En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 17, 2010

From: Lafayette, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: Can I grow wild rice in green house conditions?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Can I grow Zizania aquatica (wild rice) in green house conditions?


Maybe, but Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering why you want to. Are you doing this to complement your greenhouse tomatoes?

For proper growth, plants need an energy source (light), a carbon source (carbon dioxide), mineral nutrients (usually from the soil), water, and an appropriate temperature. All of these conditions can be met in a green house. However, to sucessfully grow Zizania aquatica (Annual wildrice), you are going to need to approximate its natural growing conditions.

I have excerpted a portion of an article from the USDA concerning growing conditions. Click on the link to see the full article.

Physical and chemical conditions that appear best for the growth of wild rice in Michigan are:
1. Shallow clear water, 1 to 3 feet deep. 
2. Organic soil 6 inches or more in depth and preferably
with some calcareous material such as snail shells, etc.
3. A slight movement of water through the area during the
growing season. Best location is near the mouth of a
4. Fluctuations of water level less than 6 inches throughout
the growing season when the wild rice is in the floating-
leaf stage. 
5. An absence of carp Cyprinus carpio
6. Waters having a PH of 6.8 to 8.8; a sulfate ion
concentration of under 10 ppm and a total alkalinity of

I'm including several links with information about characteristics and growing of wild rice in the US, and its use in wetlands restoration.

University of Minnesota

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Global Wetlands










More General Botany Questions

Why plants grow in very hot or very cold areas from Edison NJ
October 06, 2013 - Why can some plants grow where very cold or very hot?
view the full question and answer

Liquid glucose as substitute for sunlight from New York City
December 16, 2012 - I am curious to find out whether liquid glucose can be poured as water for mung bean plants as substitute for no sunlight. Is the possible? Will a specific amount of glucose need to be used? Can liqui...
view the full question and answer

Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
May 17, 2012 - Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
view the full question and answer

Kerrville Soil for Vegetables
May 03, 2012 - We are moving to our vacation home in Kerrville, TX and plan on putting in a vegetable garden on the sunny north side of our house. I'm assuming that your answer to the person inquiring about "soil...
view the full question and answer

The most important part of growing plants.
February 21, 2008 - In your opinion what is the most important part of growing plants.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center