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Has anyone grown wild rice?

January 12, 1970

I'm interested in trying to grow a pot of wild rice in my pond this year. Has anyone tried growing it from the rice you buy from the store, or is that type sterile?

I know a source to buy the seed, but was just curious if the stuff in my cupboard was the same?

I don't want to harvest the rice to eat, just want to add another plant to the pond.


Comments (33)

  • southerner_nospam_com

    never grown it but here's a source:


  • misha

    Haven't grown it but have seen it when canoeing in Northern MN - Boundary Waters. Be aware that it's HUGE - growing in several feet of water and reaching 5-7' above that. I'd love to have some, but don't (and can't have) a pond large and deep enough to grow it. If you can, go for it, and let us know how it goes!

  • Gale

    Well..I succeeded in growing a wet pot of mold..~LOL~
    I guess I'll have to break down and buy actual seed...I was afraid to do that, cause then I buy 20 other things if I'm placing an order..can't just order one thing!
    Oh well...I tried......it failed....move on to better things!

    Think spring everyone.........still waiting for the snow to go......

  • herb_wi

    The wild rice you buy to eat is parched (heated) and most likely will not sprout.

    Wild rice comes in different sizes: some HUGE (tall) others not very tall. If I go upriver here I find tall rice. Downriver is short rice. Don't know if these are different varieties or what...

    In nature wild rice seems to grow in bodies of water that have some current moving through -- even very slowly. Not sure if that's a requirement. It also likes a soft boggy bottom and consistent water level. Flooding will kill it.

    I've tried growing wild rice in my slough (where a creek enters a river. Shallow water with boggy bottom. Idea conditions I thought. Rice sprouts very well and grows good, but when the river floods the rice is killed. Can't keep a bed going year to year. Also, muskrats love to tear it up and eat the roots.

  • chris_n

    Haven't grown it but I do know it's an annual. Wild Rice doesn't need moving water but it does need clear water and full sun for the seedlings to sprout and grow.

    Almost all of the wild rice in southern Wisconsin has been lost to the flood/mud/crud syndrome that modern urbanism and agriculture has created. Historically, Lake Mendota had large wild rice beds. Now it is non-existent. In small bodies of water, even if the water is not sullied by run-off, carp usually uproot the seedlings and muddy the water enough to kill it.

    Flooding has increased as well. Runoff in urban areas is about 90%. Farmland runoff, including grassed pasture areas, is about 50%. Natural woodlands and prairie have runoff of less than 1%. In natural systems in the eastern U.S. and midwest, the streams and lakes are fed by ground water and waters rise and fall gradually. In urban/ag areas, the streams are fed by runoff and have quick peaks (floods) after rainfalls. Between the flooding, the mudding from carp and the crudding from runoff, wild rice doesn't have a chance over most of its historical range.

  • greengardener

    I noted the richters.com address, but does anyone have other sources as well for rice or wild rice? Thanks!

  • ferretma

    I bought some late last summer so I don't know if it will come back or not. I bought it in person at Hughes Water Gardens but you might try their "companion site" or email them at water@teleport.com.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Water Garden Shop

  • patclem

    I saw it growing in south Louisiana on a business trip. I thought it was sugar cane when I first saw it - very tall. They build levy's down there in the fields, but not straight ones. They follow the natural contour of the field. Makes for some very interesting lines when viewed from the plane. Considering the stuff grows over thousands of acres, it would make sense that seed would be easy to find down there, maybe the Lafayette or Alexandria LA co-op?

    BTW - you MN folks sure are lucky to be near the Boundary Waters. That is the most beautiful place I've ever been. Spent a week out in the middle of nowhere! I hate black flies!

  • MacDaddy

    The ultimate source for wild rice is:

    Wildlife Nurseries, Inc.
    P.O. Box 2724
    Oshkosh, WIsconsin 54903-2724

    Phone: (920) 231-3780

    They sell "Giant Wild Rice Seed" suitable for planting. You must get it fresh or it won't germinate.
    It's $20 for two quarts of seed. They also sell by the bushel.

    The sell plants too $40 for 100 plants.

  • newyorkrita

    Anyone have experience with wildlife that might be attracted to the wild rice? Sounds like a great plant to bring birds into the backyard, if one has enough room.

    Can it grow in a bog or does it have to be in a pond?

  • citrus_master

    Is there anywhere that I can buy wild rice online at?

  • webfeeet

    You can buy wild rice and black rice at just about any grocery store. Asian markets have several varieties. The black rice labeld as 'Forbidden Rice' sprouts really well.
    I have sprouted lots of it in the aquarium but have never managed to get it to grow large outdoors.

  • citrus_master

    thanks for your help

  • Thuja

    I bought some seed from Wildlife Nurseries, mentioned above by MacDaddy. The rice is growing well and is even blooming. Here's a picture of a male flower:
    A very neat plant!

  • gardengardengardenga


  • ianna


    Wild rice is not a true rice and so not are not the same as Asian rice.

  • herb_wi

    If you have naturally growing wild rice growing near you, you can just harvest the seed during the ripening period and sow it in your marsh.

    In Wis. you need a $9 license and there is a open season during Sept.-Oct. Takes about 3 weeks for all the rice to ripen so you can harvest over a period of time.

