Pasta water is a great way to save money and help the environment. When you cook pasta, the water leftover can be used to water your plants. This is a great way to recycle because the water contains all of the nutrients that are in the pasta.
Not only does this save you money on water bills, but it also means you don’t have to use chemical fertilizers, which can be harmful to both plants and the environment.
Pasta water is a very healthy alternative to chemicals. The nutrients in the pasta, including iron and calcium, are not only good for your pasta dish but can help boost plant health.
In fact, if you have grown tomatoes or other vegetables in pots on your balcony or doorstep, you should definitely consider cooking pasta from time to time and using it for watering.
If you don’t like the idea of cooking and then discarding pasta, you should try to find a houseplant that can benefit from watering with leftover pasta water. Succulents and cactus plants do not require much water and would benefit greatly from the nutrients in the leftover pasta water.
Watering plants with pasta water is also a great solution for people who often forget to water or feed their plants. Rather than keep trying to remember, you can set out watering the night before and simply use the leftover pasta water from dinner.
Benefits of Using Pasta Water on Your Plants
Pasta water is not only a healthy drink for humans, but it’s also great for plants. Here are 10 benefits of using pasta water on plants:
Prevents Wilting and Keeps Plants Hydrated
When you’re done cooking your pasta, save the pasta water and use it to water your plants. The starch in the water will help keep them hydrated. If you pour the water around the base of your plants, it will prevent them from wilting in hot, dry weather.
Gets Rid of Salt Build-Up
If you live in an area where the water is high in salt, using pasta water can help get rid of the build-up on your plants’ leaves. Just soak them in a container of pasta water for a few hours and then wash them with water.
Promotes Healthy Growth
The magnesium and phosphorus in the pasta water will promote healthy growth in your plants.
Prevents Blossom End Rot
Blossom end rot is the death of tomato plants at their blossom end, but adding pasta water to your plant’s soil can prevent it. The calcium in the water will help maintain cell walls and avoid them rupturing.
Tomato plants often stop blooming if they aren’t getting enough calcium in the soil. Tomato plants are just like people- they need calcium to stay strong.
Prevents Brown Tips on Lettuce and Other Leafy Greens
Brown tips on lettuce leaves are caused by a lack of nitrogen, which your pasta water can provide. The water has plenty of nitrates that will provide the nitrogen your plants need to prevent brown spots on the tips of their leaves.
Keeps Fruit Fresher Longer
Similar to keeping lettuce fresh, keeping grapes fresh is also related to a lack of nitrogen in the soil. The nitrates in your pasta water will help keep those delicious grapes sweet and tasty.
Saves on Fertilizer
Instead of purchasing expensive fertilizer for your plants, just use the water you cooked with. The gooey starch is full of nitrogen and can be watered into the soil to help give your plants a boost.
Keeps Roses Healthy
Roses need plenty of iron in the soil to stay beautiful and prevent yellow leaves and spots. Your pasta water is full of iron and can help your roses remain pink and healthy.
Using Pasta Water on Your Plants
Watering your plants with leftover pasta water is a great way to reduce food waste and give your plants the hydration they need. All you need to do is cook your pasta as usual, then save the water for later use.
Here are the simple steps on how to use pasta water on your plants:
- Pour a small amount of cooled boiled pasta water into a bottle or can. You don’t want to pour boiling water directly onto your plants, as it may damage them.
- Spray this pasta water on any leaves that are yellowing or falling off and the surrounding soil. The pasta water will feed newly planted seeds for about three weeks before you need to fertilize again.
- Pour leftover pasta water into the soil of any potted plants that are already healthy, or you can pour it into a saucer and put it under your sick plants.
- As long as you’re using boiling pasta water, avoid getting it directly on any leaves because it will scald them. It must be cooled before use.
- Trees and shrubbery do not need the extra boost of nutrients often found in pasta water, so use it carefully around them. If you over-fertilize, the soil pH could drop to dangerous acidic levels.
- Be careful not to use too much boiled or cooled pasta water on your plants, as this may cause rot and disease, which will kill your plant in time.
Using Pasta Water on Succulents
Using leftover pasta water can help succulents thrive. In fact, the alkaline levels in pasta water make it the perfect watering solution for succulents. The starch in the pasta water will help the succulents retain moisture, and it will also add some nutrients to their soil that will help them grow healthy and strong.
Not only does this watering method save you money, but it’s also an environmentally friendly way to care for your succulents.
Misting Succulents with Pasta Water
Succulents are a great way to add some flair and color to even the drabbest corners of your home. These plants are perfect for light, low-maintenance living and can easily be watered with pasta water.
