Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Elemental Magnesium

Posted by laidbackdood auck NZ (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 6, 11 at 5:19

Hi Everyone...Its been a long time since i have been on here and its the start of summer down here in New Zealand...I Thought i would give everyone an update of my citrus in pots and my citrus in the ground..
The biggest revolution for me has been the introduction of the above...A guy sells it here on trade me...Its basically magnesium fillings...You apply every two months around the drip line of ground/pots....
All i can say is my tress have gone nuts..heaps of flowers and vigorous growth...both in pots and ground..
I really pruned my meyer lemon hard...just before spring break...fed it with the above and a general fert and it went nuts! At first my neighbour thought i was going to kill it but its huge now...not many flowers mind but my mandarin produced heaps of flowers and the fruits are already the size of walnuts....If you can get some your way...I recommend it...Improves fruit quality..with smoother fruits and vigorous growth...Found Terracotta to be the best to grow pot specimens with medium size pummice mixed into the potting mix...slow release fert N19 P 3.75 K 11.95 plus trace elements...No urea and half slow release N,half quick release N...Bloody perfect...Every two months add the Mg and they are loving it.Even fed the tomotoes and feijoas with it...The F produced tonnes of flowers.Strengthens the trees.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Fact is elemental Mg is not available to a citrus or any other plant. It needs to be in a form like magnesium sulfate or a similar compound that has some water soluability.

Mg shavings won't hurt your tree but it is about like sticking a stainless steel fork in the ground to correct an iron deficiency.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

  • Posted by tapla zone 5b-6a Mid-M (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 6, 11 at 21:14

There is an ideal ratio of all elements to each other in soils. Adding more of ANY nutrient than is required to maintain a favorable ratio with other plants and a favorable o/a level of fertility is counterproductive. The only way adding Mg in elemental form could possibly help a plant is if Mg was KNOWN to be deficient. Additionally, adding Mg w/o adding an appropriate amount of Ca can create an antagonistic deficiency of Ca,

While Mg is not soluble in water at room temperature, it does oxidize in the presence of O2 and water vapor, so it would become available in damp soils, though surety of it's benefit would have to be determined by a soil test; or, strong indication there is a Mg deficiency and an adequate amount of Ca in the soil to prevent an antagonism.

I think you need to look elsewhere to find the reason for the success you've enjoyed.

Al


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

The guy who sold it to me Called i"The prefect citrus food"...I have fed my next door neighbours trees with it...one was almost dead and now its thriving...I have fed them all with the same fert that i always have fed them with...just the addition of the mg(it looks like shavings)....My neighbour said she has never seen so many flowers on a tree....The guy who sold it to me...told me it makes the tree stronger at cellular level....I know what i see.It acts in a slow release fashion.All the trees are going for it..even a small mandarin tree.There is no doubt it dissolves too.I also know that Mg helps the tree take up nitrogen...An important element for growth.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

  • Posted by tapla zone 5b-6a Mid-M (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 7, 11 at 9:55

Regardless of what the guy who sold it to you or the neighbor said, it is a fact that you need a certain amount of potassium and magnesium to maintain good health, just like trees, but an extra shot of potassium can stop your heart - lethal injection. The poison is in the dose.

Hobby growers are notoriously poor observers, often attributing common effects to impossible causes. Whenever one's observations go against known science, it's ALWAYS better to doubt your observations and look for other viable explanations than doubt science. We KNOW that a nutrient present in the soil in excess of adequacy or luxury levels is a bad thing, so while no one minds how you go about tending your trees, the results you report should probably not be considered a clarion call for the masses to follow. Adding singular elements or compounds intended to deliver one of the elements it contains is going to have negative effects far more often than it will have positive effects .... UNLESS there is a KNOWN deficiency of that element, AND the presence of other elements that may have an antagonistic relationship with the element you are applying are present in the soil in quantities sufficient to prevent the antagonism. Those extremely experienced at diagnosing nutritional deficiencies and toxicities might feel comfortable at acting on their observations, but even then they will be wrong significantly often, so a soil test is the only reliable way to determine what your soil actually needs.

Magnesium is simply ONE of the elements needed for the tree to grow to it's potential. No matter how much Mg you add, you can NEVER stimulate the tree to grow at beyond its genetically endowed level of vigor; and supplying ANY nutrient or other cultural factor in excess, actually ENSURES the plant cannot grow to its potential.

Unless there is an actual Mg deficiency in your soil(s) or an excess of Ca, your applications are assuredly counterproductive.

You may find the link below of interest.

