I was wondering if it's possible/advisable to give a flowering plant or any plant for that matter, sugar (or something similar) in addition to plant food?

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    Nope. Give the sugar to me, please, I can make better use of it.
    – Alexander
    Mar 2, 2015 at 21:13
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    Plants fix their carbon (to make carbohydrates, i.e. sugar) from the air, they don't take it up from the soil.
    – Nick T
    Mar 3, 2015 at 4:24
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    Heavens!! Plants and animals are two different things...totally different! Gotta understand basic botany to grow plants...THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PLANT FOOD! They make their own! As stewards we have to provide nutrients with which plants need to make their food as we screw up the natural processes that provide these nutrients...naturally. Before adding anything to your soil you have to know what is missing, what is in overabundance and what plants you want to propagate. Sugar is for animals...not for plants.
    – stormy
    Mar 3, 2015 at 20:32

4 Answers 4


Well you could in solution, but I wouldn't advise it. If your plants are growing well anyway, sugar might just kill them. Sugar molecules don't pass directly into the plant, so will build up in the soil in the pot, and cause problems later if you always add sugar. Sugar also directly feeds microbes in the soil - some of these may be beneficial, but some may not be, and sugar doesn't discriminate. Sugar solution can also cause reverse osmosis, meaning water or fluid, rather than being taken up and then utilized by the plant, is instead expelled, causing the plant to die.

I'd recommend you fertilise with a standard, proprietary fertiliser at the recommended rate on the product and forget about adding sugar.

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    in the brewing of compost tea, molasses is typically used to feed the microorganisms one is attempting to cultivate in the process. If you start with good compost, the assumption is that the microbes are "good." Sometimes the microbiology of compost that is to be used for brewing tea are kicked into high gear ahead of time by mixing molasses directly with the compost 24hrs prior to adding the compost to the brewer.
    – That Idiot
    Mar 2, 2015 at 20:08
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    @ThatIdiot interesting - molasses and sugar added to compost heaps also increase microbial activity and cause heat to be produced - but what little research there is suggests you have to get the ratios right for a heap. Nothing's meant to be growing in the compost whilst its rotting down, which means no plants will be affected by any adverse microbes. Sugar often ends up on the compost heap anyway - fruit remains are full of it.
    – Bamboo
    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:45

Probably not a great idea - more likely to attract insects than anything else.

This abstract suggests that it will decrease plant growth.

Most plants (with a few exceptions) are happiest if you give them a nice rich compost, IME. Some are overly sensitive and need it very well aged, and in moderation, others grow happily on the compost pile itself, long before it's "finished" and with no trace of moderation.


Most of this is rubbish, you know how they grow those massive pumpkins? They.make sure it's the only one then inject glucose directly into the stem. Plants can metabolism sucrose and fro rose and glucose. Use something natural like honey which is easier for them to absorb but it's mostly done to increase microbial activity to release more nutrients in organic soil. They will absorb sugar through their roots wether they want to or not but they mostly will simply excret the excess. But most plant tissue is cellulose, which is what? Chains of dextrose (the d isomers of glucose) anyone who thinks plants and animals are different are silly. Cells consume 2 things oxygen or sugars. This is true for all living organisms.

TLDR; vert crop dependant. Not advisable to a novice.


molasses ,honey and other sugars are said to increase soil microbials,enhance regrowth and make the plant's use of nitrogen more effective. Molasses will raise the energy level of the plant and acts as mild natural fungicide. Molasses is the secret ingredient in many organic fertilizers

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    Do you have any references for any of these claims? By references I mean peer reviewed studies by someone with a degree in the field.
    – kevinskio
    Sep 3, 2016 at 20:57

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