Skip to Content

Corn Water For Plants: The Benefits Explained

If you’re looking for a way to water your plants without using up so much time and money, consider using corn water.

Corn water is the liquid that’s leftover after you’ve boiled corn on the cob, or from a can of corn kernels and it can be used to help your garden flourish. 

Use starchy water to water your plants, as it has natural sugars that can help moisturize and nourish their growth and development.

In this article, you’ll learn many things about corn water for plants—from its multiple benefits to the right way to use it. 

Is Boiled Corn Water Good for Plants?

Corn water for plants

Yes, boiled corn water is excellent for plants, whether they are outdoor plants or indoor plants. Boiling high-starch vegetables like corn in water produces starchy, sometimes salty water. 

This starchy water is not only high in carbohydrates; it also contains a ton of beneficial minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. These vitamins and minerals drain into the soil and make it more fertile. 

The roots of the plants absorb these minerals and vitamins from the soil and use them to boost their growth. Since corn water is high in starch, it can also serve as a mild fertilizer in plants. 

Warning Note:

The temperature of boiled corn water shouldn’t be too hot for plants to handle. Remember to let it cool a bit before using it on plants. 

Other underutilized kitchen byproducts are rice water and potato water. Applying this water from kitchen by-products to your plants adds the macronutrient Potassium(K), which promotes photosynthesis and water transport in plants.

This saves you from buying fertilizer while organically treating plant nutrient deficiency.
See the helpful article on the benefits of using banana peel water on plants.

I also use boiled egg water on my plants in addition to rice water and banana peels because it adds calcium to the mix. This is an essential mineral used by plants for stronger stems and leaves.
Here is my detailed article describing how to use boiled egg water on plants.

The Benefits of Corn Water for Plants:

  • Environmentally friendly Source of fertilizer for plants
  • Easy to obtain and readily available (from everyday cooking)
  • Allows us to reuse waste material from the kitchen.
  • Save on the cost of purchasing Fertilizer
  • Prevents burns associated with inorganic fertilizer application
  • Promotes healthy bacteria population within the soil
  • Organic method of pest control
  • Can be applied through Top wateringBottom Watering or Misting.
  • Boosts plant growth 
  • Increases fruit and crop production

The Benefits Explained:

Enhances Plant Growth:

Plants can suffer from slow growth due to inadequate nutrients in the ground. Corn water is packed with minerals and nutrients essential for plant growth. 

By the regular use of corn water, you can prevent stunted growth and boost the development of your plant. 

Furthermore, corn water can support the growth of a certain bacteria called lactobacillus. This bacteria is responsible for improving the development of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. 

The beneficial association between plants and mycorrhizal fungi further boosts the growth of plants.

Nourishes the Soil:

Corn water contains various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. If you use it on your plant, it nourishes the soil surrounding the plant. It also makes up for any nutritional deficiency in the ground. 

Corn water is high in starch. The microbes present in the soil feed on the starch present in corn water. They grow and multiply in number. 

The increased population of microbes decomposes organic matter in the soil leading to more nutrients being deposited into the soil. This increases the nutritional value of the soil and enhances its fertility. 

Acts as a Fertilizer:

Corn water is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. A fertilizer is composed mainly of these essential nutrients as they support the plant’s growth and strengthen the plant. Hence, corn water is used as a mild fertilizer for plants. 

Corn water is not a replacement for a regular fertilizer for most plants. You should fertilize your plant with a regular fertilizer at least twice a year. 

But corn water can be used as regular fertilizer for indoor plants as they have low nutritional needs. 

Eliminates Pests:

Another benefit of using corn water is its ability to act as a pesticide. When growing plants, it is inevitable to avoid a pest infestation in your garden. 

You will always find aphids, flies, caterpillars, and other insects feeding off your plants and damaging them.

To kill them, you can use a chemical pesticide. However, a chemical pesticide is harmful to plants. So, it is better to opt for a more natural solution to your pest problem. This natural solution is using corn water on your plants. 

Corn water not only improves the plant’s growth but also gets rid of any insects and pests ruining your beautiful garden. 

How does Starch Benefit Plants?

Plants use light from the sun and water from the soil to produce sugar from photosynthesis. The sugar produced is mostly glucose. Plants use glucose to carry out all cellular activities. 

The excess glucose is stored in the form of starch in the plant body. It is primarily stored in storage organs like tubers of potato plants, seeds, and roots of plants, or the chloroplast as granules. 

