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Terms: EM-5, EM-5 foliar spray, EM-5 foliar feed, EM for breaking down chemicals, toxins and to deodorize.

EM-5 is used as a foliar spray and for inoculating the soil. It is a more potent version of Activated EM. It can be made at home using simple ingredients with EM-1 which consist of naturally occurring microbes (lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria). EM-5 is used to directly apply to plants (avoid the flowers in certain cases), or for application to soil and flooded areas, including homes, to help break down chemicals and toxins, as well as, to help manage odor problems.

Download the EM-5 recipe (version 2014.9.5) 2-page PDF 78KB

EM-5 Recipe

How to Make EM-5


Ingredients [example quantities below for making 1 quart, 32 fl oz (0.95 L)]

How To Mix

  1. Using a bowl or bucket that holds at least 1.5 quarts or more to mix the liquid materials; start by adding just 2 cups of water.
  2. Mix in the molasses first. If using warm water, the molasses should dissolve on its own. Otherwise, make sure to dissolve all of it (if by hand, rub inside the bowl or bucket until the slimy feel of the molasses at the bottom is all gone).
  3. Add the vinegar and liquor next, and add the EM-1 last (you'll add any optional ingredients in the next step below.
  4. Pour the mixture in to your bottle (PETE bottle, such as, a soda bottle which can handle any gas pressure buildup, or glass bottle with a proper airlock--DO NOT use a glass bottle without a proper de-gassing mechanism; the glass bottle can explode if not degassed or burped). A funnel would be helpful to pour into the bottle.
  5. Add any optional ingredients; example, 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed, 1 to 3 or more hot peppers, etc.
  6. Let ferment for about 2 weeks or longer at room temperature.
    Keep away from direct sunlight.
    Optionally, you can use a pH meter or pH paper; when the pH is below 4.0, preferably around pH of 3.5 (range of 3.2 to 3.7), it is ready.

If using the PETE bottles, daily check for gas build-up; release by very slightly opening cap until the gas is released--DO NOT open the cap all the way; do so over a sink or bowl in case of liquid overflow.

When ready, apply as suggested below, and use within 6 months (it may be good for as long as 1 or 2 years or longer).
Keep at room temperature. Store out of direct sunlight.

Applications of EM-5

  1. Dilute with water and apply at a rate of 1 part EM-5 to 1,000 parts water (1 teaspoon of EM-5 to 1.3 gallon of water) and spray directly to the leaves. While some flowers (the flower and petals, not the plant leaves and stem/stalk) may be affected by the EM-5 while others would have no problem, in either case, avoid applying directly to the flower petals or perform a test beforehand.
    •&blt; For a 32 fl oz hand-held spray bottle, fill with water and then add 2/10th of a teaspoon (or a dribble) of EM-5.
    • If applying to soil, use a watering can and at a heavier dilution rate of 1:500 (2 teaspoons EM-5 to 1.3 gallon of water).
  2. Applications are most effective when applied in early morning. Application could also be done at night instead, but should be avoided since under certain conditions, moisture lasting hours into the night may help breed mold/mildew on the plant/leaves.
  3. After the first application, apply on alternate weeks or once per month.
  4. For best results, alternate with regular Activated EM applications.