Epsom salt is a household chemical made of magnesium sulfate. We use Ultra Epsom Salt as bath salts in the home to soothe and relax sore muscles. Many gardeners also use Epsom salt for houseplants, thanks to the magnesium released when used in gardening soil.
Most balanced soils contain enough sulfur and magnesium, but over time the nutrients become washed out through excessive watering. Soil testing for nutrients usually only happens in outdoor gardens, as soil tests on indoor plants in commercial potting soil aren’t practical.
Information from the Epsom salt council states that tomato plants, pepper plants, and roses require magnesium for optimal plant growth. Without magnesium, these plants have yellowing leaf patterns between veins and grow at reduced plant height. Without a soil test, the only way to determine when to use Epsom salt on your plants is by observing your plant for signs of a deficiency.
Using Epsom Salt for Houseplant Plants
Is Epsom salt good for houseplants? According to the National Gardening Association, adding Epsom salt won’t correct significant deficiencies, but combining Epsom salt and houseplants is best when supplementing garden soil with low magnesium to bolster plant growth.
As a mineral, Epson salt has a history of being used to aid in seed germination and the production of plant fruits. There is debate on both sides regarding Epsom salt’s usefulness. Many gardeners praise the mineral for its ability to boost the growth of plants, while researchers claim the gardening world exaggerates Epsom salt’s benefits.
What is true of Epsom salt is its chemical makeup. Made chiefly of magnesium, Epsom salt helps to strengthen a plant’s cell walls and helps with the intake of nutrients like nitrogen.
Is Epsom Salt Good for Houseplants?
Anyone familiar with gardening knows Epsom salt helps produce healthy plants with lush, greener foliage. Despite the longstanding belief that Epsom salt is a miracle plant food, using Epsom salt on every plant in your home isn’t guaranteed to improve the plant’s health.
Using excessive amounts of Epsom salt may alter the pH of your plant’s soil and lead to severe diseases like blossom end rot. It’s a misconception that Epsom salt helps treat and avoid blossom end rot, as the lack of calcium in your plant causes this condition.
Epsom salt does not contain calcium, and using the salt to increase the magnesium in your soil causes competition in the soil for other present nutrients. The more magnesium in your plant’s soil, the less calcium your plant takes in.
When you treat house plants with Epsom salt despite not the plants needing any additional magnesium, it results in adding too much salt and creating acidic soil that may harm plants. With so many risks to consider, is Epsom salt good for a houseplant?
How to Use Epsom Salt for Houseplants
To reverse the effects of a magnesium deficiency in plants, treat plants with an Epsom salt foliar spray. Use Epsom salt for rose bushes the same way. Dissolve Epsom salt in water and apply the foliar spray directly onto your house plant leaves.
Spraying liquid fertilizer onto plant leaves is known as foliar feeding, and it’s effective when using homemade plant food or commercial fertilizers. The benefit of foliar feeding is that plants absorb essential nutrients through their leaves, and it’s a fast way to fertilize houseplants instead of top-dressing the soil.
Another method of treating magnesium deficiencies is to create an Epsom salt soak to pour onto your potted plant to allow the plant’s roots to absorb the nutrients.
Dissolve Epsom salt in a bucket of water and pour it over your house plant soil. For an effective soak, the excess water should drain through the bottom of your plant’s container.
Treat your plant with this soak once a month while symptoms of a magnesium deficiency exist. If your plant isn’t showing signs of a magnesium deficiency, there is no reason to use Epsom salt solutions on your plants.
Other Uses for Epsom Salt
The best time to use Epsom salt for houseplant plants is if you plan on moving seedlings outside. Before transplanting seedlings into your outdoor garden, perform a soil test to determine if your soil lacks nutrients.
If a test reveals that your soil is low on sulfur or magnesium, use Epsom salt to amend the soil before transplanting. Distribute one cup of Epsom salt for every 100 square feet of dirt in the garden.
Using too much fertilizer in the garden can result in buildup in the soil, making it hard for plant roots to absorb nutrients. Mixing in granular Epsom salt helps break up the soil, allowing better plant growth. Adding DE to potting soil (diatomaceous earth) can have the same effect while also killing plant bugs.
Although we view roses as outdoor plants where the shrubs have room to grow and thrive, some gardeners grow roses indoors. Many roses can grow indoors with enough sunlight. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the planting hole when planting roses.
If you plan on planting rose starts and want to help the roots recover from the transplant, soak the roots of the unplanted rose bush in a diluted Epsom salt solution. Encourage flowering canes to grow by mixing half a cup of Epsom salt into the potting soil.
Be sure not to overwater your houseplants or those outside, or you will find yourself with a different problem. You don’t want to have to get mold out of house plant soil from too much water.
Is Epsom salt good for houseplants? Using Epsom salt is highly beneficial to your plants with the proper precautions. When treating indoor plants, ensure your house plants need a magnesium boost in their nutrient-leached soil.
Epsom salt has many uses outside the bathtub, and increased magnesium and sulfur helps plants grow healthy. If you keep a supply of Epsom salt around the house, you’ll never be without this versatile natural fertilizer.
We hope you learned about using Epsom salt for houseplants with help from our guide and will share our tips for using Epsom salt for houseplant plants with family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.