When the plant undergoes an energy deficit, it releases special enzymes to break the structure of the stored starch. This breakdown of starch produces carbon that is used to make sucrose. Sucrose travels throughout the plant body until it reaches the cells lacking in energy and nourishes them. 

Also, the carbon discharged from the breakdown of starch can be helpful in cell maintenance and growth. 

Corn Water Recipe:

What You’ll Need:

  • Water
  • Canned Corn
  • Saucepan 

How to Make Corn Water: 

  1. Pour water into a saucepan and put it on the stove. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Cut the can open and toss the corn kernels into the water. 
  3. Cook the corn kernels in the boiling water for 20 minutes. 
  4. After the corn kernels are boiled, strain the leftover water into a separate container. 
  5. Pour the corn water on your plants or store it in a cool place until needed. 
  6. Remember to use the corn water within five days before it spoils. 

How to Apply Corn Water to Plants?

Now that you know how to make corn water, you must be wondering how to use it on plants. There are many ways to apply corn water to plants. The easiest method is to pour it directly on your plants. 

After straining the corn water in a separate container, spill the container into your plants. I highly recommend this method for water-loving plants. You can also pour the corn water directly into your indoor plants. 

This will not only provide them with minerals and nutrients, but it will also fulfill their water requirement. So, you won’t need to water them separately. 

Warning Note:

However, pouring the corn water directly might not be a good idea for some plants like succulent plants. Succulent plants have minimal water requirements as they mostly grow in the desert. They are adapted to the harsh climate of the wasteland. 

If you directly pour the corn water onto them, this will lead to over-watering. The succulent plants will suffer from chlorosis and other health conditions. 

To avoid this, I recommend misting the corn water onto the desert-loving plants. By misting, these plants will receive the benefits of corn water without any drawbacks. 

Can the Corn Cob and Husks be used as Fertilizer?

The answer is YES. Corn husks are the outermost covering of corn. They protect the developing corn from environmental conditions and pests. 

They still remain intact to the corn even after the corn matures. Corn husks are mostly thrown away after peeling them off the corn to expose the corn kernels for cooking. 

Corn cobs are the central part of corn. They are the leftover, hard part of the corn after removing the corn kernels. 

They support the corn kernels and give shape to corn. They are also thrown away after extracting the corn kernels. 

Benefits of Using Corn Cob and Husks:

Although corn husks and cobs are not edible, they are not entirely useless. They can be used as compost which is a better alternative to discarding them altogether. 

They are food waste which makes them eco-friendly. This property also makes them better than artificial fertilizers, which harm the environment. 

In addition to this, corn husks and corn cobs don’t smell and have a high decomposition rate. However, corn cobs require a little more time to decay than corn husks, but they still decompose faster than other waste materials. 

Other than using fresh corn husks and corn cobs as compost, you can compost rotting corn husk and cobs too. 

Decaying corn husks and cobs are more beneficial than fresh ones as they are already halfway through the decomposition process. This makes it easier to compost them. 

Composting parts of corn like corn husks and cobs adds nutritional value to the soil. They increase the fertility of the earth. 

Worms are more attracted to the soil with corn husk and cob compost in it. The worms aerate the soil and boost the growth of plants in the ground. 

Can I use Other Cooking Water on plants?

Yes, you can. You can use the cooking water from vegetables on plants. The cooked vegetables should be high in starch like potatoes. 

Using the starchy water on your plant will boost their growth and make them greener and healthier. The nutrients and minerals from the water will increase the minerals content and the vitality of the soil. 

Rice water is also a great alternative to corn water. If you don’t have corn, you should try rice water. It is easy to make and cost-friendly as rice is a part of almost every household. 

Other than various minerals and vitamins, it is abundant in amino acids and zinc. Both these nutrients help strengthen and maintain plants. 

Other than water from cooking vegetables, you can also use the leftover water from the pasta. This starchy and salty water can be used as a fertilizer for plants. It is rich in antioxidants and nourishes the plants. 

The Takeaway

There is a lot of skepticism regarding the use of corn water for plant growth. Most people think it is a scam and does not work. Contrary to popular belief, corn water does work.

It speeds up the growth of plants and nourishes the surrounding soil with its high starch content and nutritional value. 

You can also use corn water as a fertilizer to nurture your plants with some extra minerals and vitamins. 

It is an excellent natural alternative to a chemical pesticide if your plants suffer from a pest problem. It is eco-friendly and inexpensive.

Have you seen our easy-to-use Vegetable Gardening Pro? 
Learn More!