Most people are familiar with molasses as a component in a dessert; molasses cookies, for example. But did you know that weed growers also use molasses to feed their plants? It’s true. There are four grades of molasses, and some are denser and thicker than others. Blackstrap molasses has a very high concentration of vitamins, macro and micro elements, and is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and a host of other valuable elements.
Molasses are perfect for a cannabis grow. How? Let me list the ways!
- Feeds and improves the structure of the soil.
- Enhances soil’s water retention.
- May prevent pathogens, which could harm plants.
- It’s a natural insecticide against common cannabis pests. Bye, aphids!
What is molasses?
Molasses is a thick, sticky, dark goo that is created while refining sugar. Specifically, sugar cane or sugar beet juice is boiled down into a thick syrup. You extract the sugar crystals, and, viola; molasses is left behind. All molasses are not considered equal, however. If you’ve had a molasses cookie, for example, the cookie was most likely made with molasses from sugar cane. Molasses from sugar beet juice, however, is stinky and doesn’t taste good to most humans. It’s typically used as an additive in animal feed. Molasses for growing cannabis, for example, should be organic and suitable for gardening. You don’t want a bunch of undesirable additives when using molasses for cannabis growth.
Sulfured vs unsulfured molasses
Most types of molasses contain some sulfur. Some molasses have sulphur dioxide added, which makes this an example of sulfured molasses. The sulfur dioxide acts like a preservative; this is most likely to happen with molasses made with sugar cane. Note to reader: you do not want to use sulfured molasses. Sulfur dioxide can kill microorganisms in the soil, which makes this counterintuitive to growing weed using molasses. Ensure the molasses you use on your plants are both organic and unsulfured.
Why using molasses is conducive to healthy plant growth
Molasses can pack that added punch and support healthy plant growth. How? The answer is the soil. The dirt you grow your weed in is factor numero uno when creating a foundation for strong and healthy plant growth. Healthy soil contains nutrients found in molasses, like nitrogen and phosphorus; minerals, like potassium, iron, and calcium; and other compounds and added nutrients. All of these bits and pieces are critical for healthy cannabis plants.
What are the benefits of using molasses when growing cannabis?
Soil needs microorganisms, just like it needs minerals and nutrients. In addition to providing additional nutrition to your soil, molasses can support a healthy microorganism population. It’s the perfect food for microorganisms, so not only can it improve soil health, it can improve the likelihood that you’ll grow healthy plants. Feed the plants AND the soil with molasses!
How to use molasses on cannabis plants
So let’s get to the nitty gritty. You want to grow healthy cannabis plants, and you’re ready to start pouring molasses into the dirt. Before you do that, read this: how much molasses you will use will depend on the strain you’re growing, and nutrient requirements specific to that strain, and your current soil fertility. When you start out, use lower dosages of molasses first. At the beginning, try mixing 1-2 tsp of molasses to 1 gallon of water. You can bump up the dosage when your plants start to flower. You can use molasses during all growth stages, but you’ll see the benefits most during flowering.
You can make a compost tea with molasses, add it to your compost, apply it as a foliar spray, or prepare your soil before planting with molasses. Observe your plants for signs of stress or what’s called ‘nutrient burn’. While the risk for going overboard with molasses is lower than with mineral nutes, it’s always a good idea to tune into your plant’s “chakras” and verify they’re aligned. Pay closer attention if you’re adding molasses to existing feeding regimens. Keep your peepers on your soil’s pH level, too. And if you’re an outdoor grower, like me, remember that molasses are sweet and tasty. This could attract wild critters, so keep that in mind.