Al


Here is a link that might be useful: How growth is limited


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

I have added some gypsum along with the mg now...will see how that goes.At least there will be some balance between calcium and magnesium but i havent seen any negative outcomes from what i have been doing...If you look at citrus ferts they always tend to add extra MG to it as citrus need MG more so than other trees.
I must take a pic of my trees....My mandarin has always produced fruits the size of ping pong balls...It will be interesting to see what happens this year.
Maybe,my soils are deficient of MG.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

  • Posted by tapla zone 5b-6a Mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 11, 11 at 9:34

Best luck to you, LBD! ;o)

Al


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Thanks AL...I will let you all know how it goes...If its good i will post some pics come winter with the fruits attached...If they suffer, then i guess you told me so! Cheers


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

  • Posted by tapla zone 5b-6a Mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 12, 11 at 13:28

.... always wish you well. Grow on, LBD. ;o)

A;


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Generally speaking, in a very broad context, Al has a point about adding major nutrients, and micros metals. Same is true for adding lime or sulfur. Don't do it without some test or very good evidence of need based on past experiences. I once over acidified my garden that way. But that was forty years ago and I'm more cautious now.

Any way I retired from a chemical company that made micro nutrients and magnesium metal. I even ran the micro-nutrient plant for a while and I worked in a lab next to the one doing the research on chelated micros. Since I retired I continued to study this area and the effects on citrus.

Magnesium metal reacts with water to give the hydroxide and increases alkalinity of the soil. This usually is not good.
The result is that most metals become unavailable to the roots. Now if your soil is deep sand that may not be so bad, but as Al says Ca to Mg ratios are often critical. And as Just a Guy and Dr Manners showed here last year Ca is critical. Indeed Al, I fully agree there is a on optimum Ca/Mg ratio but it is very nebulous and probably varies greatly with rootstock. Only deep sand and soils derived from decomposed serpentenite usually have low Ca for citrus.
Excess Ca is real hard on most rootstock except lemon.

Unless your soil is deep sand I would think the standard Mg should come from the sulfate or Epsom salts which is the hydrated sulfate. That will give a slightly acid reaction, and provide highly soluble Mg++ ion in most conditions. And it does not tie up other micros (except Calcium in very unusual conditions).

I have a subsoil highly enriched in Calcium carbonate. And the problems involved in growing citrus on trifoliate and its hybrids are enough to make a grown man cry. But I prevail by adding acidifiers.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Wow Tantanman: Fantastic info and along with Al to boot!

With regards to my citrus:

I have learned form being here for years not to doubt Al's recomendations......
If he suggest's not to do something with my plants without a reason, I will not and have never been disappointed.
If he was to suggest for me to do something with them in a certain way without a reasoning, I would , have done it, and have never been disappointed.
That is without even a needed "explanation".
Now if he gives the explanations, science, proof, and his experiences in this regard, along with people like you who back him up, and even if no one did back him up,
then that is a red flag to stop right in my tracks and re-think my cultural practices before it is too late to fix a problem..

Thank you Al and Tantanman for the science and explanations, and Laidbackdood for starting this thread as a reminder..

I hope your trees do well too

Mike


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Well the results are in...my regular granular fert as always and equal amounts of elemental magnesium and gypsum...when i figure out how to post pics...i will put some pics up of my satsuma mandarin....How do i do that please?


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Here we go....the container ones are old photos...The tree in the ground has had the magnesium and gypsum mix plus my regular fert every couple of months,since before spring....The tree blossomed with some many flowers....50 mandarines have already been eaten of this tree(about ten years old now)
http://s1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/laidbackdood/


 o
RE: Satsuma

NOTE=This is a Dwarf Mandarin Satsuma as well.


 o
RE: Mandarin Satsuma

NOTE=This is a Dwarf Mandarin Satsuma as well.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Well...as promised here is an update of my potted citrus with a mix of standard potting mix/coarse pummice/gypsum/magnesium fillings and slow release fert in terracotta pots..I also did a clementine in the same mix and just repotted that into a bigger pot but forgot to take a pic but it was the same result.Awesome root ball and green top growth.
http://s1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/laidbackdood/


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

laidback, if you want to post photos in your messages, upload to Photobucket as you've done, then copy and past the .html code string right into the body of your message. (not the URL as you've done, but the .html code). That will imbed your photo directly into your message. Much easier for folks to see.

