Epsom Salt or Vinegar to help Blooms

bradley787April 10, 2009

Which one is better suited to encourage blooming?

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russ2009(9 Texas)

Information that may help you.

Rid your garden of bugs and aphids by spraying your plants with a solution of vinegar and water. 1 cup vinegar to a gallon of water. Vinegar is a natural pesticide so you can get rid of many critters by using a solution mixed with water.

Epsom Salt:
Studies show that magnesium and sulfur, two components of Epsom Salt may:
Help seeds germinate
Make plants grow bushier
Produce more flowers
Increase chlorophyll production
Improve phosphorus and nitrogen uptake

Magnesium and sulfur are the two major components of Epsom Salt. Crop researchers have determined that magnesium is:

A critical mineral for seed germination.
Vital to the production of chlorophyll, which plants use to transform sunlight into food.
An aid in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen, two of the most important fertilizer components.

Sulfur, the other major component of Epsom Salt, is also an important plant nutrient.

Sulfer may:
Contribute to chlorophyll production.
Make the primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) found in most fertilizers more effective.
Although magnesium and sulfur occur naturally in soil, they can be depleted by various conditions, including heavy agricultural use 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.

Garden tips:
Houseplants: 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. Soak unplanted bushes in 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time. Spray with Epsom Salt solution weekly to discourage pests.
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.
Trees: Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet. Apply over the root zone 3 times annually.
Garden Startup: Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.
Sage: Do not apply! This herb is one of the few plants that doesn't like Epsom Salt.


I use epsom salts on everything and it seems to work just fine. For blooms on my Hibiscus I put a cup of coffee grounds once a month from Feb - Oct here in my zone. Then its rest time for them. I save my coffee grounds daily to apply to Hibiscus plants. They grow nice and bloom so beautiful. An elderly gent at a Hibiscus show and sale told me his secret......hope this helps.....Russ

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 12:21AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Vinegar would only be helpful if you have a KNOWN pH issue - that being your soil pH is too high. Usually, the high soil or soil solution pH shows up as symptoms of Fe and Mn deficiencies, and don't confuse all chlorotic leaves with an Fe deficiency and start applying Fe chelate willy nilly. Fe toxicities from Fe chelate are more common than true Fe deficiencies. Usually all that's needed to correct an Fe deficiency is lowering the pH, and vinegar will work to neutralize the alkalinity in the irrigation water & in the end, help lower pH.

Epsom salts is another issue entirely. Just because it might help green-up your plants, doesn't mean it makes them healthier or makes them grow better. Adding Epsom salts to your plant w/o adding calcium (Ca) can create a deficiency of Ca, even if there is ample Ca in the soil (Search calcium magnesium antagonistic deficiency). Ca is ESSENTIAL for the normal formation of cells and normal growth, and it MUST be present in the nutrient stream at all times. The effect of adding 1-2 tbsp of Epsom salts to a gallon of water and then applying it to your plants is virtually the same as adding 1-2 tbsp of fertilizer to the water and applying it. This will raise the TDS (total dissolved solids) and EC (electrical conductivity) levels of the soil solution to extremely high levels, and can cause plasmolysis (fertilizer burn) - especially if the application is combined with or close to your regular fertilizing time, because you have the Epsom salts + your fertilizer salts + residual salts in the soil. 1-2 tbsp/gallon doses also virtually assure a Ca deficiency unless you add Ca at the same time.
You should be sure you have a Mg deficiency before you use MgSO4 (Epsom salts), or using it is always counter-productive.

When you DO have a Mg deficiency, 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water along with your regular fertilizer (that does not contain Mg) is enough to alleviate the deficiency.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:22AM
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