What happens when plants are watered with milk?

Written by jack s. waverly
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What happens when plants are watered with milk?
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Milk can have negative and positive effects on plants. The amount of fats and lactose in milk determines what effects and to what extent milk has when used to water plants.


Milk has a high viscosity, or thickness, which makes it hard for plants to absorb or move to needed areas. Most chemicals in milk, such as lactose, sugars, carbohydrates and fats, cannot be absorbed or utilised by plants.


Plants can be adversely and positively affected by watering with milk, depending on the viscosity of milk. Using extremely diluted milk in water can help provide protection against diseases for some plants, such as tomato, cucumber and aster. Using milk alone creates blocked pores and the potential for bacterial and mould infections, which can kill plants within days.

Protective Action

When milk is provided to plants in diluted form (1 part milk to 9 parts water), it can help protect plants against diseases such as mosaic by altering the pH level of leaf surfaces to block bacteria and fungus.


When milk is used with water, the natural enzymes of milk can stop mildew development on leaves. Spraying plants every three days with a diluted milk and water mixture creates a barrier against mildew.

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