Molasses is a thick, viscous byproduct of the sugar-making process that is often overlooked as a beneficial nutrient source for cannabis plants. This dark, sticky liquid contains a wide array of essential nutrients and beneficial microbes that can enhance plant growth, and massive yields, and promote overall plant health throughout the life cycle.
Benefits of Molasses for Cannabis Plants
If you’re looking for an organic way to enhance the growth and health of your cannabis plants, molasses can be a great option. Molasses is a natural source of carbohydrates, minerals, and essential nutrients that can provide your plants with the building blocks they need for healthy development throughout their life cycle. Here are some of the main benefits of using molasses for cannabis growing:
- Better Plant Development:
Molasses provides plants with a direct source of energy that can drive growth and development. The sugar and carbohydrates found in molasses can fuel the metabolic processes that support vegetative growth, flowering, and fruiting. Adding molasses to your nutrient regimen can boost the overall health of your plants and help them thrive.
- Improved Soil Health:
Molasses is also an excellent food source for the beneficial microbes and bacteria that live in your cannabis soil. These microscopic organisms help to break down organic matter, release nutrients, and create a healthy soil microbiome that can help protect your weed plants from diseases and pests. Adding molasses to your soil can nourish these beneficial communities and improve overall soil health.
- Concentrated Source of Essential Nutrients:
Molasses is rich in vitamins and minerals that can benefit weed plants. It contains high levels of potassium, which is essential for flowering, as well as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Molasses-based compost teas can also provide your marijuana plants with additional nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, that are critical for productive growth.
How and When To Use Molasses in Cannabis Growing
This sweet, sticky substance is rich in beneficial nutrients and carbohydrates that can support your plants’ root development, improve soil health, and enhance flowering. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using molasses in your cannabis growing process.
Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Molasses
There are several different types of molasses to choose from, including light molasses, dark molasses, blackstrap molasses, and unsulfured molasses. Of these, blackstrap molasses is typically the most preferred for growing cannabis, as it contains the highest concentration of beneficial nutrients. However, any unsulfured molasses can work well.
Step 2: Know When to Add Molasses
When using molasses in cannabis growing, timing is important. It’s best to add molasses during the flowering stage, which is when your plants need the extra energy and nutrients to produce large, vibrant buds. If you add molasses too early, it may lead to nutrient lockout or deficiencies.
Step 3: Determine Your Dosage
Before adding molasses to your soil or medium, you need to determine the right dosage based on the size of your plants or the volume of your container. A common dosage is to add 1-2 tablespoons of molasses per gallon of lukewarm water. For larger plants or containers, you may need to adjust the dosage accordingly.
Step 4: Apply Molasses to Your Plants
There are two main ways to apply molasses to your cannabis plants: adding it to your water or making a foliar spray. For soil growers, simply mix the recommended dosage of molasses with water and apply it as you would your regular watering. For hydro or coco growers, you can mix the molasses with water and use it as a foliar spray. To make a spray, mix 1-2 teaspoons of molasses with a quart of water in a spray bottle and apply to your plants’ leaves in the early morning or late evening.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do use organic, unsulphured molasses.
- Do follow the recommended dosage.
- Do use it alongside rhizobacteria for optimal results.
- Don’t use too much molasses, as it can lead to nutrient lockout.
- Don’t use molasses during the seedling stage, as it can be too strong for the plant.
- Don’t use molasses if the soil is already rich in organic matter.
What Stage of Cannabis Plant Growth Do You Use Molasses?
Cannabis plant growth is divided into several stages, each with different needs and requirements to ensure healthy growth and maximum yield. Using molasses during specific stages of the cannabis plant growth cycle can provide a significant boost in nutrient uptake, beneficial microbial activity, and mineral content needed for optimal growth.
During the early vegging stage, molasses can provide a rich source of carbohydrates that helps support soil microbes. The added nutrient uptake from increased microbial activity can result in healthier roots and a stronger plant. Using unsulfured molasses can benefit plants as it does not contain any harmful chemicals like sulfur dioxide. Light molasses, which is typically thinner than dark molasses, works well for foliar spray mixtures that can improve plant health.
When cultivating soil during the early growth phase, using a tablespoon of molasses per gallon of water is the recommended application rate. However, when using hydro or coco during this stage, it is advisable to hold off on applying any molasses. This is because hydro and coco already provide a nutrient-rich environment, and additional nutrients may result in an unwanted nutrient lockout.
When entering the flowering stage, molasses application can aid in nutrient uptake, resulting in larger and better-tasting buds. The additional nutrients provided by dark molasses are ideal for boosting the mineral content and providing essential nutrients during the flowering stage. Foliar sprays during the flowering stage composed of a mixture of molasses and compost teas can promote the growth of healthy plants and boost yields.
