Vital to photosynthesis, potassium enhances the movement of water, nutrients and carbohydrates within plant tissue. That leads to better root growth, stronger stalks and stems and improved flowering. With the added boost from molasses nutrition, your grow performs its best above and below the surface.
Whether you’re nurturing your first garden or you’re a seasoned grower, you’ve learned that top-quality yields depend on strong, healthy plants. Solid plant health positions your grow for exceptional performance, indoors or out. And molasses, a natural source of carbohydrates, can help give your plants the foundation they need for strong, healthy growth.
With molasses, the symbiotic associations taking place in your soil create a healthier environment that supports strong, healthy root growth and promotes improved nutrient availability and uptake, which further enhances plant vigor and plant strength. Healthier soil means healthier, stronger cannabis plants — and that means bigger, better yields.
How Molasses Benefits Cannabis Growth and Yield
Though plants produce their own carbohydrates, supplementing with carbohydrates from natural-based molasses works to enhance the whole process. Peak production, even in the best possible growing environment, demands a lot from your plants. While they’re actively using carbs for daily energy and growth, they’re also storing carbs in reserve. It’s a lot like marathoners who carb load right before their big runs.
Since Earth Juice pioneered the use of molasses for plants nearly thirty years ago, growers have seen firsthand how molasses can help optimize plant health and maximize a grow’s quality and yields. That’s why premier growers worldwide turn to Earth Juice Hi-Brix Molasses For Plants Plant Food 0-0-1, the industry’s original molasses for plants.
Why Molasses Carbohydrates and Cannabis Belong Together
While molasses helps your plants make better use of available nutrients, it also provides additional nutrition to feed your grow. Molasses contains potassium, an essential macronutrient that also helps support vigorous, healthy and productive growth.
Run-of-the-mill supermarket molasses varies significantly in quality, consistency and composition. Unlike this premium choice, a lot of those products come from beet sugar or other low-quality sources instead of pure sugar cane. Some even have artificial sweeteners or sugar water added. Plus, they include additives that work against the plant benefits molasses provides.
On that last item, using molasses as an insecticide, some growers find it useful in combatting aphids, white flies and other pests.
A good starting dose of molasses for cannabis plants in their vegetative, or pre-flowering, stage is 4 to 5 ml per liter of water. Once the plants start flowering, you can then increase the dose slightly.
How much molasses should I use?
One of the most extraordinary benefits of using molasses in a cannabis garden is not its nourishing qualities at all but its immense versatility for growers.
The amount of molasses to use depends on several factors, including:
Organice vs. Inorganic Molasses
Of these, blackstrap molasses contains the highest concentration nutrients, including macro-elements, micro-elements, vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. For these reason, blackstrap molasses is the most suitable type of molasses to use for growing cannabis.
If you want to try a more DIY approach, you can buy blackstrap molasses – just be sure to get the unsulfured type so it doesn’t kill off the very microbes you want to feed. Add it to your nutrient solution at a rate of about 1/4 cup per gallon. While you may hear recommendations about spraying molasses solution on plants directly, the residue can attract fungus gnats and other pests to your grow room. Also, the sticky substance is prone to clogging sprayers.
When sugar cane or sugar beets are processed, the pure sucrose is extracted, leaving behind highly viscous syrup. After that fluid is boiled, it becomes what’s called “Barbados” or “mild” molasses. Very sweet and light in color, it’s used to flavor hot cereal, tea, and other foods. A second boil yields dark molasses, an amber-colored syrup that’s commonly used in cooking and baking. When boiled a third time, much of the sugar is gone and what’s left is dark, strong-flavored – almost bitter-tasting – blackstrap molasses. It is used primarily in cattle feed and it’s also a key ingredient in dark rum.
We all know that sugar isn’t the healthiest food for people, but for plants and the microorganisms that support them it is a valuable source of energy and nutrients, boosting both the quantity and quality of your harvest. We’re not talking about ordinary table sugar here, but molasses, a by-product of sugar production. Before you grab a bottle of molasses from the shelf at your supermarket and pour it on your crop, here’s what you need to know about where it comes from, how it works, and how to use it.
How Molasses Helps Your Plants Grow
You get the most benefit from molasses in your nutrient solution in soil-based systems, though it works for hydro, too. If adding your own molasses, be sure to check the pH of the solution before giving it to your plants – the sugars will pull it toward the acidic side.
The repeated boiling concentrates nutrients, making blackstrap molasses a rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. Because of the high mineral content, health-conscious eaters use blackstrap molasses as a supplement in their diets.
The key minerals that make molasses a healthy food for people are vital for plants, too. Potassium and calcium, in particular, play an essential role in the processes that plants go through as they form buds and flowers. Even better, the sugar works as a natural “chelating” agent, binding it to other nutrients so they are more readily absorbed by plants.
Molasses: What is it?
As plants mature and prepare to bloom, their need for carbohydrates outpaces their capacity to produce them. Molasses is useful to plants throughout their life cycle, but it is most valuable at the transition from the vegetative stage to the peak of bloom time, when the need for sugars peaks. The extra carbohydrates in molasses give plants a boost that helps them flower more abundantly than if they relied solely on self-made sugar.
When your plants are two to three weeks from the end of their growing cycle, stop giving them molasses and other fertilizers and give them only water to “flush” out any unused nutrients. If you have leftover blackstrap molasses, you can mix it up at a rate of about a cup per gallon and pour it on your compost pile, where it will stimulate the good microbes at work there, too.