9 Plants That Love Epsom Salts

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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You need to invest in additional farm inputs such as Epsom salts to get a meaningful yield.

Some plants that thrive under Epsom salts include cucumbers, grass, hydrangeas, lettuce, legumes, peppers, tomatoes, roses, and succulents.

What Are Epsom Salts?

Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt derived from hydrated magnesium sulfate.

It draws its name from Epsom, a town in England where it was discovered. 

What Are Epsom Salts?
Epsom Salts for garden

Besides promoting growth and development in plants, Epsom salts are also helpful to humans and animals.

The chemical composition of these salts is 10% magnesium and 13% sulfur.

Effects of Epsom Salts on Various Plants

  1. Cucumbers – Leads to leafiness and faster growth and development.
  1. Hydrangeas – Epsom salts are used for eliminating hydrangeas.
  1. Tomatoes – Promotes foliage growth and root development, guaranteeing a meaningful yield.
  1. Succulents – Keeps them healthy by promoting root development.
  1. Roses – Quickens the blooming of large and healthy flowers.
  1. Lettuces – Promotes the growth of larger leaves, resulting in a better harvest. 
  1. Peppers – Aids in the flowering phase. 
  1. Grass – Epsom salts promote the growth of lush green grass.
  1. Legumes – Helps in the synthesis of chlorophyll for better food production.
Infographics plants that love Epsom salts
Epsom salt plants

What Are the Advantages of Epsom Salts to Plants?

Although there are some arguments about the benefits of Epsom salts, farmers who have so far used the product can attest to the following benefits:

  • Better nutrient uptake
  • Greener plants
  • Provision of micronutrients
  • Balanced nutrient levels
  • Pest deterrence
  • Soil pH neutralization

Better Nutrient Uptake

As mentioned earlier, Epsom salts contain magnesium, a nutrient that’s essential for plant growth.

Magnesium improves a plant’s ability to absorb other nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. 

Phosphorus helps in cell division and the development of new tissue. It is also helpful for root growth and winter hardiness.

On the other hand, nitrogen synthesizes chlorophyll and helps plants make their food through photosynthesis. 

Greener Plants

Magnesium and nitrogen are vital to the synthesis of chlorophyll, the substance that gives plant leaves their characteristic green color.

Get rid of bugs in your garden
Green garden

When you apply Epsom salts to your crops, they’ll turn greener and healthier because of the increased photosynthesis rates. 

Provision of Micronutrients

Plants that like Epsom salts such as roses, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes require magnesium to thrive

Besides photosynthesis, this micronutrient is also an activator of various enzymes, and its deficiency causes a decrease in enzyme activity and slows down the growth rate.

Another micronutrient provided by Epsom salts is sulfur. Without it, plants appear spindly, and their stems become thin.


Remember This: Slow growth and delayed maturity are also symptoms of sulfur deficiency.


Balanced Nutrient Levels

After a soil test, you might discover that your garden lacks some vital nutrients.

This is where Epsom salts come in handy.

For instance, if you grow tomatoes regularly, your soils might have inadequate amounts of magnesium.

You can quickly replenish the nutrients by applying Epsom salts. 

Pest Deterrence

Epsom salts can deter pests from attacking your crop, albeit selectively.

For example, if you’re growing roses, they can discourage pests from infesting your farm once the plants start blooming.

Better Nutrient Uptake Epsom salts
Epsom salts balance

However, Epsom salts can reduce the number of voles and slugs in other cases but can’t remove them entirely.

Soil pH Neutralization

Because of their acidic nature, Epsom salts can help you neutralize your soil’s pH if it exceeds 7.5.

Many plants struggle to thrive if the soil is too alkaline. 

How Do I Apply Epsom Salts?

Below are a few steps you need to follow when applying Epsom salts:

  • Soil incorporation – Spread one cup of Epsom salt over an area of 100 square feet. Combine it well with the soil before planting.
  • During planting – Place one tablespoon of Epsom salts in each plant’s hole before covering it with a thin layer of dirt.
  • Topdressing – As the plants grow, sprinkle one tablespoon of magnesium sulfate around the base of each plant and water.
  • Applying in liquid form – Dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salts in a gallon of water and pour the solution at the plants’ base. 

When Is the Best Time to Apply Epsom Salts?

How do you tell if your plants need Epsom salts?

Epsom salt tips for gardeners
Epsom salt tips

Well, it depends on where you’re growing them, indoors or outdoors. 

Outdoor Plants

It’s advisable to conduct a soil test before applying Epsom salts to your outdoor plants.

Doing so helps you know the lacking nutrients that require supplementation.


For Instance: Epsom salts can be helpful if your soil has low magnesium, sulfur, or both. 


Indoor Plants

With indoor plants, soil tests aren’t necessary. 

This is because these farms are often small, and it would be unfeasible to pay for tests.

Instead, it would be best to look out for magnesium deficiency symptoms, such as yellowing leaves.

Signs of sulfur deficiency include retarded growth and delayed maturity.

What Can You Do to Avoid Pests near Your Plants?
Indoor plants

The ideal time to use Epsom salt is when conditions are cloudy and overcast.

Avoid applying this compound under a scorching sun, as this can damage the foliage of your plants.

Regarding the time of the season to use Epsom Salts, it depends on your choice.


Works Best: For peppers, tomatoes, and roses, begin applying Epsom salt when the plants start blooming. For indoor plants, use the compound at least twice monthly.


When Should I Avoid Using Epsom Salts?

Despite its advantages, Epsom salt isn’t suitable for all applications.

The following are the situations where you need to avoid using this farm input.

As the Main Fertilizer

The primary nutrients required for optimal plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

While Epsom salts have micronutrients, they lack any trace of the three macronutrients.

This means that you can’t use them as a substitute for your fertilizer.

Instead, you should use them as a supplement after applying a fertilizer that contains the essential nutrients. 

Acidic Soils

Epsom salts are acidic, which is why you shouldn’t apply them on acidic soils.

Doing so will lower the pH such that plants can’t survive on your farm.

Magnesium-deficient Plants

Sometimes, applying Epsom salts doesn’t treat the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

This is especially the case where high phosphorus levels in the soil cause the symptoms.

Ensure that you test your soil to ascertain the nutrient composition before applying magnesium sulfate.

Wrapping Up

There’s seemingly an endless debate over the usefulness of Epsom salts, with some claiming that it doesn’t have any positive effect, while others say that it promotes growth and development.

As seen above, the effectiveness of this compound depends on the types of crops you are growing.

If you want to see all its advantages, you must have plants such as cucumbers, roses, peppers, succulents, and tomatoes on your farm. 

Lastly, always remember that Epsom salts are not a substitute for conventional fertilizers. 

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