Is Epsom Salt Good For Plants?

I’ve been using Epsom salt for numerous years as a means to boost my plants’ health and provide them with additional nutrients during challenging times. I’ve also recommended its use to other gardening hobbyists for their plants. Recently, someone asked me if there’s any truth to the effectiveness of Epsom salt on plants, or if it’s just a myth.

Is Epsom salt good for plants? Yes, Epsom salt is an ideal product to use for your plants. We all know Plants need Magnesium to be healthy, and Epsom salt is made from Magnesium Sulfate and Sulfur. This is absorbed by the plant’s root system, making them stronger and much more resistant to pests and diseases. It increases growth and produces larger vegetables and blooms.

Do I need to add Epsom salt to my plants?

Epsom salt is not required if your soil has sufficient Magnesium. The only natural way to know if this is the case is to have your soil tested. There are various ways in which to test the soil. A simple soil testing kit could be purchased, which will give you an idea of whether there is enough Magnesium in your soil.

To be more precise, though, you could take a soil sample from various sections of your garden and send it to a soil testing lab. There are multiple companies online that can perform this task for you. Living in the UK, I use a company called Lancrop Laboratories. These will provide you with a complete soil analysis.

What plants can you put Epsom salt on?

You can use Epsom salt with any plant, providing that your soil does not have it in sufficient quantities. As plants require Magnesium for sustained growth, Epsom salt will deliver this via the root system. It is water-soluble, so it is readily available to plants.

This will boost the plant’s immune system, making them much stronger and healthier. As a side benefit, this allows the plants to fend off disease and pests and produce a much larger yield of vegetables, fruits, or flowers.

Can too much Epsom salt hurt plants?

Yes, too many Epsom salts can hurt your plants. This is caused when you overload the soil—saturating it with Magnesium. As Magnesium is prioritized by plants when taking up nutrients, this can nutrient-lock your plants.

This means the plant will take up so much Magnesium it cannot take in other needed nutrients such as boron, sulfur, and calcium. This can be a big issue with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants getting blossom end rot. Gardeners rightly think that their plants are not getting enough calcium with BER. (Blossom End Rot).

This is the case; however, it is not because the soil has insufficient calcium. The plant is nutrient locked to Magnesium as the gardener applied too many Epsom salts to the ground.

How do I apply Epsom Salt to my plants?

Epsom Salt is water-soluble. It comes in a crystal form, much like table salt, only a little larger. There are three ways in which to apply Epsom salt to your plants.

  1. At planting time
  2. As a plant drench
  3. As a foliar spray

At Planting Time

If your soils lack Magnesium when planting, you can add the Epsom salts in crystal form to the planting hole. Apply 1 to 2 teaspoons to the excavated soil and mix this in. This will dissolve over the next few weeks, providing Magnesium to your plants.

As A Plant Drench

You may find that plants show the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency throughout the growing season. You can help them along by watering the plants as a drench. Mix up one tablespoon of Epsom salt into 1 gallon of water.

Allow this to dissolve and thoroughly drench the plant from head to foot. This will allow all plant sections to quickly uptake the Epsom salt.

As A Foliar Feed

Epsom salt can be used as a foliar feed too. Mix one tablespoon of salt with 1 gallon of water and spray the leaves. Both the top and underneath. Do this in the morning when the plant is uptaking water, and you will get better absorption.

Spraying foliar in the morning will allow the plant’s leaves to dry off, preventing them from sitting wet overnight, which can attract pests like slugs and diseases like blight or powdery mildew.

How do you use Epsom salts in potted plants?

Potted plants are where Epsom salt can help. The plants quickly use the nutrients in a pot, and Magnesium is one of the first to go. Applying Epsom salt during watering once a month should alleviate these issues.

Mix as making a drench, as I explained above, and water the plants instead of plain water. Be mindful of salt build-up once your plants look green and healthy again; cease applying the Epsom salt.

Is Epsom Salt Good for Houseplants?

Use Epsom salt as you would for potted plants by making the same dose. Houseplants may also be lacking light levels. Understanding why your plant looks sickly before applying the Epsom salt is essential. Do not overload the soil, or you will cause nutrient lockup when It may not have been a magnesium deficiency.

