Rice plants should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours every day. Before planting, gardeners need to keep rice seeds in water for 24 hours. When growing rice plants outside, it is better to plant them first inside, and keep them in the house for several weeks. Gardeners should plant rice seeds in very moist containers several weeks before the last expected frost date.
Once it is warm outside and there is no possibility of frost, small rice plants can be transferred outside. It is a good idea to cover the plants with some mulch, as this is going to keep water in the soil and decrease the amount of weeds growing around the plants. It is best to plant rice seeds about 1/2 inch deep in the soil and leave about 8 inches between plants in one row. The temperature of the soil during seed germination should be 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rice plants require the soil to be very moist, so gardeners need to make sure that the plants get at least 1 inch of water per week. However, once rice grains start getting firm, the amount of water needs to be reduced. Rice plants grow best if the soil has pH levels of 5.0 to 6.5, so gardeners may need to add soil amendments to reach those conditions. The soil temperature should be 68 to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit during rice plant growth.