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Wild Rice: Planting and Care

Wild Rice is an attractive plant but one that can provide many unique growth opportunities. For most homes, it will create an excellent source of high-quality rice that can be cleaned, prepared, eaten, served to animals, or used for compost.

Zizania palustris (northern wild rice): Go Botany

Over the years, this plant has become a more popular option for some homeowners due to these benefits. That said, it will require careful management and several steps to ensure that it is handled smoothly, efficiently, and in a way that makes sense for homeowners.

Growth Traits of the Wild Rice Plant

Unlike many other plants, this growth must be planted in water and immersed in this liquid. Doing so helps to keep it growing smoothly and minimizes any difficulties.

At the height of its growth, you'll see basal and alternate leaves on the water of about 8-24 inches in length. The sheaths should lack hair, and the nodes and steams should be smooth. You may also notice large and dense steams that stay clustered together wherever you plant your rice.

Wild Rice Plant Appearance

Under the water, this plant should have separate staminate flowers on the lower branches. These should be around 9-24 inches and spread widely in rather loose arrangements. The upper limbs will have a pistillate appearance, with ascending branches that go up at an even rate.

Typically, each spikelet on the plant's branches will grow flowers, creating a blend of many blooms on each branch of the stem. A good rice plant of this type can be surprisingly attractive, though it is likely that you'll get little chance to see it, thanks to its unique underwater growth cycle and needs.

Wild Rice Plant Bloom Details

Expect this plant to fruit in early July and throughout October. The blooms of this plant usually have a light white color that makes them relatively neutral compared to other shades.

Owners of this plant can harvest the rice growths in the flowers. After gathering the individual rice grains, you can sell them as a food source for farms or prepare them for human consumption. As a result, you can eat them yourself or sell them to others, increasing the value of this plant.

Wild Rice Plant Planting Information

Planting wild rice requires firm soil and plenty of sun. It will need as much exposure to the sun as possible to help fuel its growth. The more, the better. Try to position it to get minimal shade from nearby buildings or trees.

Open areas often work best for getting the most sun. However, you can usually find this rice just about anywhere you can find a good body of water.