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Epsom Salt In Your Garden, When And Why To Use It On Plants

Epsom Salt In Your Garden, When And Why To Use It On Plants

If you grow tomatoes or roses, it is very likely that you have heard of people treating their crops with Epsom salts. This is hailed as the best-kept gardening trick' by some, though Epsom salts are used in gardening for centuries. But how do Epsom salt benefit your crops, and if you are using it in your backyard?

What's Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt is a natural mineral that's made of hydrated magnesium sulfate. It had been found in an underground spring in the town of Epsom in England in the early 1600s. It has since been used for treating several ailments in humans, animals, and plants. Chemically, it's 10% magnesium and 13% sulfur.

Magnesium is one of the nutrients plants need to grow. It is, however, a minor nutrient that means plants do not need very much of it.

What's The Epsom Salt Effect On Plants?

Epsom salts are pH neutral and gentle on plants, such as potted houseplants. To boost nutrient intake, combine two tablespoons of Epsom salts with one gallon of water and spray on leaves, instead of on the roots, for optimum absorption. Alternately, add the salts directly to the ground: 1 teaspoon of salts per each foot of plant height. Consider adding Epsom salts to your houseplants each month, monitoring subtle changes in leaf vibrancy and development.

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Sulfur (13 percent) is Critical to the inner workings of crops, but it is almost never lacking in the soil, thanks in part to artificial fertilizers and acid rain

Magnesium (10 percent) can become rare in the soil, usually due to erosion or depletion of the topsoil or a pH imbalance. Some crops, like spinach and lettuce, do not mind going without magnesium. Others may display symptoms such as leaf curling and stunted growth, though these symptoms could be attributed to more than 1 cause. Magnesium deficiency has been blamed as a cause for sour berries, likely because the lack inhibits photosynthesis.

Generally speaking, magnesium plays a role in strengthening the plant cell walls, allowing the plant to take in the nutrients that it requires. Additionally, it assists in seed germination, photosynthesis, and the formation of seeds and fruits.

Why Does Epsom Salt Applied On Plants

Epsom salt IS used efficiently for plants in some, targeted scenarios. Specifically, a type of calcium sulfate is used to counteract soil magnesium deficiency in intensively-managed industrial plants. Responsible use of Epsom salt in agriculture entails proving that the dirt is indeed deficient in calcium and that the risk involved with the program is acceptable.

The science supporting the use of Epsom salts is only applicable to intensive crop production in conditions where magnesium is known to be deficient in the soil or at the plants. It's irresponsible to advise gardeners and other plant enthusiasts to employ Epsom salts, or any compound, without regard to soil conditions, plant requirements, and ecological health.

Improves Nutrient Uptake

Epsom salt comprises magnesium, which is a vital nutrient that helps a plant perform some of its essential functions. One of them is that magnesium increases a plant's ability to absorb other nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, without which it might fight to flourish. It increases nutrient absorption, scientific evaluations indicate that magnesium-sulfate can boost cell uptake of important minerals, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

Epsom salt is, thus, not only helpful at providing the plant with magnesium but in doing this, it's also beneficial in ensuring the plant can take at the best levels of other essential nutrients in the soil.

Makes Plants Greener

Magnesium, one of the chief elements of Epsom salt, is believed to create plants greener. It does this because magnesium is helpful in the plants' production of chlorophyll, which is what determines a plant's foliage colour, and finally contributes to the plant's foliage appearing lusher. Chlorophyll is also essential for the plant to photosynthesize, a procedure which helps the plant to generate energy and food for itself.

Provides Micronutrients And Better Start For Seeds

Epsom salts contain two micronutrients that are useful for the plant, and these are sulfur and magnesium. Some anglers assert that these micronutrients aren't vitally important for the plant, but some assert that they make all of the difference in a plant's successful development. In actuality, the sort of plant you have will determine whether these micronutrients are crucial or not.