    Ducks and geese LOVE wild rice!

  • Belgianpup

    Harvesting wild rice: I think I read about this method in Permaculture: A Designer's Manual. Since wild rice is small & ripens over a few weeks, it was suggested that you anchor pieces of (I think) plastic PVC pipe, capped on one end, with rocks & let the mice do your harvesting for you. They only harvest the ripe grains. This sounds okay, but does mouse spit contain anything undesirable???

    Just a thought....


  • nlin0273

    Oh, don't even begin to tip that subject. Do you know wild rats carries plague.

  • lycopus

    That's why you always want to wash your rice before you eat it. To get the plague off. heh heh.

    It is a beautiful plant, worth growing for it's graceful form alone.

  • herb_wi

    For mice to harvest the Manoomin (wild rice) they would have to swim out to it as it grows in standing water.

    Manoomin needs flowing water, therefore a pond with an outlet and some type of incoming flow. Shallow muddy enlargements of rivers are ideal: Bawaiganaakong.

  • wizodd

    Wild rice grows in many different habitats.

    All of the sources I know of say it requires some water movement.

    That said, I know of stands in the freeway median (about milepost 30 on I95 East of Hudson, WI.) These stands are in places that only seem to contain water during the spring, but receive regular 'flushing' with every rainstorm. This seems to match the stands around Green Bay, WI that lie in roadside ditches.

    My sources say that wild rice will grow in 18"-4' of water.
    As I said, I've seen it grow essentially on almost dry land.

    As with any plant, wild rice will self-select for the environment in which it lives.

    Your best source of seed to plant is a bed of rice in your area in similar circumstances (i.e. water depth and quality.)

    Wild rice from Louisiana would probably fair poorly in northern states.

    Wild rice seed will die if not kept moist, in the wild the seed drops to the bottom fairly soon after falling, and after over wintering sprouts. I'm told that keeping seed over winter for spring planting is touchy (requiring temperature and moisture control.)

    Your best bet is to find rice growing in your area in water like yours (depth/speed.)

    The harvesting method given in the Permaculture book is a herring bone shaped assembly of pvc pipe with the spin open at both ends, and capped Âribs a few inches long. The device is placed on a slope near the bed with the ribs pointing downhill.

    To harvest, you place a container under the upper opening in the spine, and lift the downhill end up. The grain runs down and out. Remember to leave some for the harvest workers!

    This is relatively small PVC pipe, no larger than 2" (weÂre talking field mice here, not rats!)

    Plague (by which I assume you mean Bubonic or ÂBlack plague.) Is primarily a blood transmitted diseaseÂthe usual mode of transmission is via flea bites (the host dies, the fleas move onÂ)

    You cannot get plague by eating cooked rice gathered by rodents.

    Additionally, plague is endemic in the United States only in the western states. The primary carriers in the west are prairie dogs. There are only a handful of plague cases in the US each year, and the disease is easily treated with antibiotics. Without treatment, mortality is about 1/3Âlower if the victim is healthy and well nursed.
    Plague can be transmitted in another form by coughing (respiratory). This form is much rarer than the typical blood transmission.

    In itÂs homeland of Central Asia, the reservoir of plague resides in marmots, another social, ground dweller. Nomads in the area have a strict rule to leave any area in which they see a sick marmot.

  • mokiach

    By the way, if anyone gets to the point of harvesting, I have discovered that if you soak wild rice in salted water for a day (or two if you forget about it), it cooks in a fraction of time.

  • shoveler

    I am attempting to grow some wild rice (zizania aquatica) in a small seasonal creek in my backyard. I just got the seed I ordered and have yet to plant it.

    I have widened and deepened the creek in one area, about 18 feet long. It is deep enough that it should retain water all year long, unless we get a severe drought.

    Does anyone have suggestions about sowing the seed, or other growing advice? I live in central AL, 7b.


  • mersiepoo

    I got wild unhulled natural rice from a grocery store (Giant Eagle) a few years ago and it sprouted! I'm going to try and do it again, we have an old canoe that is full of water and I'm going to plant it in there.

  • gallium

    I have grown rice in perlite by my new Water on Demand process and now have wild rice growing in my home basement in vermiculite irrigated by my subsurface process. The rice is only 4 to 6 inches tall so far but I have hopes for further growth.

  • gardengoodies

    Just curious. How'd your rice do?

  • Robin282mt_verizon_net

    I know this thread started a long time ago, but I hope it continues as I have wanted to grow wild rice for some time. So far, the best instructions I have found are at the Wild Rice Cultural Awareness and Ecological Restoration Project. The link is below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wild Rice Panting & Growing

  • wally_1936

    In the West the packrats harvest pinion nuts which are sold commerically. Those harvested this way are required to be roasted to prevent any "problems. They are required to replace their "food" with corn.

  • dustinmarsau_gmail_com

    not one poser has actually said how rice sprouts. does it sprout in standing water? must the seed be dry for a bit? lets say i wanted to sprout wild rice in my kitchen. how would i do that? whats the germination temperature?

  • lindamorganic

    The correct link for how to grow is:

    It looks like one h___ of a lot of work.

  • traceymarva

    A lot of work? It sounds like you just throw it into the water from the side of your canoe and come back in the fall and harvest, provided conditions are right. Then it reseeds itself.

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