Known as black treacle in the UK, molasses is a dark, viscous substance produced during the process of refining sugar. First, sugar beet juice or sugar cane is boiled down into a thick syrup.
Then, once the sugar crystals are extracted to make sugar, the syrup remaining is molasses.
Molasses comes in several types, varying in extraction method and sweetness. Molasses extracted from sugar cane is typically made into a food flavoring or sweetener, while molasses extracted from sugar beets has a bad taste and smell and is, therefore, used primarily as an additive in animal feed.
There are two ways in which molasses benefits medicinal plants growth.
One of the key factors for any grower who grows in soil rather than hydroponically is the quality of the soil itself. Healthy soil supportive of growing healthy plants is rich in nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
As medicinal plants grow, however, and they continue to feed on these nutrients, they progressively deplete these nutrients until there are none left in the soil. It is, therefore, necessary to supplement and replenish these nutrients to continue sufficiently nourishing your plants.
Molasses contains most of the same nutrients found naturally in healthy soil, making it an appropriate supplement or additive to keep medicinal plants consistently well-fed.
In addition, soil contains many microorganisms also beneficial for healthy plants and prolific growth. Molasses can provide an ideal food source for these microorganisms, with sugars and carbohydrates that can help them thrive.
Molasses provides numerous benefits for the growth of medicinal plants, including:
Enriching the soil with an array of vital vitamins and minerals
Feeding the beneficial microorganisms living in the soil
Helping prevent harmful pathogen buildup
Helping reduce the chances of nutrient-blocking salts building up in the soil
Improving the soil’s structure and ability to retain water
Serving as a natural insecticide combating common pests to indoor plants
On that last item, using molasses as an insecticide, some growers find it useful in combating aphids, white flies and other pests.
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