Magnesium promotes seed germination by strengthening cell walls and providing increased energy for growth. Sulfur is readily lost during the germination process, so use a drench of one tablespoon of Epsom salts for each gallon of water into the soil after seeding. Alternately, you can combine 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts into every hole before planting seeds. For grass seeds and wildflowers, sprinkle one cup Epsom salts per 100 square feet, blend in the soil, and water thoroughly. Reapply Epsom salt drench to seedlings each month throughout the growing season.

Prevents Pests Naturally

Rather than using simple table salt to dehydrate and kill snails and slugs, banish the pests with Epsom salts and you're going to give blossoms and roots a boost in the procedure. For general pest control, combine one cup of Epsom salts with five gallons of water and spray on foliage. For slug and snail control, sprinkle dry Epsom salts in the backyard around the base of plants.

Epsom salt can help deter some backyard pests, such as voles and slugs. Fixing your crops with Epsom salts can decrease amounts of slugs in your garden, but it probably will not be the miracle insect deterrent you're hoping for. Realistically, if you're wanting to care for your pest problem, then Epsom salts shouldn't be your first port of call, but if you're using Epsom salts to help your roses grow, then their capacity to dissuade some pests from setting up camp would be a valuable side effect.

Balances Nutrient Levels

Scientific tests indicate that magnesium-sulfate can boost cell uptake of important minerals, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. In a recent study, testers in five nations gave pepper plants a typical drench of one tablespoon of Epsom salts to a gallon of water, two times a month, and the vast majority of those treated plants showed thicker foliage and bigger vegetables.

Epsom salts can help balance nutrient levels in certain kinds of soils. If your plants aren't doing well and you suspect a nutrient deficiency, you can get your soil tested to learn what is missing. Magnesium is a frequent nutrient that is deficient in agricultural soil or dirt, that has been overworked, and it'll need a replacement to make sure plants growing in that soil stay healthy. If the magnesium levels of your soil have been depleted from years of growing berries, as an instance, then supplementing your diet with Epsom salts could balance the nutrient levels and enhance future crops.

Neutralizes Soil pH

In case you've got a high soil pH in excess of 7.5 pH, then adding Epsom salts to it might help neutralize it. Many plants will struggle to grow in soils that are too alkaline, and thus reducing the pH level of the soil in these cases will be quite helpful. The Epsom salts should be worked to the soil and will slowly increase the acidity of the soil with time. (More ways to use Epsom salt)

Epsom Salts in the Garden, When NOT To Use It

Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, which is a kind of magnesium salt. This is not a normal lack for Prairie soils. Many plants have problems with excess salts in the soil. A kind of Epson salts is used as a nutritional supplement in commercial agriculture where magnesium is deficient. While magnesium deficiency is an occasional problem for tomatoes in intensive farming scenarios, it would be highly unusual for a casual gardener to get this very specific sort of deficiency.

Why supply more magnesium if it's not needed, particularly if a person runs the danger of creating different issues in the procedure? (read this article)

As a Main Fertilizer

Epson salts don't provide complete fertilizer for any plant. If you are looking for improved fertility with your Epsom salts, your crops are much better of using a biological fertilizer or adding compost as these two options will provide you a broad collection of the micro and macronutrients your plant requires. Combined with frequent watering, they will also offer you larger and healthier berries too!

Epsom salts contain micronutrients that are beneficial to the health of several plants. However, the principal nutrients that plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which can be known in the gardening world as N-P-K. The nutrient value of Epsom salts is 0-0-0, meaning they contain no traces whatsoever of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium.

Should you decide to use Epsom salts in your plants, it is imperative that you're aware that Epsom salts aren't a substitute for fertilizer. Epsom salts do not include any of the critical nutrients a plant needs, and instead, you should be feeding your plants with a balanced fertilizer to help sustain them. Epsom salts can be beneficial, but they need to be utilised as an additional secondary nutritional supplement, rather than as the main way of feeding a plant.