And, as an aside, mineral assimilation with human beings is pretty much the same as it is with citrus (I'm an RN). I always try to explain this to women who are gung ho on taking all this calcium. I try to politely explain to them that no matter how much calcium they take, they're limited to absorption by mineral ratios (Ca++ and Mg++ must be in the proper ratio, as well as vit D on board). And, also based on the exact need at that moment in time when it hits your bloodstream. Otherwise, you just end up with very expensive pee :-) Same with micronutrients and citrus, or really any other plant. If the plant doesn't need it, it doesn't get assimilated. If it's there in proper proportions in your soil, again, adding bunches of micronutrients just sinks into the soil. For me, I know for sure with my DG soil, that if I have a very wet and cold winter, I'm going to have micronutrient deficit. So, I wait until temps rise a bit, fertilize and do a foliar application. Especially if my citrus leaves start to look pale and chlorotic. This year was a particularly bad year for my citrus. Which corresponded directly to a long, cold wet winter and spring.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Patty: I can't believe you are an RN! That is wonderful! It take a dedicated women and a hard worker who cares to do that kind of work! No wonder you do so well will another breed of living things, such as your trees!:-)
Just to go along with your reasoning I will add this from a good friend named Al/Tapla which can be had at the container forums in many a good article.

If nutrient availability is unbalanced - if plants are getting more than they need of certain nutrients, but less than they need of others, the nutrient they need the most will be the one that limits growth. There are 6 factors that affect plant growth and yield; they are: air water light temperature soil or media nutrients. Liebig's Law of Limiting Factors states the most deficient factor limits plant growth and increasing the supply of non-limiting factors will not increase plant growth. Only by increasing most deficient nutrient will the plant growth increase. There is also an optimum combination?ratio of the nutrients and increasing them, individually or in various combinations, can lead to toxicities.

When individual nutrients are available in excess, it not only unnecessarily contributes to the total volume of solutes in the soil solution, which makes it more difficult for the plant to absorb water and nutrients, it also often creates an antagonistic deficiency of other nutrients as toxicity levels block a plant's ability to take up other nutrients. E.g., too much Fe (iron) can cause a Mn (manganese) deficiency, with the converse also true, Too much Ca (calcium) can cause a Mg (magnesium) deficiency. Too much P (phosphorous) can cause an insoluble precipitate with Fe and make Fe unavailable. It also interferes with the uptake of several other micro-nutrients. You can see why it's advantageous to supply nutrients in as close to the same ratio in which plants use them and at levels not so high that they interfere with water uptake.


Mike


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Thanks, Mike, you make me blush! And this biochemistry is identical with us human types, too. Too much of certain micronutrients can cause another micronutrient to bind and become insoluble, thus "going in one end and out the other." All minerals are absorbed in tandem with their partner mineral and in specific ratios. True for humans and plants. For me in my area, our soils aren't necessarily deficient in any one micronutrient as can be the case in the northern midwest (due to glacier activity), but can become deficient in all of them when we get our drenching winter and spring rains. That combined with having DG soil and the colder temps makes it so our citrus become micronutrient starved. So, we use fertilizers that have micronutrients in them, and can also use a foliar application with some of the citrus that are more affected. For me it seems to be more noticeable with my grapefruit and grapefruit hybrids. Lemons and Valencia oranges seem least affected. And my mandarins are variable - some more affected than others.

Patty S.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

How true that must be...thats why all my trees look nearly dead!You can say what you want but an open mind is a useful item and the proof is in the pudding...Did you actually look at the pictures?
Al said the same thing to me before i embarked on my experiment and so too have others but i have never seen so many flowers,fruits on a dwarf tree(plus health and vigour plus clean fruit) and several tress were almost dead before i did what i did....So you carry on being sceptical...I dont care.I will provide more proof in a few months with my container specimans.Calcium and magnesium strengthen plants as long as the ratio is correct.
The guy that sold me the magnesium told me this would happen and he was right.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

I must say, yet again, this group of avid growers is THE BEST!!! So much useful information, fantastic dialogue and all delivered in a pretty respectful way. I appreciate all of you.
My citrus plants/trees are all doing well. Getting a second wave of new growth on some along with second blooming. I am keeping up with the moisture & Ph via meters. Pictures to follow.
Thanks for a wonderful time.
htp


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Tim: That means a lot! It is nice to see people like you appreciate all the generosity and help every one dispenses here. It is soooo nice to see ytou having such success! It makes me smile. Can't wait to see your pictures and thanks again for the pick me upper!

