Orchids forum: Epsom Salt

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Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
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IbisFla
Jan 6, 2016 8:50 AM CST
I've seen a couple of mentions about adding epsom salt to the regular fertilizing schedule for orchids. How much should you apply, and how is it best applied? Do some orchids respond better than others? Does it help leaves, blooming or roots? Just trying to get your experiences. Thank you!
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Jan 6, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Ibis, here is a little article that sums it up pretty well:

http://faq.gardenweb.com/discussions/2766345/how-are-epsom-s...

Jim
Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
Jan 6, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Thanks, Jim - I ran across the same article during my google search, but was hoping to get some first-hand experience from all the knowledgeable folks here. Smiling
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Jan 6, 2016 10:22 AM CST
I delute 1/2 tablespoon in a gallon of rain water and put it in a one gallon hand sprayer. I also fertilize at the same time. They get the magnesium once per week and the fertilizer twice per week. You can also add insecticide or fungicide to the mix as needed.

Jim
Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
Jan 6, 2016 11:41 AM CST
Do you spray the potting medium or the leaves?
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Jan 6, 2016 12:01 PM CST
Everything except the flowers.

Jim
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Jan 6, 2016 12:37 PM CST
thanks Jim, this reminder is good for me as well...( it's soo hard to change my old habits of fertilizing 2 year..whether the plants needed it or not! Whistling ) and the whole epsom salt concept..sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode if any new info is added to the vault!
lindsey
Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
Jan 6, 2016 12:49 PM CST
Thanks, Jim! Thumbs up
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jan 6, 2016 1:16 PM CST

Moderator

Perhaps it helps to see the structure of Chlorophyll. Magnesium is to Chlorophyll what Iron is to Hemoglobin.
Thumb of 2016-01-06/Ursula/ffb27a

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 6, 2016 5:21 PM CST
Neat, Ursula. That also shows why plants need more Mg in winter than summer - weaker sunlight means they make more chlorophyll to feed themselves - that's why a lot of orchids go darker green in lower light.

Same as Jim, I put a heaping tablespoon in my 2gal. sprayer at least once a week. I combine it with fertilizer, except not when I use the high phosphorus "bloom booster" fert in spring. Haven't sprayed all mine with fungicide yet, but I think that's happening tomorrow.

It's great for a lot of your other plants too. Again, I spray it on, dissolved in rain water because my well water that I irrigate the garden with is high pH and has phosphorus in it, too. The phosphorus binds a lot of nutrients including magnesium, so it's not all available to plants.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 16, 2016 10:17 AM CST
This is a great info. I have a bag of Epsom salt and I didn't quite know how to use it.
©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 16, 2016 11:18 AM CST
Yep, just dissolve it in pure water and spray it on, your plants will all love you for it. Most plants here in Florida like some extra magnesium, because our heavy rains leach it out of the soil.

We got a good, heavy rain yesterday, early in the morning. My orchids are all out today and tomorrow but coming into the house again tomorrow night after a good spray with Epsom salts solution and mild fertilizer this morning. I'll spray the Vandas down with the hose again tomorrow before I bring them in, just because it's so much easier to do that outside than in.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 16, 2016 11:59 AM CST
Thank You! Ellaine! I will do the same.
©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Jan 16, 2016 2:05 PM CST
Elaine, that NOID I have that turned burgundy almost overnight is finally turning back to green.
It took 3 applications of the Epsom salts..and it looks so much happier now..Thanks for this great
growing tip!
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 16, 2016 2:47 PM CST
I have to give Ursula the credit. I had one little Catt that turned red like that very suddenly, and she advised me first to apply magnesium in the form of Epsom Salts.

Then just a few months ago I got Martin Motes' books about Florida orchid growing and he is a strong advocate of keeping the magnesium coming year 'round for orchids as long as they aren't dormant.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Jan 16, 2016 4:00 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
thank you Ursula ( oh wise one) for saving orchids...one pot at a time!
lindsey
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Jan 16, 2016 5:17 PM CST

Moderator

Oh boy!! Smiling *Blush*
Name: Prabhi Setty
Trinidad West-Indies
prabhisetty
Jan 16, 2016 5:49 PM CST
Hi Guys,
I grow lots of Phalenopsis orchids and do use Epsom salt at the rate 1 to 2 TBS of Magnesium sulphate ( commonly known as Epsom salt) just after flower spikes are about 2 to 3 inches tall, from my experience, the leaves looks healthy, turgid and flower spikes grow stronger.
My experience is based on my observation and reading an excellent a book a compilation of renowned growers and nursery men of the world( the title may be Phalenopsis cultivation by Bob Gordon).
Prabhi S
Note: Title of the Complied Book A World wide guide to cultivation of Phalenopsis Orchids by Bob Gordon
[Last edited by prabhisetty - Jan 17, 2016 8:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 16, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Phrabi how often do you apply it after the flower Spikes are out?

©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: Prabhi Setty
Trinidad West-Indies
prabhisetty
Jan 16, 2016 7:25 PM CST
GigiPlumeria said:Phrabi how often do you apply it after the flower Spikes are out?


We apply only while the buds are forming.
Prabhi S

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