Is Epsom Salt Good For Roses?

Epsom salt can be used with any plant that has a magnesium deficiency. However, despite the myths that Epsom salt will create better blooms on roses, this is only ever the case if there is a magnesium deficiency in the soil. If there is sufficient Magnesium in the soil, no benefit will be seen by adding additional Epsom salt. You could do more harm to the plant if you over-load the soil.

Are there adverse effects of Epsom Salts when growing plants?

It has become common practice in gardening that well-meaning gardeners apply Epsom salt if their plants are sick. Epsom salt is not a miracle cure. It is becoming a habit of some gardeners to apply it liberally over their entire garden.

This thinking should be avoided at all costs. Epsom salt is salt, after all. It can build up in the soil and nutrient lock your soil. Gardeners usually see their plants looking sick and visit a forum where well-meaning gardeners will tell them to use Epsom salt without understanding the problem.

Salt is bad if allowed to build up in your soil. It will kill the soil life, which is the most critical factor in gardening for any gardener. With good soil, you can grow anything. Using Epsom salt in this way without first identifying the real cause is very dangerous. IT WILL DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD!

Can Epsom salt be used to fertilize my plants?

Epsom salt is not a fertiliser. It cannot be used to feed your plants. It will only allow you to replenish soils with inadequate Magnesium to make them available for your plants. Under no circumstances should Epsom salt be thought of as a feed for your plants.

As discussed, there is only two real cause of Magnesium deficiency in plants. They are:

  1. Lack of soil Magnesium
  2. Imposed deficiency

Lack of soil Magnesium

This is where gardeners have extensively cropped an area of the garden and are not allowed the appropriate time for the ground to recover. Or have grown the same heavy magnesium-required crop types over and over in the same soil, depleting it.

Imposed Deficiency

This is where the well-meaning or inexperienced gardener has nutrient-locked their soil. As discussed earlier, If you wrongly thought your plants lacked Magnesium due to looking sickly. Then you applied large quantities of Magnesium with the thought that it was deficient, but it wasn’t. You can lock the nutrients in the soil so the plants can only take up Magnesium.

This can be the danger of using too much Epsom salt in the garden. Without ascertaining the real cause of sick plants, you cannot assume their magnesium deficiency and apply it liberally. You MUST TEST your soil to be sure.

FAQs on Is Epsom Salt Good For Plants?

What plants can you put Epsom salt on?
Epsom salt can be applied to various plants, including roses, tomatoes, peppers, citrus trees, and houseplants. It promotes plant growth, enhances flower blooms, and provides essential minerals like Magnesium and sulfur. However, it’s crucial to use Epsom salt in moderation and follow specific instructions for each plant to avoid over-application or damage.

How should Epsom salt be applied to plants?
To apply Epsom salt to plants, dissolve it in water according to the package instructions. Use the solution to water the plants at their base, avoiding foliage. Apply every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Remember, Epsom salt is best used as a supplement to regular fertilizer and should not be overused.

Can too much Epsom salt hurt plants?
Yes, excessive Epsom salt can harm plants. Although it can provide Magnesium and sulfur, essential nutrients for plant growth, an excessive amount can alter the soil pH, leading to nutrient imbalances and potential toxicity. Proper dosage and application are crucial for the health of plants.

Conclusion

Epsom salt is excellent for helping maintain plant health and magnesium levels in your soils. However, It should not be just added to Epsom salt, thinking it will help. This thinking will have substantial negative impacts on your plants.

Epsom salt certainly has a place in the garden. But it must be used wisely, Do not just listen to advice about using it. Test your soil before adding it to see if it is deficient.

Then and only then can you make better choices as to whether your garden and plants require Epsom salt. You may find after testing that you do not have a deficiency, which can lead you to look into other possible causes of the sick plants.

Don’t make them sicker by just adding it. Be 100% sure it is required. Keep your soil health good, and the plants will look after themselves.

I hope this has cleared up whether Epsom salt is good for plants. You now know precisely how to use it and, more importantly, when not to use it.

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