Many trees & shrubs can benefit from periodic feeding with liquid epsom
salts (magnesium sulfate) because it promotes nitrogen uptake. Plants with
blue foliage also 'blue up' when dosed with Epsom salts.
I use one tablespoon liquid epsom salts per gallon of water, or one
teaspoon crystal epsom salts per gallon of water.
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
I use it because here where I garden the soil pH is about 8.0 and has iron
locked up. The purpose of epsom is to unlock the iron making it easier for the
plant to uptake that element. When I do it, I sprinkle a half to a whole cup of
it at the base in a circle around the rose about a foot from the crown of the
plant and water it well. You can also use some chelated iron and fish emulsion
to help the plant green up and maintain health between bloom periods.
At the first feeding in the spring, I use about a tablespoonful of
Epsom salts per rose bush. The magnesium sulfate is supposed to
promote the sprouting of new canes. I use another tablespoonful in
the early summer on those roses that do not have any new canes.
I just add Epsom salts to whatever I'm using to feed the bushes. I
always feed using dry fertilizers. However, I always make sure the
soil is at least slightly moist before feeding. After feeding, I
water the roses to start dissolving the fertilizer.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Never thought of epsom salts for the garden. Although I use it in my fish
tanks. When I clean the fish tanks I pour the water in the flowers, be it
indoor or outdoor. My idea of fish emulsions!
I shall try the salts on my rose bushes. Thanks for the ideas.
Fertilize with Epsom Salts
The History and Science of Epsom Salts
What Our Testers Found
Recent Studies of Epsom Salts
Many rosarians agree that Epsom salts produces more new canes at the bottom
of the plant (bottom breaks) and darker green foliage. Recommendations on
how much to use vary, but generally you can apply 1/2 cup of granules in
spring before buds first begin to open and 1/2 cup in fall before leaves
drop. Apply a foliar spray (1 tablespoon per gallon of water per foot of
shrub height) after the leaves open in spring and again at flowering.
I started using it on some severely stressed 75 year-old pecan trees in
our park this Spring. They had languished for years and suffered limb end
die-off and sick looking leaves. The top soil had all washed away leaving
high PH limestone rock and sand and several trees had died over the past few
Last Fall, we ringed the trees with leaves (about 12' diameter) that
eventually composted to a 6" layer, and spread composted wood chips over the
whole area and had one of the wettest Novembers on record.
In February, we spread about 200 lbs. of Starbucks coffee grounds per
tree under the drip line and then about 12 gallons of alfalfa tea with Epsom
salt twice per tree in early March.
We've had one of the driest Springs on record here in central Texas, yet
the pecans look great so far, and have even blossomed and are making little
pecans for the first time I've seen in 10 years.
Taken as a whole, the results have been better than expected. Whether
the mulching and Fall rain alone would have achieved the same result is
debatable, although I feel the added nutrients (including Triacontanol in
alfalfa, a growth stimulant) and Epsom salt allowing their uptake
contributed. We'll have another go at it starting next week and also feed
the bermuda grass with it.
I intend to have the leaves tested in July for nutrient deficiencies.
Here's a good site, although I make aerobic tea with aquarium air pumps.
Alfalfa Tea, the natural flower booster
Thanks for the info. I just saw a posting about alfalfa tea a bit ago
and thought I'd try it on the plants in the yard. So far, the first
test plants, Inca Lilly, have shown an improvement. Stem
growth and increased number of flowers in less than a week.
Used three cups of alfalfa and 3 oz of epsom salts in a
5 gallon bucket. It was foaming after two days in this
Carolina sun. I'm interested how it will do on the roses
and tomato plants.
I was tempted to add some fish fertilizer but thought better
of it. Thought it may over do things, ha!
Spent a little time in west Texas and Dallas area,
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