As someone who’s been growing his own plants, I can say that one of the most beneficial nutrients I gave my crops is sugar. I know it might sound weird; after all, sugar is deemed unhealthy for people. However, the same can’t be applied to plants.
For them, sugar can act as a valuable source of nutrients and energy, thereby boosting the overall quantity and quality of your harvest. In this article, we’re going to talk about the application of molasses on plants.
That said, you might ask the question: when should I add molasses to my plants?
When to Add Molasses to Plants
When plants start to mature and bloom, they will need more carbohydrates than they can produce. While molasses can be beneficial for plants throughout their entire life cycle, it is best if you add it during your plants’ transition from their vegetative to the blooming stage. The reason is that it is during these stages that their sugar need is at its highest.
With the extra carbohydrates found in molasses, you can give your plants a major boost and help them produce more flowers than usual.
However, before you even grab your bottle of molasses and start pouring it on your plants, here are a few things you should know first.
What is Molasses?
Molasses is basically the by-product of sugar beets or sugar cane and is extracted from the said crops to collect a highly viscous liquid. Despite being a by-product, it is actually rich in essential vitamins and minerals. This explains why molasses can be used to provide plants with the nutrients they need as well.
Using Molasses for Gardening
Using molasses for growing plants is actually something that has been put into practice for quite some time already. Since it contains a lot of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and lots of micronutrients, you can use them to provide your plants with a quick source of energy. Apart from that, it can also encourage the growth of microorganisms to help your plants grow.
The key minerals which make molasses healthy for people can be beneficial for plants as well. For instance, calcium and potassium play an important role during a plant’s budding and flowering stages. What makes it even better is the fact that molasses can act as a natural “chelating” agent, thereby binding nutrients so they can be absorbed by the plants.
When molasses are combined with organic fertilizers, you can create food which is used by the healthy microbes found in the soil. The higher the number of healthy microbes, the healthier your plants will get.
Benefits of Using Molasses on Plants
Earlier, we talked about molasses being beneficial for plants. However, how exactly is it good for them? To learn more about it, here are the benefits of molasses on plants worth noting:
It Comes with High Carbohydrate Content
Due to molasses being a by-product of the sugar refining process, it is packed with carbohydrates which serve as an instant food source for healthy microbes in the soil. By regularly feeding the soil, they will be able to support more beneficial microbes. This, in turn, will provide the plants with more nutrients that are essential for optimal health and growth.
It Contains Trace Minerals
Another important benefit of molasses is that it contains a good amount of trace minerals which are essential for your plants’ growth. These trace minerals come in the form of calcium, iron, potassium, and sulfur which are all helpful in keeping your plants healthy.
It Can Act as a Chelating Agent
As mentioned earlier, molasses can act as a chelating agent. This is important since some nutrients are “locked” in the soil, thereby making it hard, even impossible, for plants to absorb. Molasses binds these “locked” nutrients through the process known as chelation.
As a result, molasses will “unlock” those nutrients, making them easy to absorb for the plants.
How to Apply It on Your Plants
Now that you’ve known when you should apply molasses on your plants, the next step is to actually apply it. Before you do so, do keep in mind that adding molasses into your plant’s feeding cycle is most effective when you combine it with an organic fertilizer. This is because adding molasses will help make all of the fertilizer’s nutrients readily absorbable by your plants.
If you prefer a more DIY approach, you can use blackstrap molasses, particularly the unsulfured type. Once you have it, add it to your fertilizer at around 1/4 cup per gallon. Although you might have heard of some people mentioning that you should spray the solution directly on your plants, the problem is that the residue can end up attracting pests to your grow room.
You can get the most benefits of molasses in your nutrient solution if you use a soil-based system for your plants. However, it can work on hydroponic systems as well. Just make sure to check its pH before you give it since the sugars will make it acidic.
Once your plants are nearing the end of their growing cycle (particularly two to three weeks prior), stop giving them molasses and fertilizers. Instead, you should give them water in order to “flush” out all those unused nutrients.
If there are still leftover molasses, you can combine it with water at one cup per gallon then pour on your compost pile. This way, it can stimulate healthy microbes in there too.
Apart from giving plants a major boost, molasses is also capable of warding off pests, thereby making your garden pest-free. Based on experience, I was able to enjoy healthy plants by adding molasses into my fertilizer solution.
If you haven’t tried doing it yet, then now is the time to do so. I personally use the organic blackstrap molasses from Plantation, and so far, the results were impressive.
How about you? Have you tried applying molasses on your plants? If so, what were the results so far? Please leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading!