Can Epsom Salt Help Your Garden Grow?

Updated: Mar. 21, 2024

This garden remedy has been around forever, but what does it do? Find how sprinkling Epsom salts in the garden can help your plants.

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What have you heard about Epsom salt? As well as being a home remedy for various ailments, it’s also a go-to for helping struggling plants, along with these other garden secret ingredients. It’s worth learning more about this mysterious mineral that experienced gardeners swear by. Here’s how to use Epsom salt in the garden.

First, What Is Epsom Salt?

Not at all the same as table salt, Epsom salt is actually the mineral magnesium sulfate. It’s named for the Epsom region in England where it was discovered in the 1600s. Since then, it’s been used as a remedy in both the home and the garden. Many avid gardeners have sworn by Epsom salt for generations as a way to improve plant performance.

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How Does Epsom Salt Help Plants?

The magnesium and sulfur in Epsom salt are two of the many nutrients that plants need to grow, and there are a few ways that they help. For one, they help plants absorb other nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. They also help plants produce more chlorophyll, so plants are bushier, greener and have improved blooms. Finally, magnesium sulfate can help certain vegetables produce better, and keep them vigorous even near the end of the growing season.

Not all plants need the nutrients in Epsom salt, but a few that seem to really like it are tomatoes, peppers, roses, berries and fruit trees. And TikToker Creative_Explained uses it on his herbs. Check it out:

@creative_explainedEpsom Salt Trick #garden #trick #plants #gardening101 #foryou #fyp #gardening #magic #diy #recipe #learnfromme #alwayslearning #cool #tricks #hacks♬ Basic HipHop Beat – Peter Babu

Things to Know Before Gardening with Epsom Salt

Without a soil test, it’s just a guessing game as to what your soil may be lacking. Before you jump in and start using Epsom salt or any soil additive, buy a test kit or have soil tested at a local extension service.

Also know that not everyone agrees that Epsom salt helps plants. Some gardeners swear by it, but other sources say the benefit has not been proven. The good news is that it probably won’t hurt anything to try it. Epsom salt won’t accumulate in soil or collect in groundwater like other fertilizers, and won’t damage your plants.

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How to Use Epsom Salt in Your Garden

Look for Epsom salt online, at your garden center or pharmacy. Mix with water, using one tablespoon per gallon. Water at the base of plants or over the leaves once per month. You can also sprinkle Epsom salt over the soil and then water, so it dissolves in the dirt.

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Editor’s note: Epsom salt has a laxative effect when consumed, so keep pets and children away from the areas when you apply it, and wear gloves while handling the salts.