Epsom Salts: Everything For Plant You Need To Know

What is Epsom Salts

Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate. It’s a chemical compound of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.

Many people, including some healthcare professionals, claim Epsom salt is therapeutic and use it as an alternative treatment for several conditions.


History of Epsom Salts

Where do Epsom salts come from geographically? The little town of Epsom, located in Surrey, which is southwest of London, is where Epsom salts were discovered by accident in 1618, is. The “Epsom” in Epsom salts is a tribute to this very town.

Epsom salt was discovered by Henry Wicker in Epsom Common, who was herding his cattle when he accidentally came across a pond. But, despite the arid conditions, his cattle refused to drink the seemingly clean and clear water.

After a bit more research, he discovered that the water was bitter, and gave out a white substance (a salt) when evaporated. This white substance came to be known as Epsom salt.


The effects and benefits of Epsom salts

Epsom salt is widely known for its various medical and beauty applications, including its use as a bath salt. However, it is also extensively utilized in plant care to promote plant growth.

Due to the fact that Epsom salts are primarily composed of magnesium and sulfur, many plants require magnesium to maintain healthy growth and development, while sulfur is one of the essential elements necessary for plant growth. As a result, Epsom salts can help improve soil magnesium and sulfur levels, ultimately promoting healthy plant growth.

Therefore, Epsom salt can help improve the levels of magnesium and sulfur in the soil, promoting the healthy growth of plants.



Effects Of Excess Epsom Salts On Plants

Accumulation of salt content: Excessive application of Epsom salts may result in salt accumulation in the soil, increasing soil electrical conductivity, and causing soil salinization, which affects the absorption of water and nutrients by the plants. This can lead to slow growth, yellowing of leaves, or burnt leaf edges.

Nutrient imbalances: Excessive supply of magnesium and sulfur may cause nutrient imbalances in plants. It can interfere with the absorption and use of other elements and lead to a deficiency of other key nutrients in plants. This can result in abnormal growth, a change in leaf color, or nutritional deficiency symptoms in plants.


How To Use Epsom Salts Correctly

Soil Testing

It is recommended to conduct soil testing before using Epsom salts, to determine the presence of magnesium and sulfur in the soil. This will help in assessing whether these elements need to be replenished and in determining the appropriate dosage.

Appropriate application

Follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product label, and adjust accordingly based on the soil test results and the specific needs of the plant. Avoid excessive use to prevent any negative impact on the plant.

Even distribution

Ensure that Epsom salts are evenly distributed around the root zone area to facilitate the plant's ability to absorb magnesium and sulfur.

Plant adaptation

For newly planted plants, it is best to introduce Epsom salts gradually, allowing the plants to adapt to the new growth environment. This will help avoid sudden nutrient impacts on the plant.

Observe plant reaction

Observe the plant's response and growth. If the plant shows abnormal growth or symptoms, it may be due to excessive use of Epsom salts. In such cases, reduce or stop using Epsom salts, and consider conducting soil testing to determine the plant's requirements further.


What plants are suitable for Epsom salt application?

Epsom salts are suitable for a variety of different types of plants, particularly those that have a high demand for magnesium and sulfur.



What plants are not suitable for Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is generally not suitable for all types of plants.

Native or acid-loving plants

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, and its application can raise the pH level of the soil, making it less acidic. This can be detrimental to plants that prefer acidic soil conditions, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and camellias.

Succulents and cacti

These plants are adapted to survive in low-nutrient environments and are typically grown in well-draining soil. Epsom salt can increase the nutrient levels in the soil, leading to excessive growth and potential root rot in these plants.


Ferns thrive in moist, well-draining soil with high organic matter content. While Epsom salt can provide magnesium, which is a nutrient required by plants, its use may disrupt the delicate balance of nutrients in ferns' preferred growing conditions.

Water-sensitive plants

Epsom salt is typically applied by dissolving it in water and then watering the plants with the solution. However, some plants, such as African violets and certain orchids, are sensitive to excessive moisture and may be adversely affected by frequent Epsom salt treatments.


With a long-standing tradition of being used as a plant fertilizer, Epsom salts can help your plants bloom beautifully, enhance their vibrant green color, and even help them grow more robustly. Just remember to use them in moderation and make sure your plants can handle them.

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