If you believe Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is only for pouring into your bathtub and soaking away your aches and pains and itchy skin, then we have a surprise for you. Your plants may be begging for some Epsom salt too, and for good reasons.
Simply adding 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a gallon of water and then applying this mixture either as a spray or watering the plants with it can make a significant different in a wide variety of ways. Here are just a few of them.
Read about 9 surprising benefits of Epsom salt
1. Relieve transplant stress. When you move plants from a small container to a larger one or from indoor to outdoors, they can wilt. You can help relieve transplant stress if you add a little Epsom salt to the process. When preparing soil, use one cup of Epsom salt per 100 square feet or, for potted plants, 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water. Saturated the soil of the area you are transplanting the plants to, place the plants, and then water lightly with the Epsom salt and water solution.
2. Boost seed germination. Many seeds do better if they are started in a medium that is mostly soil-less; that is, mainly peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and sand. Adding some Epsom salt—2 tablespoons to one gallon of water and apply as a drench—is suggested to reduce the risk of fungal disease.
3. Prevent yellowing leaves. When plants don’t get enough magnesium, their leaves can turn yellow. You can prevent this from occurring if you use the mixture to revive your plants by watering them with it or spraying the leaves.
4. Stop leaf curling. If the leaves on your plants are curling, try spraying the mixture on the leaves to prevent this from occurring.
5. Enhance nutrient absorption. The addition of several tablespoons of Epsom salt to your soil can increase its nutrient absorption abilities. Add to potting soil or stir into your garden soil.
6. Chase away pests. Epsom salt is not the answer to all garden pests, but it can help with many of them. Sprinkle dry Epsom salt around plants that may attract snails and slugs. Applying a thin line of Epsom salt along your rows of veggies may deter many pests. You also can mix 1 cup of Epsom salt in 5 gallons of water to apply to vegetable and fruit leaves to deter pests.
Read about natural insect repellents
7. Make fruit sweeter. Citrus and other fruit trees will respond to 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in 2 gallons of water. Pour this mixture around the tree or over the soil of container trees. The magnesium enhances chlorophyll levels, which in turn improves photosynthesis and results in sweeter fruits and more productivity. Fruit trees that respond include apples, citrus, peaches, plums, and pomegranates. And don’t forget tomatoes!
8. Rev up roses. If you are bringing home rose bushes from a plant mart or landscaping facility, soak the roots in 4 ounces of Epsom salt mixed in one gallon of water. When you are ready to plant the bush, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt into the hole before planting. During the growing season, mix in 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height around the base of the plant. Water as usual.
9. Eliminate weeds. Combine 1 liter of vinegar, 2 tablespoons dish soap, and 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts. Mix well and put into a spray bottle. Spray the weeds in your garden, but avoid your veggies and other plants. Use as needed.
10. Produce more peppers. If you want a better pepper yield, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every foot of height around pepper plants once a week to 10 days.