How to Fertilize Plants with Epsom Salts


I’ve heard of people adding Epsom salts to their garden, especially for growing peppers. Is this good for plants? And how do you apply it? -Gabby

Epsom salts are made up of a chemical salt called magnesium sulfate. As the name suggests, this compound contains both magnesium and sulfur, which are two important elements in plant growth.

Most often, Epsom salts are used in the garden as a natural source of magnesium, particularly for roses, tomatoes, and peppers, because these plants seem to benefit from an additional helping of this nutrient. The extra magnesium is believed to make the plants bushier and greener, with more blooms and abundant veggie yields.

Unless your soil is deficient in magnesium or sulfur, Epsom salts are generally used as an extra boost applied to specific plants, rather than broadcast generally throughout the landscape.

Here are some ways to use Epsom salts in the garden:

  • When you plant your vegetables or roses, sprinkle about one tablespoon of Epsom salts into the planting hole.
  • Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water, and apply to the root zone after planting.
  • Reapply the liquid solution when your veggies are in bloom, and do it again when you see small vegetables starting to grow.

Enthusiasts give Epsom salt credit for boosting everything from seed germination and chlorophyll production to nutrient uptake, but it’s important to pay attention to your plant’s needs without subscribing to “miracle cures,” particularly if you’re thinking of widespread applications.

Do a soil test before apply Epsom salt to lawns or large areas, to make sure it’s needed. Summer veggies, such as tomatoes and peppers, indicate a magnesium deficiency with yellowing or curling leaves, or by producing less (or smaller) fruit.


Please Leave a Comment

38 Comments on “How to Fertilize Plants with Epsom Salts”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  1. Zoe Belle Says:
    September 25th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    thanks, I never thought about using it this way

  2. Marilyn B Chinnery Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for the info. This exactly what I’m looking for. Right now my plants have that yellow hue that you mentioned and I was wondering what nutrient they were missing. Very, Very interesting and good advice

  3. Ms B Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    This is definitely a workable solution to my tomato and peppers gardening. Thank you.

  4. Lisa Says:
    March 27th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Would this benefit Strawberries, Rasberries and Blueberries?
    Thank You!

  5. kavita Says:
    June 7th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    my eggplants flowers are getting dry and falling off.what should i do.

  6. Nancy Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I bought 3 blueberry bushes, actually they are 1 stem each. They started growing more extentions, thw soil I used is organic soil from a store, some of the leaves are reddish brown, I used some epsom salts and that seemed to stop, I live in Pensacola , Fl, so why are they not growing more, I was Lso told not to fertilize till they are a year old, is that right?

    Thank you

  7. ROBERT Says:
    November 26th, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Will Epsom salt work cucumber plants,mine seem to start to brown around
    The edge of the leaf,after about two months of growth,know matter how much you water the plants.

  8. betty Says:
    January 28th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    if your foliage is yellow in the fall most likely iron deficient if in the summer or warm weather its a nitrogen deficiency cool iron warm nitrogen

  9. joe silva Says:
    April 21st, 2014 at 9:35 am

    tried using epsom salt on our roses and it nearly killed them. Used 1 tbsp per gallon of water. my wife got furious and it took the rest of summer to get them looking healthy again. what went wrong.

  10. Eve Says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    You don’t put it on Them but under and around them. I wash off my leaves so none gets or stays on the leaves. Works for me anyway. I use a soft water wand stream to wash it off. Hope this helps it did make mine look healthier in a few days.

  11. Billy McCormick Says:
    May 30th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Going to try this!!

  12. kanella Mitropoulos Says:
    June 27th, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Does this work for blueberry plants too? Because I heard sulfur is good for them.

  13. Valerie Says:
    July 15th, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Does it work well with a pumpkin plant?

  14. marge Says:
    December 28th, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I live in the desert and am very limited on space but do have a lovely raised flower garden, which is made up of mostly Amaryllis. Last Jan I had 48 large red blooms. Would Epsom salts benifit my garden and if so how would I apply it???? Thank you so much for any advice you may send.

