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What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is a natural mineral that is composed of hydrated magnesium sulfate. It was discovered in an underground spring in the town of Epsom in England in the early 1600s. It has since been used for treating many conditions in humans, animals, and plants.
What Does Epsom Salt Do For Plants?
Here, we’ll look at various points of view and evidence to determine which plants, if any, would benefit from supplements of Epsom salts.
Boosts Nutrient Intake and Revitalizes Plants
- Epsom salts contain magnesium, which helps a plant absorb the nutrients it needs to grow. Magnesium is also a critical component of chlorophyll which supports the functions needed in order to absorb sunlight during photosynthesis.
Helps Deter Pests
- Epsom salt can help deter some garden pests, but keep in mind that it’s not the hands-down best deterrent available to people. Many gardeners suggest sprinkling a small amount of Epsom Salt around your plants in order to combat slugs, but some experts say it won’t help much. The general consensus is that Epsom Salt is relatively safe as a pest deterrent and to use it sparingly.
Balances Nutrient Levels
- Epsom salts can help balance nutrient levels in particular types of soils. If your plants are not performing well and you suspect a nutrient deficiency, you can get your soil tested to find out what is missing.
Neutralizes Soil pH
- If you have a high soil pH in excess of 7.5 pH, then adding Epsom salts to it could help to neutralize it. Many plants will struggle to grow in soils that are too alkaline, and so reducing the pH level of the soil when that’s the case helps a lot.
When Not To Use Epsom Salt
Epsom salts are known to be beneficial to some plants in some situations. Here are some situations in which Epsom salts should not be used.
Do Not Use It As A Main Fertilizer
Epsom salts don’t contain any of the main nutrients all planta need in order to grow. Epsom salts can be beneficial, but they should be used as a supplement or booster and not as the primary source of nutrients.
Do Not Use It WIth Magnesium-Deficient Plants
Adding Epsom salts if your plants have a magnesium deficiency will not help because that means there is a high phosphorus level in the soil. It is important to have your soil tested to determine the correct problem before mistakenly treating it for a deficiency.
Do Not Use It With Acidic Soil
Epsom salts can be useful to neutralize alkaline soil. If you have acidic soil, don’t use Epsom salt in your garden because this will make the situation worse.
How Do You Use Epsom Salts?
Epsom salts are mostly used with a sprayer. All you need to do is mix in the required amount of Epsom salt with water. You can also add water and the salt into a jug or container and water the soil directly. When planting, you can also add Epsom salt to the soil directly and water it.
How Much Should You Use?
For general purposes, use two tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water, and use this to water your plants once each month in between regular watering. For roses, apply half a cup of Epsom salts around the base of the plant.