Are Epsom salts good for plants? The answer is yes. The benefits of Epsom salt for health and beauty have been long documented. But part of the reason you’ll find a bag in just about every household around the world is because it’s wonderfully useful in the garden. Epsom salt is a versatile mineral to use around the garden, perfect for everything from deterring pests to boosting seed growth.
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate (sulfur). Whether you’re an avid plant lover or simply enjoy tending to your lawn, read on for just a few Epsom salt uses in the garden.
One Of The Key Elements For Healthy Plants
Just like humans, there are number of vital elements that are essential for a plant’s growth, development and wellbeing. These are split into three categories: major, minor and trace elements. Major elements include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Minor elements include phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur, amongst others.
Pests are the bane of every gardener. However, many are reluctant to use toxic pesticides and other chemical deterrents. Epsom salt is 100% natural, and the magnesium and sulfate content has been found to be effective at warding off pests in gardens. Simply dissolve 1 cup of Epsom salt into 20 litres of water. Once the salts have dissolved, apply to foliage with a pump sprayer. You can also try lining your garden bed or vegetable patch with Epsom salt grains to ward off slugs.
Boost Seed Growth
Magnesium is an important mineral for seed germination. It helps to strengthen cell walls, which helps boost seedling growth. Sulfur (sulphate) is also a key nutrient in soil and is important for seed growth. There are two ways you can use Epsom salt this way. Firstly, you can pour 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom salt directly into the seed hole before planting. Or you can mix a tablespoonful of Epsom salts into a litre of water and apply to the soil using a pump sprayer.
Boosts Nutrient Absorption
Magnesium is an important element of fertiliser because it helps plant roots absorb vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. It is one of the best ways to help boost nutrient absorption naturally, meaning you can avoid using processed chemical fertilisers.
Improves The Vibrancy of Foliage
Both magnesium and sulfur are important in the production and function of chlorophyll, which is the key to vibrancy of foliage. Yellowing or wilted leaves may be a sign of magnesium deficiency. If your plants are looking unhealthy, try sprinkling a tablespoon or two of Epsom salt around its base (or alternatively, spray with an Epsom salt mixture).
Assists With The Transportation of Plants
Moving plants between different soil locations can be stressful. “Transplant shock” is common when moving plants from a smaller pot to a larger one, or transferring plants from a greenhouse to an outdoor garden bed. This process can injure roots and it can also take a while for plants to get used to their new environment. If you are unlucky, the plants can even die due to transplant shock.
Because Epsom salt boosts chlorophyll levels in plant cells, it improves photosynthesis, which is the process used by plants to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be used as fuel. A great way to counter transplant shock is to sprinkle some Epsom salts into your plant’s new home.
Grow Sweeter, Tastier Fruits and Vegetables
The chlorophyll boost offered by Epsom salt also means that plants will have more energy available to put into producing fruits and vegetables. Measured application of Epsom salts can therefore yield you sweeter, tastier, and potentially more abundant fruits and veggies.
Fertilise Your Lawn
Epsom salt is an excellent natural lawn fertiliser which helps facilitate lush growth. The chlorophyll-boosting properties of magnesium will help keep your grass lovely and green. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt for every 4 litres of water to use as a lawn spray.
Hot Tip: Don’t Overdo It
Although there are many benefits of Epsom salts for plants, make sure you always take care not to overdo it. Just like with many other things, ‘the poison is in the dose’. Applying an excessive amount of Epsom salts will probably not harm your plants, but it’s best to take care and stick to the guidelines and recommendations listed above. This way, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of using Epsom salts for plants.