Here are the steps to misting succulents with pasta water:
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan on your stovetop; add 1/2 cup of dried pasta and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the pasta, but do not rinse.
- Fill a spray bottle with starchy water and mist the top and underside of your succulent leaves.
- Also, make sure to spray the plant’s topsoil with the pasta water, as this is where the plant absorbs most of its water.
Mist your plants in the morning and in the evening for a few days to give them a boost of energy. Succulents should be watered using this method once a week or when their soil becomes dry 1/4″ below the surface.
Pasta Water Effect on Plants
The use of pasta water on houseplants is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Research has shown that the pH level of pasta water is similar to that of plant roots, making it a perfect liquid for watering houseplants.
At a pH level of 7, the acidic and alkaline properties of pasta water closely resemble those of plant roots. This makes it a perfect liquid for irrigation or feeding plants. With this use, the nutrients are more concentrated than freshwater, allowing it to be reused over time with little loss of effect.
Another use is as a natural fertilizer. Simply boil pasta for about 1-2 minutes before letting it cool down. The resulting nutrient-rich liquid can then be used as plant food without any added chemicals or preservatives. The boiling process will increase the concentration of nutrients, so less water is needed.
The final use of pasta water is as a natural fungicide. A study found that a mixture of boiled pasta and water placed in a refrigerator for seven days was shown to reduce the presence of three different types of fungi on infected cantaloupes.
The surface area of the sample with fully-boiled pasta was smaller than the samples with unboiled pasta. This suggests that its sterilizing power comes from boiled water.
As a result, it is possible that this process can be used to treat infected plants by using part of the cooled pasta water mixed in with fresh water.
Things you Need to Know Before Using Pasta Water on your Plants
As you know by now, pasta water can be used as a plant fertilizer. It is a great way to recycle water and help your plants grow big and strong. However, there are some precautions you should take before using this method.
Here are some essential things you need to know before watering your plants with pasta water:
It’s full of carbohydrates.
Pasta is made from flour and water, which means it’s full of carbohydrates (just like rice and potatoes). Carbohydrates provide plants with energy to grow, but too much will make your plant susceptible to disease.
Watering your plants with pasta water only once won’t cause any problems. However, if you do it every day, other nutrients in the plant may be depleted.
It contains salt and other minerals.
Most of us know that pasta is full of carbohydrates, but it’s also full of salt. This means you should not feed your plants with this water on a regular basis because they’ll get too much sodium.
It has a pH level of 7.
Before you feed your plants with pasta water, check the pH level. The neutral point is 7, so the higher the number above 7, the more alkaline it is. Feeding your plants alkaline water often may harm them because it’s harder for them to absorb certain nutrients in the soil.
It contains B vitamins.
This can help to provide plants with the nutrients they need in order to grow, but in larger quantities, it may cause toxicity. This means that if you feed your plants with pasta water every day, the plant may become sick and die over time.
Cooking makes it safe for plants.
All the bad stuff in pasta is mostly found in raw pasta. If you cook your spaghetti, all the bad things will be eliminated from it, and it should be safe to give to your plants.
Boiling noodles might not be a good idea, but giving them the water they boiled in could actually help boost their health.
It helps with transplant shock.
Using pasta water to water your plants might actually help with transplant shock. Plants that are transplanted or damaged need all the help they can get in order to bounce back.
If you give them pasta water, it will provide them with much-needed nutrients and minerals. However, make sure not to use this method every day because doing so may end up hurting them.
Make sure it isn’t rotten or moldy.
It’s best not to use pasta water that has gone bad, so make sure your noodles haven’t been sitting in the pot for days on end before you feed your plants with it. If you leave your spaghetti overnight, bacteria may start growing on it, which is not good for your plants.
It can help set seedlings’ roots.
When you place your newly planted seeds in moist soil or vermiculite, they need some sort of water source to get the root system going.
If you don’t have a dropper, you can use pasta water instead because it has all the nutrients and minerals that the roots will need to grow. However, make sure you don’t give them too much water because they may drown.
It’s not guaranteed to work for all plants.
There are some plants that don’t respond well to having pasta water added to their soil because they’re native to drier climates, and most of us don’t have the humidity levels they need.
If you try to water your plants with pasta water, but you don’t see any results, then switch back to using just plain water.
Watering plants with pasta water is a great way to help them grow. This method is especially beneficial for plants that need more nitrogen, like tomatoes and peppers.
You can use any type of pasta, but avoid using sauce or seasonings, as these could harm your plants. Simply cook the pasta al dente, then strain and cool the water before using it to water your plants.