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How to Boil Water for Plants

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

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

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.

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.

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

Using Boiling Water to Kill Plants

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.

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.

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


Things You Will Need

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


  • If you don't need to use the sterilized water right away, you can store it in a jug or spray bottle for future use.


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

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.