Is Pasta Water Good for Plants? Guide & Gardening Tips

We have some great news – leftover pasta water can be used to water your plants. Cooled pasta water can be poured directly onto the plant soil or misted with a spray bottle. It’s a natural fertilizer that promotes growth, will save you money, and is environmentally friendly. This has got to make you smile!

We know many of you have a veggie garden you love and care for, and you’re also focused on being eco-friendly and reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible – just as we are! So anything we can conserve, reuse, and recycle – gets the thumbs up! We’ve had numerous questions from avid gardeners asking ‘is pasta water good for plants?’

We dedicate our chat today to sharing with you the benefits of pasta water, how to use it, and which plants it helps the most.

Grab a coffee, put your feet up and let’s get started!

What is Pasta Water?

Pasta water is the residual water from cooking pasta. This starch rich water is packed with minerals and nutrition, which can be reused in the garden to hydrate and feed your veggies and fruit trees. Any pasta is great to use, and here are some suggestions to name a few:

  • Fettucini
  • Lasagne
  • Macaroni
  • Penne
  • Spaghetti
Benefits of pasta water for garden

The Benefits Of Using Pasta Water On Plants

Pasta water provides a sustainable water source for your plants that conserves water and saves money. It is chemical-free, so great for the environment. By reusing water from the kitchen that is actually healthy and good for your plants, you can feel confident you’re doing your bit toward the planet.

Fertilizers And Provides Nutrients

Pasta water is packed with a range of minerals including:

  • Nitrogen
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Zinc
  • Potassium

Stimulates Growth And Prevents Disease

Pasta is around 25% carbohydrates and as we know, carbohydrates are great for energy. Interestingly, plants love starch! Starchy water provides essential energy and promotes healthy growth.

The cooking water from pasta comes complete with essential nutrients and minerals to encourage strong, healthy plants which are more resistant to disease. It’s a natural fertilizer.

Starchy water is good for soil health too. It feeds beneficial microbes in the soil, protecting against disease. It also has an ideal pH of 7, which is a happy environment for most plants and veggies – neither too acidic nor too alkaline.


Rose lovers will be delighted to know that pasta water can be used in your rose garden. Besides the amazing nutritional benefit, it also prevents yellow spot and is a great fertilizer that will stimulate bright, healthy flowers.

watering rose with pasta water

Tomato Plants

Anything that encourages our tomato plants to thrive and reap good produce, is a winner. Pasta water is ideal for these veggies. It prevents blossom end rot and also boosts flowering.

Microbes For The Soil

Pasta contains egg, flour, and water, which once cooked become starch. This starch content remains in the leftover cooking water and provides valuable food for the microbes in garden soil.

Good For The Environment

Pasta water is chemical-free, so it’s great for the planet! This watering method also conserves water, allows us to reuse and recycle, and – not to mention – is great on the hip pocket too. We love pasta water at the Garden Bench Top. It’s fantastic for watering all our plants and keeping our veggie patch healthy.

How to Use Pasta Water On Your Plants

Spraying pasta water on garden

Next time you are cooking pasta, keep the leftover pasta water – your garden will love you for it!

Let’s walk you through how to use pasta water on your plants:

  1. Drain the excess water from the cooked pasta and set it aside
  2. Allow it to cool to room temperature and don’t apply boiling water to your plants (you won’t be happy with the outcome)
  3. Pasta water can be poured directly onto plant soil or applied to leaves and foliage from a spray bottle
  4. If the mixture is too thick to spray, just add little water to dilute it

Bottom Watering with Pasta Water

Bottom watering is an ideal method to encourage root development, avoid overwatering and feed your plants. It’s particularly useful for plants that do not like wet leaves, such as tomatoes.

Here is a quick and simple guide to bottom watering:

  1. Sit your pot planter in a larger, saucer-like container
  2. Pour pasta water into the container to a depth of 1-1.5 inches
  3. Leave the plant to absorb the water through the roots (approx 20 minutes)
  4. Use your finger to test when the plant soil is moist (do not allow it to get soaking wet)
  5. Once moist, remove your planter and place it somewhere to allow roots to drain and air sufficiently

What Are The Precautions When Using Pasta Water

There are important precautions to note when using pasta water. Although this is an amazing byproduct of your kitchen, it can also be harmful to plants if applied incorrectly or overused. Let’s dive into some major points to consider.

Fresh Pasta Water

Pasta water that has been sitting for days becomes too starchy, is susceptible to bacterial growth, and will be more harmful to your plant. We recommend:

  • Don’t use water that has been sitting overnight
  • Discard cooking water that is very cloudy
  • We recommend using water on the same day as cooking
  • Ensure you use unsalted pasta water with no additional seasoning either


Too much watering will overload your veggies with energy-packed carbohydrates which can leave them vulnerable to sickness and disease.


Pasta contains salt, so limit watering to prevent too much sodium absorption. Salt overload can result in inconsistent growth, reduced nitrogen uptake, and interference with reproduction. Hold off on the added salt during cooking.


Large quantities of B vitamins can be toxic, to both humans and plants. The overuse of pasta water can lead to sickness and the death of your plants.

Alkaline Water

Be mindful that leftover water sitting for too long may become alkaline (meaning a pH above 7). Soil pH that is too alkaline is hazardous for your plants, as it impedes the root’s ability to uptake nutrients. So we recommend using same-day pasta water.

Help With Transplant Shock

Using pasta water on your plants that have been transplanted can assist with recovery and provide essential nutrients and minerals. This added boost will promote faster adjustment to their new surroundings.

Which Plants Will Benefit The Most From Pasta Water

The starchy water from cooked pasta is good for growing all types of plants. This is great news for home gardeners with veggies and fruit trees.

watering succulents with water


As succulents gain most of their nutrients from the soil, pasta water is ideal for providing a healthy soil environment rich in microorganisms. Water succulents with misting from a spray bottle. This will provide beneficial nutrients and hydration without overwatering. Apply all over leaves and spray onto the topsoil.

Final Thoughts on Is Pasta Water Good for Plants

So the next time you cook pasta, don’t toss out that water! Save it and use it on your plants instead. Not only is this a great way to recycle and reduce your waste, but this natural fertilizer will also boost plant growth and promote healthy foliage. It’s also money-saving and environmentally friendly – a win-win. Be sure not to overwater, as too much pasta water can be hazardous to your plants. If you’re looking for a great way to water your plants and save money, pasta water is definitely the way to go.

Happy gardening!