Should You Water Your Plants With Pasta Water?

Whether it's one small plant or an entire miniature forest, taking care of houseplants is a great way to add some greenery and life in your home while also improving your quality of life. Houseplants are fantastic for both your mental and physical health, with Healthline saying people who own houseplants have lower levels of stress, are more attentive and productive, and have better quality air than those who don't.

Keeping houseplants is an ever-rewarding hobby. While some people are content simply watering their plants occasionally and otherwise leaving them alone, others are deeply invested in the best ways to keep their plants the healthiest and happiest they can be. Whether you have fancy misting machines, indoor greenhouses, grow lights, shake your plants, or any other assortment of plant care hacks, there are a variety of extra steps you can take to help your plants thrive. One of these popular hacks is to water your plants with pasta water, but does it actually work?

The surprising benefits of pasta water for your plants

In an increasingly climate-conscious world, many people are looking for any way they can to be more zero-waste — especially in the kitchen. Luckily, plants can greatly benefit from the unique properties of pasta water, which means you don't have to toss out nearly as much. Plants need minerals and vitamins to grow large and healthy, and pasta water usually contains a lot of these vital minerals, according to Green Shack.

In fact, almost any cooking water contains an array of incredibly beneficial minerals that your plants can benefit from. Things like pasta and rice are uniquely beneficial, though, because they're rich in starch. Don't just immediately dump your boiling pasta water straight into your plants, though. First of all, you need to make sure not to salt your pasta water. Penn State University warns that excess sodium will slowly kill your plants, whether indoors or out. Also, make sure to let your water come to room temperature so the heat doesn't shock the roots.

How to use pasta water

There are a few different ways to prepare water to make sure it's suitable for your plants, as well as things to keep in mind afterward. As stated earlier, you cannot salt your pasta water if you intend to use it to fertilize your plants. That being said, according to Green Shack, salted pasta water can be useful for getting rid of weeds, since the excess sodium kills them. On the flip side, if your natural tap water is sodium- or salt-rich, unsalted pasta water can help break up salt deposits in your plant's soil, per Hydroponics Daily.

Another thing to avoid adding to your pasta water is any form of yeast, warns Your Indoor Herbs and Garden. The starch and yeast will combine and begin to ferment, which at best will stunt your plant, and at worst kill it. However, you can ferment your pasta water separately with sugar and milk, which will enhance its nutritional properties.