Epson Salts (Magnesium Sulphate)

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by Durgan, May 15, 2006.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There is a lot of anectodal reports about the efficacy of adding epson salts to soil to increase plant growth; namely, roots and stem strength.

    Has there been any serious research studies to substantiate the use of magnesium sulfate for general use? Uncontrolled anectodal reports impress me not in general.

    Can anyone point me to some scientific controlled research papers on the subject?
    Durgan
     
  2. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    One site to check out, but not directly related to your question:
    http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32923#Ecotoxicity

    There appears to be not a lot of explicit research having been done, using Epsom Salt. It does work well when used with evergreens, Roses, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Potatoes, Tomatoes in my experience. I have noticed that if applied to dull looking evergreens, that it greatly improves their appearance. It is usually marketed as a growth stimulant, which it does do. Often it is cheaper to acquire at drugstores, than garden centres, and is a much better quality than that found at garden centres. It would be difficult to assess the merits of MgSO4*H2O, because of the interaction with other compounds required for cellular development.
     
  3. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Re: Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate)

    Especially with palm trees here in Florida, but with almost everything else that grows, Epsom Salt is beneficial for: Magnesium will 'green-up' almost anything. The sulphate is acted upon by bacteria to become (simplisticly) sulphuric acid. In that the average plant desires an acidic growing medium to enhance the ability of the roots to use any available Nitrogen for plant growth, plant growth is optimzed. Almost equally as good is using ferrous sulphate. While most plants will show benefit, for a dramatic demo of the effects of 'iron sulfate' just throw a handfull in a given spot on your lawn, water it, and watch it for a week. WOW! Note that NiftyNiall (above) has listed ACID lovers. It is a given that in our Florida alkaline sand environment, such treatments are short-term amendments. Long-term better amendment can usually be accomplished by digging in oak leaves or other high acid mulches.( But I use all three methods).
     
  4. grdnstff

    grdnstff Active Member 10 Years

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    how much epsom salts to water for roses and/or rhododendrons?
     
  5. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    grdnstff: It really isn't necessary to mix it, 'cause rhodies and roses don't have sore feet. Take the powder by the handful and just fling it around, like you are feeding the chickens. It will be dissolved by rain and watering, and probably even soak in more slowly. God luck with it. You WILL notice a difference. --Chuck
     
  6. grdnstff

    grdnstff Active Member 10 Years

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    well, what could be easier .. thanks, chuck .. how often would you give rhodos and roses the salts ..
     
  7. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    grdnstff; At this junture in my life, I guess it would depend upon how much Sambuca I had before I went into the garden. Seriously, once every couple of months should be ok. You don't want to cover the ground with it, just presume that ANY is better than NONE. Lightly spread, with a few handfuls of fertilizer at the same time, should keep everyone happy. The fert should be a balanced, slow release(water INsoluble nitrogen) fertilizer. Insoluble does not mean it won't dissolve, it just means it is a slow release fert. Go for it.
     
  8. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Durgan: A statement from "The Hibiscus Handbook", a publication of the American Hibiscus Society Charitable Trust: Magnesium is an essential part of the chlorophyll molecule. It is also important in seed production and aids in the absorption of other nutrients. Magnesium is needed in fairly large amounts, and some fertilizers are lacking in this essential element. If magnesium is not applied regularly, magnesium deficiency may result. However, magnesium is listed on the fertilizer tag as a secondary plant food. A well balanced fertilizer will contain AT LEAST one third as much magnesium as it does nitrogen. Now my comments: Mag deficiency can look like iron deficiency, a lack of either can make the plant chlorotic. Chuck
     
  9. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Chuck--one useful distinction is the iron deficiency shows up on the new leaves, while magnesium can be moved from older leaves to younger by the plant, so that chlorosis happens on older leaves first when magnesium is lacking.

    Iron (and manganese) chlorosis is pretty distinctive, sharply defined interveinal yellowing, while other types tend to be patchy or overall yellowing. I find it hard to distinguish nitrogen and magnesium deficiencies from each other, usually I know by what I have or haven't fed the plants!
     
  10. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    growest: Thanks for the mini tutorial. I had not considered the Mg moving around, but of course, it can and does. I have commited your response to memory. Thanks again..
     
  11. grdnstff

    grdnstff Active Member 10 Years

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    hi, chuck .. thanks for your reply .. i do have some "organic" slow release fertilizer so i'll get on that and give the guys some extra tlc ..
     
  12. Paulina

    Paulina Active Member

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  13. martinpy

    martinpy Member

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    1 tsp. per lt. of water, once a month! Peter
     

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