Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow a Rice Plant

By Christian Killian

Rice is an important staple in the world economy, as well as in most people's diets. Growing your own rice plant can be a rewarding process. Your goal is recreating the environment of the rice patty, in which rice is typically grown. With a little bit of work and a lot of patience, you can harvest homegrown brown rice to enjoy year-round. The growing process requires very little maintenance, and only a small investment in equipment to produce a great staple for your pantry.

Select the rice you wish to plant, if you choose to use rice grains instead of rice seed. An organic long-grain brown rice is the best, as it has experienced the least processing. White rice will not sprout because of the amount of processing it's been through.

Fill your plastic buckets or aquarium with 6 inches of potting soil. Pour water into the container until it's 2 inches above the top of the soil.

Put a handful of long-grain brown rice or rice seed into the planting container. Scatter the rice or seeds evenly; they will sink to the top of the soil, under the water.

Place your planting container in a sunny area; rice thrives in a warm climate. Move the containers throughout the day, if needed, to ensure they receive direct sunlight all day. Place a heat lamp over the containers if you are growing your rice indoors.

Maintain the water level in your planting container at 2 inches above the soil level until the sprouts teach 5 to 6 inches in height.

Increase the water level in your container to 4 inches deep to ensures the sprouts have enough water to complete their growth process. Allow the water level in the container to dissipate gradually -- don't add any more water. Little or no standing water should be left in the container when the plants reach their harvest stage, typically in four months.

Harvest your rice stalks when they change from green to a gold. Cut the stalks with garden shears or a sharp knife. Wrap them in newspaper and allow them to dry in a warm place for two to three weeks before roasting.


Things You Will Need

  • Brown rice or rice seeds
  • Clean plastic buckets or aquarium
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Heat lamp or warm, sunny area
  • Garden shears or sharp knife
  • Newspaper


  • An aquarium works well if you're growing your rice under heat lamps.

About the Author


Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.