How to Grow Rice

Learn how to cultivate a worldwide staple and ornamental plant with these easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.
Rows of Rice Plants

Rows of Rice Plants

Rice is a cash crop that feeds millions of people around the world, but you can also grow it ornamentally.

Ornamental rice can be found at specialty garden centers and mail-order nurseries. Check the tag or ask a garden center representative to see if the variety is invasive. If it is, plant it in a lined pond only.

If your pond's not lined, mesh containers should help to keep plants in check. These containers allow fresh water in and out but will keep the roots at bay. Use soil-less media designed for ponds since it won't color, cloud, float away or change the pH of the water.

Growing rice from seed isn't as hard as you may think:

  • Soak the seeds in water for about 36 hours and allow to dry for another 24 hours.
  • Fill a bucket with 6 inches of a mixture of soil and compost.
  • Add about 5 inches of water to cover the soil.
  • Evenly spread the seeds in the bucket and place in a warm, sunny area.
  • Periodically add more water to maintain a constant 5-inch depth as the plants grow.


Depending on the type of rice and your climate, it can take up to 160 days before you can harvest any grain. But don't expect a harvest big enough for a good meal. If you want rice by the pound, that's better left to the professionals.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Buy and Plant Pansies

Here's how to get the best bloom for both spring and fall.

Learn How to Start Seedlings on a Windowsill

Get your garden started indoors.

How to Grow Sesame

Want to make your own sesame seed tahini or hamburger bun topping? Try growing nutrient-packed sesame.

How to Plant a Tree

To give your new tree a good chance for success, follow these simple planting instructions.

How to Plant a Cutting Garden

Use these tips to grow bouquets of fresh flowers right outside your back door.

Planting Trees

Use these planting tips to ensure your trees get the best start possible.

Planting Bulbs in Containers

Follow these easy steps for planting bulbs in containers and you'll have a display that brings spring to your doorstep.

Calculating the Number of Bulbs to Buy

Use this guide to decide how to buy and plant bulbs.

Planting Bulbs

Planting spring-flowering bulbs is easy. The hardest part may be deciding which flowers and how many to plant in your garden.

Seek Cover: Grow Groundcover Plants

Use low-growing perennials and shrubs as groundcovers to cover slopes or to replace high-maintenance lawns.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Living Big Sky

6:30am | 5:30c

Living Big Sky

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Home Town

10am | 9c

Home Town

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Risky Builders

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Risky Builders

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.