Magnesium-Deficient Plants

In case you have found your plant is magnesium deficient, you may immediately assume that your soil is lacking magnesium. In actuality, a calcium deficiency in a plant does not always mean it's growing in magnesium-deficient soil. Some crops suffer from magnesium deficiencies since the soil is too high in phosphorus, which prevents a plant from having the ability to adequately absorb the soils magnesium.

Adding Epsom salts in this case won't make any difference because it's the phosphorus level of the soil, which has to be decreased to allow a plant to absorb calcium. Treating the soil with Epsom salts will be moot and will delay you discover the real reason your plants aren't thriving. It's necessary to have your soil tested to ascertain the right problem before wrongly treating it for a lack.

Acidic Soil

Epsom salts can be useful in helping to neutralize alkaline soil, and thus the reverse would be true in acidic soil. In case you've got acidic soil, then you need to avoid using Epsom salts in your backyard, because this may exacerbate the problem.

How Much Epsom Salt For Plants

There are lots of diverse ways to use Epsom salts in the backyard, and the ratio you may use will differ depending on the application procedure, and the crops you're treating.

To get a typical Epsom salt supplement which can be utilised in the backyard and on houseplants, use two tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water, and use this to water your plants once per month between regular watering. For roses, operate in half a cup of Epsom salts around the bottom of the plant to promote new growth and flowering.

When originally planting roses, it's advised that you add one spoon of Epsom salts into the hole prior to lowering the plant in. Shrubs, such as azaleas and rhododendrons, may benefit from an Epsom salt feed monthly, while trees can be treated with Epsom salts around three times every year.

How to Apply Epsom Salt to Plants

Mix in the necessary amount of Epsom salt with water and spray it on the leaves of a plant Epsom salts in the backyard are most commonly used as a foliar spray. You just mix in the necessary amount of Epsom salt with water and spray it on the leaves of a plant. Ideally, do this in springtime as fresh leaves are emerging and again after flowering.

Epsom salts can also be added to water and used as a soil drench, watering the plant in the soil level. After planting, you can add Epsom salts directly to the soil or work it into the soil without diluting it in water.


How much Epsom salt do you place on tomato plants? 

The perfect solution ratio is 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height. If your tomato plant is two feet in height, then you will be consuming it 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt at least twice per month! Once on the 15th and another on the 30th would be ideal. For other crops, the rule of thumb is once every six weeks. 

Can Epsom salt kill insects? 

Epsom salt is a mineral compound, that's made up of magnesium and sulfate. Epsom salt was used for many years to naturally eliminate pests, like, the Colorado potato beetles, slugs, and snails. Does Epsom salt to get rid of pests, it's also been known to fertilize your garden's soil also. 

Can Epsom salt help plants grow? 

Epsom salt -- really magnesium sulfate -- aids seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production and deters insects, like slugs and voles. Additionally, it provides essential nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer.

Can Epsom salt make soil contaminated? 

Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) are generally neutral and so do not affect soil pH, which makes it either more acidic or more basic. They're a rich source of magnesium, which plants will need to stay healthy. They also contribute sulfur, which crops also require.

When should you spray on Epsom salt on plants? 

Begin foliar spraying when blossoms first appear. Sidedressing throughout the season. Work one tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height around the base of each plant. Sidedress plants every six months starting soon after leaves appear and continuing through the end harvest.


Epsom salts contain micronutrients and are a valuable supplement for a number of plants, especially roses, tomatoes, and peppers. They can help improve soil quality in some cases, even though it could be harmful in others, like in acidic soil. Epsom salts do not include any vital nutrients and for that reason shouldn't be used instead of a balanced fertilizer.

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Robert Davis

Robert Davis

What started as a personal experience to improve my overall health by growing my own food has turned into a mission to share my experience and my own research. Growing your own food and eating healthier food is something that everyone has to try.

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