Is Pasta Water Good for Succulents & Houseplants?(2020)

Pasta water is rich in nutritional content and has been often used for making juicy sauces, for skincare and hair care routines for many decades. The excess nutrition helps in nourishing the skin and also promotes better hair growth. However I had this query when I started out gardening, that can I use the pasta water for enriching the soil health and for nourishing my plants. So,

Is pasta water good for succulents? Pasta water is rich in starch content & also contains traces of minerals, amino acids & vitamins which helps in nourishing the soil & promotes better growth of the succulents & other houseplants.

Can you give plants pasta water?

Pasta water is the side product you get while making pasta. It can be used for a variety of purposes but commonly it is being treated as waste material.
The pasta water is rich in a variety of minerals and starch, so instead of just letting it go all to waste, you can use them for other purposes like for skincare routines or for fertilizing your succulents & other green plants. So yes watering plants with pasta water helps them to grow better and can act as a tonic.
  • As pasta water is mainly composed of flour, boiling it with water causes the excess starch to flow straight into the water and this creates a cloudy white looking liquid which is rich in nutrients.

Pros of watering plants with starch water

  • Pasta water is super rich in starch content which helps in keeping the plant healthy and in promoting theirs all overgrowth. It acts as a totally organic dose of vitamins and minerals which will boost plant growth.
  • The pasta water is extremely rich in starch content and has very low concentrations of elements like nitrogen, potassium, etc. This is just perfect because succulents and all other plants love starch however the presence of higher amounts of the other elements could have created problems, but as the concentration is low, this suits the purpose well.
  • Generally with time, the succulent will end up sucking all the essential nutrients from the soil and this is why everyone is advised to apply fertilizers at least once a year. Overfertilizing can also hamper plant growth. So using pasta water is a great way to provide succulent soil with some extra support.
  • Pasta water is something which normally you”d have drained down the sink. So this natural fertilizer is something which you kinda get as a bonus for preparing pasta and hence is highly cost-effective.
  • Because of the high starch content, the pasta water also promotes the development of beneficial microbes in the soil. This is particularly important for potted succulents as the soil of the potted plants often time fail to encourage the growth of these microbes owing to the limited soil stock. The existence of a rich microflora in the soil encourages a better breakdown of the organic components of the soil and this in turn provides the plant with better nutrition.

Things to Keep in Mind while using Pasta water on succulents or any other plants

  • Always collect the excess starch water after boiling the pasta before adding any kind of salt or other spices to them. Put the excess water in a separate bowl and then continue with adding salt and other stuff. Plants don’t have any need for excess salt or any other material. Pasta water with salt can do more harm to the plants than any good. Salty water can damage the roots which in turn will hamper its ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil (source).
  • Let the water cool down before watering the succulents. In case you have boiled the pasta depending on the weather it can take some time for the water to get to room temperature.
  • You do not need to water the succulents with pasta water every single week! This is something you can do once in a while. Succulents just need the basic starch water and in case the pasta contains artificial flavors it is best not to water the succulents with this. Try to avoid using the water from scented or other spicy varieties of pasta and go for plain ones.

How to make Pasta water fertilizer for succulents

  • Take the required quantity of pasta in a utensil and add at least three times the water in it.
  • Mix them all together and let the pasta soak in the water for some time(30 minutes to an hour).
  • Now you can boil them and constantly stir the pasta.
  • At last, just before adding any salt or sauce, collect the excess water in a separate container.
  • Dilute it several times with water to reduce the concentration. You can add excess water to about three times the pasta water you have.
  • Let it cool down and then pour it directly onto the pot soil and avoid watering the leaves or branches.

What kind of Pasta is better suited to be used for this purpose?

You can use any type of pizza as long as it is not strongly scented or have artificial flavors in them for this purpose. Use plain and simple good old varieties of pasta for the purpose of watering succulents. It can be:

  • Gnocchi
  • Macaroni
  • Lasagna
  • Rigatoni
  • Linguine
  • Fettuccine or pasta of any other type
pasta for watering succulents
Photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash

As long as you separate the excess boiled water out, and then proceed with your cooking process of adding salt and other items, it will be just fine!

Read: Is Rice Water Good for Succulents? (Full Study-2020)

How often to water succulents with Pasta water

In case, you fertilize your succulents once a year, you can consider watering your succulents with pasta water maybe once every few weeks or once a month. This is a good practice you can adhere to which can help your succulents to flourish better in the longer run.

It is extremely hard to predict the perfect number of times you should use pasta water on your plants as it depends hugely on your succulent type, weather conditions, soil mix type. You can also try watering them with this multiple times a month but in those cases, you need to keep an extra sharp eye over the health of the succulents. If they are doing well with that you can keep up with the practice.

  • However, overwatering or using pasta water more frequently can in turn harm the succulents. So to be just safe try doing this once every few weeks.

 Can You substitute fertilizers with Pasta water?

Pasta water can never replace proper fertilizers. Fertilizers consist of optimized amounts of nutrients that nourish the soil instantly. Hence it is important to fertilize your succulents at least once a year especially during the start of their growing period.

  • Rest of the year, you can use small doses of mini fertilizers like rice water or pasta water as an add on support. But they can never be an alternative for a proper fertilizer.

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Practices to Adhere by while using Pasta Water on Succulents

  • Moderation is the key to everything! The pasta was being extremely rich in starch content promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the soil. However, if used on a regular basis this can lead to the enormous growth of micro9bes in the soil which can be harmful to the root health.
  • Never store pasta water for weeks! If possible try to use fresh supplies for watering the plants. Storing the water for days enhances the chances of bacterial growth in the water.
  • Always try diluting the pasta water several times with water before applying them to the soil. Also, whenever I try this with a new succulent I keep a sharp eye over the succulent health for the next few days to see how they react with this new arrangement.

Almost all plants love getting a supply of starch-rich pasta water from time to time. Rarely they show signs of stress which can happen if you water them frequently with the pasta water. But this also depends on other factors like,

  • The kind of soil you have in place
  • The nutrition content of the soil
  • the pH of the soil
  • Kind of succulent you have and its age

So monitor your plants especially when you are trying new experiments. Whenever you water your plants observe them properly to make sure they are not showcasing any odd signs and are growing healthily.

How to save Pasta water & how long can you save pasta water?

Pasta water is the side product of boiling pasta with water. As it’s a totally organic product, it will go bad within a few days. It can go bad roughly within 2 to 3 days. If you wanna make it last longer then consider refrigerating it which can increase its longevity to a week. However, for best results try to use fresher supplies instead of using stored ones.


Unsalted pasta water is super stuffed with nutrients that can promote better growth of the succulents. However always remember to never use the pasta water in case you have already added herbs, spices, salt, or sauces into it. That will damage the plant health. Avoid directly pouring the boiled water onto the soil and let it cool off a bit. Also always dilute it several times with more water before watering the succulents and other plants.

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So will you use pasta water for watering your succulents in the future? Let me know in the comments…