Types of Molasses
Molasses is a popular organic source of carbohydrates and nutrients used by cannabis growers to keep their plants healthy. When looking for molasses to use for your cannabis plants, you’ll come across different types of molasses, including blackstrap and light molasses.
Sulfured vs. Unsulphured Molasses
When it comes to using molasses to grow your cannabis plants, the type of molasses you use can make a significant difference in the health and growth of your plants. Specifically, sulfured and unsulfured molasses are two different forms of molasses that have distinct effects on cannabis plant growth.
Sulfured molasses is a form of molasses that has been treated with sulfur dioxide, a preservative that helps to extend the shelf life of the molasses. Although sulfured molasses may be less expensive than unsulfured molasses, it can have a number of disadvantages when used for cannabis plant growth. Most notably, sulfured molasses tends to have a killing effect on microorganisms in the soil, disrupting the delicate balance of the soil ecosystem.
On the other hand, unsulfured molasses is a superior choice for cannabis plant growth. Unlike sulfured molasses, unsulfured molasses contain all of the natural beneficial components that come from the molasses-making process. Specifically, unsulfured molasses is high in essential nutrients and minerals that are important for plant growth, such as potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Light vs. Dark Molasses
Molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, comes in different varieties based on the type of sugar source it is derived from and how much of it is extracted. Light molasses is the sweetest variation, with a golden color and thin consistency. It also contains fewer minerals and more complex sugars than dark molasses. On the other hand, dark molasses has a more robust flavor, a thicker and stickier consistency, and a characteristic gingerbread taste that makes it popular in baking.
When it comes to cannabis plants, using dark molasses as a supplement has more benefits than the lighter versions. While light molasses may provide a quick burst of energy to the plant due to its high sugar content, it may not offer much in terms of overall health and nutrition. In contrast, using medium or dark molasses on cannabis plants can provide a range of beneficial nutrients and minerals that can support healthy growth and development.
Dark molasses is rich in carbohydrates, which are an essential nutrient for plant health. These carbohydrates provide energy to the plant and encourage healthy growth during the vegetative stage. In addition, dark molasses contains beneficial microbes that can support the soil ecosystem and improve nutrient uptake. These microbes include beneficial bacteria and fungi that can help break down organic matter and improve soil structure.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Molasses
It’s worth noting that not all molasses is created equal. There are both organic and non-organic options available. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.
Organic molasses is made from 100% organic sugar cane or sugar beet juice without the use of any chemical additives or preservatives. Non-organic molasses, on the other hand, can contain additives and preservatives, as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Organic molasses is ideal for growers who prioritize using only natural and chemical-free products in their growing process. Organic molasses is also rich in minerals that can help boost the life cycle of cannabis plants and provide beneficial microbes and bacteria to the soil.
Non-organic molasses, while not as environmentally friendly, can still provide essential nutrients to cannabis plants. Non-organic molasses can also offer additional nutrients that may not be present in organic molasses, which can help combat nutrient deficiencies and nutrient lockout.
Application Method for Using Molasses on Cannabis Plants
Molasses can be a valuable addition to the cannabis grower’s toolkit, providing a natural source of carbohydrates and beneficial nutrients to promote plant health and growth. However, it’s important to know how to use molasses in the right way to avoid nutrient deficiencies or lockout.
To make a molasses foliar spray, dissolve a teaspoon of molasses into one gallon of lukewarm water, mix well, and pour the solution into a spray bottle. It is important to use unsulphured molasses, as sulfur dioxide can damage plant health. Alternatively, one can also use blackstrap molasses or light molasses, depending on the kind of yield they want.
Once the solution has been prepared, spray it over and under the leaves of your cannabis plants, making sure to do it at night or with the grow lights off. This is because spraying in full light can cause the leaves to burn due to the magnification of light through droplets. It is best to spray in the evening when the lights are out, so the plants have time to absorb the nutrients without being damaged by the light.
Foliar sprays provide a way for cannabis plants to absorb nutrients directly through their leaves, bypassing the soil and the roots. This method of nutrient delivery provides an additional advantage as it helps in avoiding nutrient lockout, where chemical nutrients bind to soil particles and become unavailable to the plants.
The inclusion of molasses in your cannabis cultivation regimen proves to be a wise choice. It not only provides essential nutrients for plant growth but also strengthens the plant’s natural defense mechanisms against pests and diseases. Furthermore, it fosters a healthy soil environment, allowing for optimal root development and nutrient absorption. By harnessing the numerous benefits of molasses, you can expect to enjoy increased yields and cultivate healthier, more resilient cannabis plants.