Ask a Question forum: use of epsom salt on plants

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deep East Tx. zone 8
afytexas
Apr 2, 2018 9:46 AM CST
Why use epsom salt on plants? Thanks for any advise
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 2, 2018 10:47 AM CST
I can't think of even one good reason. If you use a well balanced fertilizer with trace minerals, you have it all covered. Here is a great article from Washington State University:

https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/...

Here is the last paragraph of the article (a quote):

The Bottom Line

The urge to use common household products as garden fertilizers and pesticides is compelling for many consumers who want simple, cheap approaches to landscape management. However, the use of any chemical in a landscape should be thoughtfully considered:

• Is it necessary?

• Can it cause damage?

The science behind the use of Epsom salts is only applicable to intensive crop production in situations where magnesium is known to be deficient in the soil or in the plants. It is irresponsible to advise gardeners and other plant enthusiasts to apply Epsom salts, or any chemical, without regard
to soil conditions, plant needs, and environmental health.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 2, 2018 12:29 PM CST
When it comes to orchids with a magnesium deficiency, growers will use Epsom salts to replace that magnesium. It is much cheaper than something like cal/mag fertilizer.
In many homes down here, they use reverse osmosis which takes ALL nutrients out of the water, the good with the bad. So in order to feed their orchids, nutrients need to be added. When it comes to adding magnesium it is much cheaper to use Epsom salts then it is to use other sources,
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 4, 2018 1:31 PM CST
I'm tired of arguing with people, on the benefits of using Epson salts.

The same as people saying ! (That after spraying your vege plants with soapy water mix, of 1 Tablespoon original dawn dishsoap with 1 gallon of water, that you have to rinse it off. ) Gee ? I never have 🤔?

So ! I suggest, you Google ! Using epsom salts for fertilizer.
There's a lot more Pro's , than doomsday Con's. Whistling Whistling Whistling

Good Day I tip my hat to you.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 4, 2018 3:36 PM CST
It all depends upon who you choose to believe: some one you found on Google or a University. I am choosing the University - anyone can post anything on the internet. Choose your sources wisely.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 4, 2018 4:14 PM CST
Dasiy !
I used many resources. Thank you, very much. I tip my hat to you.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 4, 2018 5:51 PM CST
I'll go with these that I found on Google Smiling

https://laidbackgardener.blog/...

https://www.gardenmyths.com/ep...
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 7, 2018 8:45 AM CST
Profesional growers, whose livelihood depends on doing everything possible to maximize growth, use carefully balanced nutrient mixes that include magnesium and trace elements. Good quality fertilizers contain ALL necessary nutrients and in the right proportion. There is nothing wrong per se with using Epsom salts, but only if used in conjunction with other essential nutrients and used in the proper proportion. That's hard to do correctly.

Apparently, lots of amateur growers are also amateur chemists!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Apr 7, 2018 8:52 AM CST
Epsom Salt/the Magnesium is to Chlorophyll what Iron is to Hemoglobin. One could imagine that some extra Magnesium will help producing nice green growth in your plants.
Thumb of 2018-04-07/Ursula/715735

Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Apr 7, 2018 10:03 AM CST
Isn't that interesting, Ursula. Who would have thought?

We don't even know if the original poster is thinking potted plants V native soil.

If you want to spend 5$ on something to help your plants grow, why not a complete fertilizer instead of one with only one, possibly already supplied, element?

Simple home remedy of all kinds, including plant fertilizers, seem endlessly appealing to human nature.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 7, 2018 10:30 AM CST
Well all I know is that Florida water is terrible. The mineral content in the water does not allow the yeast to work properly when it comes to baking, making pizza or bagels!
I use a 15" aluminum watering wand on the end of my hose when I water my plants. Within 15-18 months it has corroded to the point where it starts to leak and needs to be replaced.
Copper pipe here can't be used, it clogs like plaque in your artery, but not in 50 or 60 years, try 5-10!! Cross sectional images are spooky!
My shower head has to be taken down once a year to have it flushed out because of internal gunk build up!
Now you know why they go to reverse osmosis systems to try and escape the build up.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Apr 7, 2018 10:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 7, 2018 1:43 PM CST
Ursula said:Epsom Salt/the Magnesium is to Chlorophyll what Iron is to Hemoglobin. One could imagine that some extra Magnesium will help producing nice green growth in your plants.


With essential plant nutrients, there is no benefit to applying more than is sufficient for growth and good health. Applying too much of one nutrient can cause a deficiency of another.

If plants are deficent in magnesium they will develop symptoms that indicate it, primarily interveinal chlorosis (where the veins stay green but between them is paler). This typically occurs on the older leaves. In that case supplemental magnesium, such as from Epsom salts or other sources will help. When similar symptoms appear on the youngest leaves it is more likely an iron or manganese deficiency brought about by high soil pH.

Garden soil contains all the essential nutrients a plant needs but sometimes they are not available in sufficient amounts for optimum performance and that's when we may run into a need to supplement. In that situation it is best to get a soil test to find out exactly what the problem is. If you guess wrong you can make the situation worse. In many cases it is an adjustment of the soil pH that is needed rather than a specific nutrient.

Excess haemoglobin and iron indicate medical conditions so, just like plants, humans can also have too much of a good thing.

Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Apr 7, 2018 3:58 PM CST
And then we have the case of growing Orchids, which are not growing in soil, but many times bare root and mounted, or in bark.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 7, 2018 4:20 PM CST
The distinction I was trying to make was between adequate and "extra". Magnesium is an essential nutrient so if you have to supply it in some way, such as Epsom salts, then that's what you would do. But giving more of a nutrient than is adequate is not necessary and can be harmful.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 8, 2018 8:40 AM CST
Big Bill - I'm confused about your location. Your profile says Michigan, but you mention FL water. Are you fortunate enough to be a Snowbird? Or do you have your water piped in from FL?! Hilarious!

Water quality is a big problem in many areas, fortunately not in NYC where I live. High mineral salts and poor pH in water often prevent essential nutrient from being absorbed regardless of how much fertilizer is supplied. So you are absolutely right about starting with water quality before attempting to fix plant issues with fertilizer. I believe you know this, but thought I would take advantage of your post to inform others.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
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BigBill
Apr 8, 2018 8:49 AM CST
Actually I temporarily have dual citizenship Will. Rolling on the floor laughing
Lived on Long Island 59years, Florida for 9 years and I am moving to Michigan to be near my kids. I close here in Florida on Tuesday at 3pm and arrive in Michigan on April 12th.
I am awaiting closing on my home there on April 30th!
I bought a one story brick ranch, 1350 sq. Ft. On .6 of an acre. There are lots of flower beds, planting's and bird feeders. Looking forward to growing hostas, perennials, coneflowers, astilbe and whatever else I can.
My orchids, all 80 of them are coming with me, and hence my dual citizenship. At least until Tuesday at 3!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Apr 8, 2018 9:02 AM CST
Sue / @sooby said
With essential plant nutrients, there is no benefit to applying more than is sufficient for growth and good health.

No problem there, sure. Smiling

But would you please explain this one a bit? How so?
Applying too much of one nutrient can cause a deficiency of another.

[Last edited by Ursula - Apr 8, 2018 9:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 8, 2018 9:37 AM CST
Ursula said:

But would you please explain this one a bit? How so?



It's called nutrient antagonism. This page sets it out fairly well, if you scroll down there is a table that shows which nutrients in excess interfere with others:

https://www.maximumyield.com/n...
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Apr 8, 2018 10:08 AM CST
Interesting, thank you.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Apr 8, 2018 11:12 AM CST
Good luck with your move and in your new home, Bill! Safe travels.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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