth of the good fungi known as mycorrhizae. The mycorrhizae feed the plant roots, making them healthier, more robust, and immune to diseases. However, the prolonged use of rice water may result in the spread of pests like rodents and diseases.
Forming rice water fertilizer
- Clean the jars or bottles thoroughly with vinegar or isopropyl alcohol to ensure all the containers are germ-free.
- Soak the rice in water for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Take the container and fill more than half of it with starch of rice water.
- The container ought to be covered with a cotton cloth and secured with an elastic band, ensuring that the air passes through the container. Place the container outside but cover it to avoid sunlight, as it doesn’t allow the bacteria to grow.Preserve for two days.
- Take the fermented rice water and pour it into a new container. Fill the container with one-part rice water and nine parts milk. Cover it with a cotton cloth and place it away from sunlight for 5-7 days.
- Now, separate the liquid, called lactobacillus, from the container and store it in an airtight container.
- For application, take one tablespoon of Lactobacillus liquid and mix it with one gallon of water. Use as a fertilizer as required.
Rice water as a pesticide
Rice water is also used as a pesticide. In addition to plant growth, it also helps in pest control. Rice water traps are prepared in order to eliminate fruit flies that attack plants such as bitter gourd and snake gourd. Moreover, rice water is sprinkled over plants to keep away or eliminate pests.
Rice water used as a pesticide eliminates the harmful insects or pests that threaten plantsand works as a fertilizer, making the plants grow stronger and healthier. Rice water contains about seven proteins, 30 fibers, and 15 amino acids. The percentages of calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium, and other vitamins are present in sufficient amounts to keep the plants green and keep them safe from pests.
The use of rice water is experimentally proven to have yielded more leaves and a higher biomass level when used as a fertilizer. It is said to be even more effective than the use of NPK fertilizers. This is due to the reason that rice water consists of all the essential nutrients, the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium), which is required by all plants for healthy growth. Moreover, the rice water starches help in the growth of many beneficial bacteria and fungi that exist in the soil, such as Lacto Bacilli and mycorrhizae, that feed the plant and encourage their growth.
The rice water should be kept in a container and placed away from the reach of sunlight for preparing rice water pesticide. However, the container should be able to receive air. For enhancing the effectiveness of the rice water, it is advised to preserve it for ten to fifteen days so that when the yeasts start coming up, it can be sprayed on the plants as a fertilizer or pesticide. It is also recommended to spray the rice water on plants about 2-3 times a week for better results.
Also Read: 10 Container Plants for East facing Balcony