Is Boiled Corn Water Good for Plants? 6 Things To Know

Do you have droopy, wilted plants? Is your garden soil unsuitable for growing plants? You might have a solution to these problems right in your kitchen – boiled corn water!

Boiled corn water is very good for your plants. The boiled water has nutrients and minerals that boost plant growth and nourish the soil. Some nutrients leak out of the corn during the boiling process and remain stored in the water. These nutrients can help enrich your plants.

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain why boiled corn water is good for plants, and I’ll talk about a few things you should know about their nutritional value and how to use them. So let’s dive in!

Things to Know About Using Boiled Corn Water for Plants

Boiled corn water is an oft-wasted resource. Many of us cook our food daily and simply throw away the water we use to boil corn, rice, or pasta. However, that water can be extremely helpful in providing essential nutrients to plants.

When you boil corn, some of the nutrients and minerals in it leak out into the water. Many of the nutrients contained in boiled corn water are the same nutrients that plants need. So, using boiled corn water is really beneficial to your plants.

Here are a few things to know about how boiled corn water helps in your garden.

1. It Is a Good Source of Starch

If you’ve ever opened a botany or health book, you’ve probably heard of starch. But what does it actually do, and why do plants need it?

First, let me quickly explain how plants use photosynthesis to produce food for themselves.

In photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to produce glucose, a type of sugar. This glucose fuels the plant and provides energy for it to grow. Plants also use glucose to produce other substances like starch or cellulose. Cellulose is used to build and strengthen cell walls, while starch is stored as an extra food source.

Thus, starch is a backup source of food for the plant in case it cannot produce enough glucose.

So, when you add boiled corn water to plants, you provide more starch. Some of the starch in corn leaks into the water when you boil it. Normally, you would just throw this away. But if you have plants, you can provide them with that excess starch.

This way, the plants have an alternate source of energy, which can boost their growth and make them healthier.

2. It Can Act as a Mild Fertilizer

Fertilizers are widely used by big and small farmers and gardeners to provide essential nutrients to plants. But did you know that boiled corn water can also be used as a fertilizer?

Boiled corn water contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium – the three key fertilizer ingredients. These are the main elements needed for plants to grow.

However, boiled corn water doesn’t contain enough of these elements to provide for all of your plant’s nutritional needs. So you can’t use it as a complete substitute for regular fertilizer.

But you can use it to supplement the fertilizer. If your plants need a little more nutrition than the fertilizer provides, you can use boiled corn water to provide that extra nutrition.

3. Different Types of Corn Provide Different Nutrients

Corn has many varieties, from popcorn to sweet corn and flint corn to dent corn. Of these, popcorn and sweet corn are the two most popular varieties. Each type has differing amounts of the nutrients mentioned above.

Here’s a quick look at the nutrients in popcorn and sweet corn:


As you know, popcorn is a popular snack item for movies and casual gatherings. However, unlike many other snack items, popcorn is actually quite healthy.

Here are a few nutrients found in popcorn that can boost plant growth:

  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Copper (Cu)

Of these, phosphorus is one of the main nutrients that plants need. The others may not be as necessary to plant growth, but they help boost plant growth and activity.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is another popular delicacy, famous for its sweeter taste. It, too, contains several nutrients that can boost plant growth and activity.

Here are a few nutrients in sweet corn that are useful to plants:

  • Potassium (K)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Copper (Cu)

Of these, potassium is the most important nutrient needed for plants.

4. It Can Be an Eco-Friendly Pesticide

A huge problem for most gardeners is pests. These can be in the form of animals or birds eating your crops, but more commonly are insects or mites.

Usually, the only way to get rid of pests would be to buy a commercial pesticide. However, some commercial pesticides can be harmful to your plants.

An easy solution to this problem is boiled corn water. It can be used to kill pests or prevent them from returning. It can even kill the eggs so that they don’t hatch.

Put the water in a spray bottle or applicator to use it as a pesticide. Spray the leaves, stems, and base of the plants thoroughly to prevent the pests from returning.

5. It Can Nourish Soil and Improve Its Quality

Earlier in this article, I talked about the nutrients found in corn and how they seep into the water as you boil it. These nutrients are extremely helpful in fertilizing the soil and improving its quality. However, some plants or mushrooms/fungi could leach the soil of usable nutrients.

Watering your garden is a normal routine, but adding boiled corn water to that routine could nourish your soil and replenish lost nutrients. Thus, boiled corn water is a perfect, eco-friendly method of replenishing dry, nutrient-deficient soil.

6. It Can Boost Plant Growth

Since boiled corn water contains so many useful nutrients, it can help your plants grow faster.

Plants use energy from the sun (sunlight) to produce glucose, which fuels plant growth. However, sunlight isn’t available at night, yet plants continue growing, even in the dark. The reason they can do so is starch.

Plants store starch during the day and then use it at night to continue growing. However, if they can’t store enough starch, they grow slower. Adding corn water to your soil can provide that extra starch to help them grow faster.

How to Use Boiled Corn Water

Now that I’ve covered the many benefits of using boiled corn water for your plants, let’s discuss how to use it. First, you have to prepare your corn water.

This is how to prepare boiled corn water on a stove:

  1. Add water to a saucepan and heat it until it’s boiling.
  2. Add corn to the boiling water and continue boiling for 15-20 minutes before removing it from the stove.
  3. After removing the corn, strain the water into a separate container.
  4. Let it cool down to room temperature or cooler.

Once your corn water is ready, you can apply it to your plants. However, the method of application depends on how succulent the plant is.

For Water-Loving Plants

If your plants require a lot of water, you can just pour the water directly into the soil surrounding it or on the plant itself. For indoor plants, you can simply empty the water into the plant container.

The corn water will seep into the soil, where it can be absorbed through the roots. This method is perfect for plants that require a high amount of water.

For Succulent Plants

You’ll need a different method for plants that require a smaller amount of water and respond negatively to high amounts, like succulent plants. Here, it’s best to transfer the corn water to a spray bottle and occasionally mist it over your plants. Be sure to use a spray bottle that produces a fine, continuous mist.

Final Thoughts

Boiled corn water is a useful addition to your gardening routine because it provides multiple benefits. It can help replenish lost nutrients in the soil, boost plant growth, act as a natural but mild fertilizer, and more.

Boiled corn water contains many nutrients that plants need, like starch and essential elements such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Thus, instead of throwing this water away (as we normally would), it makes more sense to use it as a supplement for your plants.

Dr. Moritz Picot

Dr. Moritz Picot is a horticulture enthusiast and the founder of, where he serves as the lead content writer. He established the website in 2022 as a valuable resource for both gardening aficionados and beginners, compiling all the gardening tips he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Alex has a passion for nurturing plants, transforming backyards into inviting spaces, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

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