Epsom Salt

sunshine100May 2, 2006


I used about 5 tablespoons of Epsom Salt mixed with one gallon of water to water my Meyer Lemon tree potted in a container. I just read that the right dosage is 1tsp ! This was the day before yesterday... the plant looks fine.But is there something I should do to minimise any damage to the roots because of the salts?

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rickjames(9 Cali)

Hmmm, that's a new one to me. I've never come across mag sulfate toxicity in plants....in humans it'll cause stupor but I don't think your lemon will show that :)...Did it all dissolve? Sometimes it won't all dissolve and you'll see it in grains at the bottom of your watering can...Plus it's not like table salt and I don't think it sounds like that much IMHO....And I use one tablespoon per gallon average not a teaspoon...How big is your container and how freely does it drain? That will give you an idea as to how much may still be hanging around. It doesn't sound like it's hurting your plant so far...

I suppose if you're really worried you can consider flushing the container--run a hose into it or hold it under the faucet in very slow run, so you wash out the soil, with a few times the volume of the container at least.

HTH. Just my 2 cents...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 6:37PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I use a tablespoon and a half to the gallon (the Miracle-Gro scoop)which seems to work well. Started seeing a much better response once I added the Epsom salts to the mix. Good thing I had so many potted peppers or I may not have ever stumbled onto what it does for citrus.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 10:00AM
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How does ES's work on plants? I've talked to ppl who use it on othter plants and swear the leaves are vibrant green after use..Is this true of citrus, too? Toni

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 8:53PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

It's a source of magnesium. Depending on how heavily a given species feeds on it and the level of magnesium in your soil or potting media you might see a nice change.

I typically use Miracle Gro or Peters w/minors and Green Light liquid iron for my container plants and was not getting the response I thought I should have been getting. Multiple sources mentioned that peppers need a lot of magnesium so to use Epsom salts in their nutrient mix so I gave it a try. The citrus and peppers were in the same greenhouse so I gave them all the same mix. The peppers perked up and to my surprise so did the citrus.

I'm using it in the orchard too, but I haven't put a relatively large amount down yet and as it's very soluble I'm sure I'm going to have to use more this next go around in my sandy soil. I'm sure eventually it will plateau, but for the moment it's making a nice change at least in my potted stuff.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 1:10PM
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Alan, like I said, I talk to ppl who use it and vow it has changed their plants for the best. They said leaves are nice and green, the best ever..
As soon as I get my citrus outside, (from gh and house) I'll give it a dose.
Do you use the same time you fertilize or at different times? Do you sprinkle on plant or mix in water first? Toni

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 2:58PM
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MikeP46(Zone 8 La)


You can mix Epsom salts in water. It dissolves easily. Or if you have many plants as I do, you can sprinkle a small handful in the pot and water well. Be sure to water immediately. If you leave it in a mound, it will crust over. This does not hurt the plant, it just makes it harder to redissolve. I use up to 1/2 cup on rose bushes to promote basal breaks(new canes) with no ill effects.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 4:01PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I mix everything up at the same time and apply it that way.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 4:25PM
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Mike, I've over 400 plants, lol. I don't know the number of plants you have, but whatever, I've alot..I'll have to try using the ES's when I fertilize like Alan does or maybe just sprinkle.. Whichever is easier.
I'm assuming ES's work better for some plants than it does others..For instance, it'd probably work better on palms than say African Violets, right? Toni

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 6:52PM
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ALan and Mike, I was wondering how often you use Epsom salts? Once a week? Also can I use them on all my plants ( i just started getting into gardening so I only have a couple of jasmines, a palm tree and a plumeria plant right now in addition to my Meyer Lemon) to promote vibrant green leaves ? Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 7:27PM
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MikeP46(Zone 8 La)


I have about 70 citrus trees and a few rose bushes. Sunshine, on citrus trees, I only use epsom salts occasionally, maybe every 3 months. On rose bushes, once a month to stimulate new canes. To prevent most nutritional deficiencies, I use Soluble Trace Element Minerals (STEM) quarterly and fertilize with Osmocote Pro 19-5-8 with minors (minor elements) monthly since all my trees are in containers. I flush the pots heavily with water 2 or 3 times a year to prevent salt build up. This year will be my best ever as far as I can tell. I hope to be eating a lot this year. And Toni, you're right, epsom salts are NOT for every plant. The salt may damage soft furry leaves. As with any regimen, a little goes a long way.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 5:12PM
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Thanks Mike...As soon as our weather warms up, I'll be working on feeding/Superthriving/and ES's.

Sunshine, once a wk sounds too often. The ppl I know who use it do so once a month. There's a little info on the side of the box regarding houseplants. I'd follow their directions; not more or less, especially more.
Substances should be used with moderation. Toni

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 9:21PM
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The reason epsom salts greens the leaves is magnesiun is
important in the production of chlorophyll and also aids in
the uptake of nitrogen which is essential to the overall
health and vigour of the plant.Tomatoes also benefit from
magnesium.If you use animal manure on your plants,they quite
often will lack magnesium as a result.I always mix just a
teaspoon in with my soluble citrus food each time i feed my
citrus trees.High nitrogen is important to citrus too.works well.The magnesium helps the citrus absorb the nitrogen,therefore reducing older leaf yellowing.cheers

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 6:04AM
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Thanks Laidback..I knew it had Mg, but didn't realize it worked for nit too.
I haven't fed my citrus so far caues it's been terrible outside..When I do I'm going to use Miracle Gro, Superthrive and the ES's..thanks..Toni

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 2:54PM
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How much epsom salt should I brodcast around my citrus trees, and how often? They are 4 years old and producing.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Dave2, the formula for plants in the ground is to calculate the square footage under the drip line. If your drip line is 3 feet (tree circumference) then us A=Pi x R squared. A=3.14 x 3 x 3 = 28.26 sq feet. Then feed a tablespoon per square foot and water it in well.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 9:26PM
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I just noticed a error in my previous post. (tree circumference) should have read (tree diameter). Sorry for the confusion.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:19PM
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