Laid: What the is your first name anyway?
I can't wait to see your pics too. I know how you feel when you feel you have come across something that excites you and it seems that some may not be as excited as you or even believe it.
I think that Ca and Magnesium are a HUGE plus in excellent growth with citrus and believe it or not especially Gardenias, and as you and I agree and everyone here agrees,in proper ratios.
I have been saying all along that most fertilizers do NOT have both and therefore the reason why many add gypsum and lime to our mixes unless those of us are using a mix that already has both in it.
I would love to see what all your excitement is about or even try your product on a test plant, but I have absolutely NO access to it. Is there anyway you could send me a bit if I paid shipping?
I just doubt that anything will get my trees any better than I know they already are!:-0)

Your trees must be beautiful and I hope to see your pictures soon. Thanks for talking about this and I hope you are having a fun day over in your neck of the woods!

Respectfully yours

Mike


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Hi mike....All the pics are here=
http://s1026.photobucket.com/albums/y326/laidbackdood/
My name is Jon.....I can send you some no problem...I am running a bit low at the moment but i will try to contact the guy i bought it off and see if a i can get some more.I dont know how he got it,maybe he worked somewhere where he got access to it.
i sprnkled the mg and the gypsum.nitrophoska around to the drip line and then compost on top.Its a pity i didnt take a pic of the blooms on that satsuma....it was just crazy.
Did the same with my neighbours.
From what i know of citrus....nitrogen is the growth maker and Mg helps the tree take it up....Nitrogen helps fruit reach their true potential....I realise there is a limit to the point the tree will use the available elements but my guess is that both N and Mg/ca are not at very high levels in most soils.I havent seen any ill effects but then i dont go nuts with it...a handfull sprinkled around the underneath and out to the drip line but not near the trunk...I will let you know if i can get some more and update my transplants into pots in a months time when the spring break will be on its way...I am not sure how the postal service would view it being sent through the post but i will look into it for sure...Cheers


 o
RE: Mag sample

PS mike ...If i can get some more I will post you a sample for free...Cheers Jon


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Hey Jon!

E-mail me. That would be nice. My e-mail is next to me name. By the way, your trees look very nice. Thanks for the pics. Your doing a good job whether it's this stuff or if it is your cultural habits. What ever it is, your doing a fine job.:-)

Thanks man!

Mike


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 31, 11 at 21:39

I think Mike was spot on in reminding thread followers that Liebig's Law of the Minimum, which is pretty much treated across the board as settled science, just can't be pushed aside and ignored because someone thinks that out of proportion doses of Mg are responsible for great plants. Only if Mg is deficient will adding more increase growth and vitality, and then, only to the point where the next elemental deficiency becomes limiting. Adding additional Mg when any other element is the limiting factor simply means the plant will have to deal with an unnecessarily high level of EC/TDS added to the list of potential limitations. In a perfect world, the best growth and vitality can only be realized when there are neither deficiencies or excesses of ANY element in the soil solution. An excess of Mg can be as limiting as a deficiency.

I think the wise course for readers would be to strive for a ratio of nutrients in the soil solution that is as close as possible to that in which the plant uses them - with no excesses.

Al


 o
RE: Latest update

Plants all going well...especially in containers...Will put up new photos in the next couple of weeks.
My mandarin in the ground has been slow to notice it is spring and has just started to grow new buds...my meyer lemon in the ground has been going for it...They have all had the same treatment and im pretty happy so far.Its obvious from my repotting that the magnesium is slow dissolving,which i think is one of its strong points.Its also noticeable that a lot of slow release ferts do not have much MG in their formulas...so its quite possible the trees are not getting the MG that citrus like with standard slow release plant food.I have not applied at the same rate as i have to trees in the ground.


 o
RE: calcium/ Magnesium

Patty ...calcium 2 to 1 mag correct?
I am using magnesium and gypsum(which is high in calcium/sulphur)...so there is balance in those two minerals,plus my trees get other minerals from the slow release fert that i apply...as long as i dont apply too much(if there was too much i would see burning of leaves)...then all should be hunky dory and that is the reality at present.From what i see...the plants seem to like my approach.The trees tell their own story.


 o
RE: Elemental Magnesium

Let's just get over this idea of putting elemental magnesium on citrus!? It is snake oil medicine! If your tree needs Mg, put on some Epsom Salt... MgSO4.. it is cheap and under normal conditions does no harm. I can't get Epsom Salt here in Guatemala, so I use chemical MgSO4... cheap and it only takes a little. The "success" you are experiencing has NOTHING to do with the elemental Mg... As one of my old friends says, "When you hear hoofbeats, you don't think of Zebras... you think of horses"... i.e., just because it works doesn't mean it is what they are selling you. If you carry a torch in the jungle, it will protect you from wild animals....IF YOU CARRY IT FAST ENOUGH!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Citrus Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here