The Q&A Archives: epsom salt

Question: I know epsom salt is often used on roses. Is there anything else that could use some epsom salt?

Answer: Magnesium and sulfur are the two major components of Epsom Salt. Although magnesium and sulfur occur naturally in soil, they can be depleted over time. But unlike most commercial fertilizers, which build up in the soil over time, Epsom Salt is not persistent so you can't overuse it. Tests by the National Gardening Association confirm - roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, while the compound makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated with commercial fertilizer alone.

You can use epsom salts on houseplants: mix 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.

Tomatoes: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks.

Roses: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth.

Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.

Lawns: Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.

The only caution is with Sage. Do not use on sage. This herb is one of the few plants that doesn't like Epsom Salt.

Best wishes with your garden.

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