How to Boil Water for Plants


Boiled and boiling water have two common uses for home gardeners. First, some gardeners prefer to sterilize their water before hydrating seeds, seedlings and juvenile plants to reduce the possibilities of introducing diseases to the sensitive plants. Second, boiling water can be an effective all-natural herbicide when poured onto a weed. Incorporate the act of boiling water into your gardening routine for a simple and effective solution to these gardening issues.

How to Sterilize Water to Hydrate Plants

Step 1

Pour the amount of water you need into a kitchen pot. Set the pot onto your stove on high heat until the water starts boiling. How soon it begins to boil varies according to your cookware and your home's altitude.

Step 2

Keep the water boiling for five minutes to effectively sterilize the liquid. Turn the stove burner off after the water has been boiling for five minutes and set the pot aside to cool.

Step 3

Water your plants with it as soon as the water is at room temperature.

Using Boiling Water to Kill Plants

Step 1

Boil water. Pour the boiling water onto the plant, being careful to cover all exposed portions of the plant. The heat will collapse the plant's cell structure and kill it.

Step 2

Wait 24 hours and observe the plant. Some hardy plants, such as woody vines, may not die completely after a single treatment. The plant needs re-treatment if its vegetation is still crisp and green.

Step 3

Pour boiling water on the plant again or as needed until the plant dies.

Tips and Warnings

  • Practice caution when handling boiling water to avoid scalding yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen pot
  • Stove
  • Jug or spray bottle (optional)


  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener"; Karan Davis Cutler, et al.; 1997
Keywords: boil water, kill plants, water plants

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.