What is a Plant Sweetener and Why is it Important for Your Plants?

What is a plant sweetener? In essence, it’s fuel for your plant and, more accurately, fuel for your soil. Sweeteners are made up of sugars and carbohydrates that help subsidize the plant’s natural growth, especially later in bloom and flower phases, by providing a source of carbon that can be utilized during photosynthesis to create starches and other compounds necessary for your plant’s growth. Most commonly, artificial plant sweeteners are touted as a way to enhance the flavor of your plant. While this is true to some extent, it’s far from the most important reason to incorporate a sweetener. In addition to taste, high quality organic sweeteners can help make your nutrients more bioavailable by feeding your microbes, enhancing growth and expediting trichome production.  

What is sweetener and why is it important? 

Sweeteners are mixtures of sugars and carbohydrates that fuel your plant’s growth and enhance its abilities to more effectively produce more attractive harvests. As mentioned, sweeteners can help with taste, and cheaper sweeteners may only have a modest effect on your grow. These cheaper, fortified options might only impact taste, but high-quality organic sweeteners can also help to boost the fragrance and taste of your final product, promote the growth of trichomes and increase yields through more efficient growth. 

Sweeteners enhance taste. 

Yes, they do. But it’s the least important reason to use a sweetener. If you have good genetics, good organic nutrients, and understand proper plant care, you will have healthy plants that taste good no matter what. Sweeteners can help turn good to great, but more importantly they can help feed your soil (and the food web supporting your plants) as week as promote exceptional harvests. By feeding your plants high quality sweeteners, you’re not only enhancing the taste of the final product, but also increasing the efficiency of your plants.  

High-Quality Sweeteners Feed Your Microbes

Arguably the most important reason to use sweeteners in your grow is that they provide an excellent food source for microbes as well as plants. When you add sweetener to your soil, you’re providing an additional food source for the microbes in your soil; Microbes eat the nitrogen, phosphorous, and other elements in your soil, making these nutrients more bioavailable. When microbes eat high-quality plant sweeteners in addition to their normal food sources, the sweetener gives them more energy without taking away from the fruit-producing efforts of the plant. Sweetener encourages microbes to split and reproduce, multiplying the microbe content of your soil and exponentially increasing bioavailability of its nutrients. This allows plants to grow more efficiently, expending less energy on the processing of nutrients, allowing for more energy to be directed towards aroma, flavor, and yields.  

BONUS: Balanced Sweeteners Promote Trichome Growth

To be fair, not all sweeteners are created equal, but high-quality sweeteners that promote microbe activity will undoubtedly also promote enhanced trichome growth. As mentioned, with the increase in bioavailability and multiplication of microbes, and the added carbon source, your plants will have more fuel to put more energy into efforts to attract pollen from their male counterparts (or so they think). Among these are pleasant aromas produced by terpene- and cannabinoid-containing trichomes on your plant. Master commercial growers continue to report that the addition of organic, naturally-derived sweeteners with a balanced ratio of sugars, vitamins and amino acids will accelerate and enhance trichome production on plants during their bloom and flower stages.  

Choosing a High-Quality Sweetener

Sweetener done right is an excellent addition to your garden. When selecting a sweetener for your garden, avoid “fortified” products and ask how the product is made whenever possible. Typically, sweeteners are produced using a weak honey or molasses base that is then fortified with artificial and synthetically-produced vitamins, sugars, and acids. Think of them like your liquid “Frosted Flakes” variety; lots of vitamins on the box, but really just sugary junk food. Due to their inherently unnatural nature, the vitamins in these sweeteners are less bioavailable and harder for microbes to break down and therefore more difficult for plants to absorb from the soil. High quality sweeteners use naturally-rich sources of vitamins and amino acids that are balanced to provide more bioavailable sources of nutrients that boost plant growth and trichome production. Because of this, some nutrient companies are beginning to reconsider currently accepted beliefs that sweeteners should only be added during flower stages. If you have an organic sweetener like the one provided by FOOP Organic Biosciences, adding that sweetener throughout your plant’s lifecycle will fuel microbe activity and increase plant efficiency from day one. 

Whether you choose to use a sweetener or not, your overall plant health and garden production will largely be determined by the amount of care you take for your plants as well as the quality of the genetics. But, if you choose to use a high quality, organic sweetener, it can help take your garden up a few notches, even if you’ve perfected everything else.

Read the next article:
What is Mycorrhiza and Why is it Important to Developing Healthy Roots?
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