  15. Connie Cruse Says:
    May 16th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Will epsom salt help cucumbers once growth has started. What about house plants?

  16. anne fenske Says:
    June 11th, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I planted good size lisianthus, but they are all wilting badly. I used epsom salt(1T to 1Gal) about 1 cup full recently; could this be the cause of wilt? Have transplanted in fresh soil to see what happens. Love these, always plant. Would like to know what I did wrong for future plants. Thanks

  17. seidu Says:
    June 24th, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for the tip on the virtue of Epsom salt on plants. However, where could one purchase Epsom salt?

  18. BJ Says:
    July 3rd, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Will this work on potted plants? I tried it and it didn’t seem to work. If it is supposed to work, then how do I do it right?

  19. MEC Says:
    July 4th, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Hi, I was wondering if epsom salt accomplishes the same task as bone meal, or if epsom salt is recommended for some specific reason? Indeed, I wonder if I should add both to soil for more robust peppers & tomatoes? thanks!

  20. deirdre Says:
    July 9th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Wow! wish I had known about this sooner. I already planted my flowers. Could the Epson salt be mixed with sugar and water and poured around each plant?

  21. Elida Says:
    July 20th, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I have a Hoya Plant and even though the plant is healthy, it has not bloomed in years. I repotted it and I was wondering if it would benefit from the Epsom Salt? Also, if the Madagascar Plant would also benefit?

  22. a Says:
    July 22nd, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Do you mix epson salt w/ water first or can you use it straight from container?

  23. Carroll Says:
    August 12th, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I periodically give my Hoya and my ferns a dose of Epsom salts and they appear to fare very well for it. Just a teaspoon in the pot and then water. Yesterday I put a teaspoon in garden sprayer but was a bit cautious having read other comments about spraying on all plants overall. Have applied all round including 3 palms in pots, bromeliarss and all my propagation plantlings and vegies. I feed my stag horns with an odd banana skin too-all good. all my plants are what you call container gardening, i.e. in pots.

  24. Roz Says:
    August 20th, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Epsom Salts are miraculous for palm trees! A 2-3 cups around the trunk in spring and fall and they don’t get yellow and dry looking.

  25. jeffry halili Says:
    September 4th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Is epson salt applicable to use among mushroom? I appreciate if you can give suggestions on how to use it with mushroom. Thanks alot

  26. Lynn Geldard Says:
    October 17th, 2015 at 10:25 am

    My tomatoe plants are starting to get flowers and I applied epson salt now they are starting to wither and died could it be to much e.salt. There is also marking on the leaves…look like something has crawl across the leaves…can you help….

  27. Sharon Texada Says:
    October 18th, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Will Epsom salts hurt succulent plants? Also I have Ivy, Red Aglaonema and other plants on this same order. If I can use it, how do I apply it to all plants mentioned?

  28. Kimberly Says:
    October 27th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I used Epsom salt with my tomatoes, bell peppers and banana peppers, and I must say they did very well. Even though it’s late October, I still have veggies growing. I pray that I can get all I can before mid or late November.

  29. Sonia Says:
    November 3rd, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I will definitely try this next spring when I plant my tomatoes. I’m thinking of also trying banana peppers. Can’t wait but mother nature tells me to be patient.

  30. Terry hicks Says:
    November 3rd, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Works well in all soils

  31. Jesse Says:
    November 29th, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Excellent, thank you for the idea, I will try this method.

  32. Geo Says:
    December 1st, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    I grow all my veggies in pots now due to nematodes in north Florida. I would always mix this in water and pour around root base to be safe. I have been growing veggies for 50+ years in various latitudes from New York to Cuba and always had success. Just be careful when you use any new product.

  33. Carmelo Says:
    December 26th, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Is Epson salt good for all houseplants too?

  34. Hazel Says:
    December 31st, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Thank you for the gardening advice. How does one test the grass or other types of foliage/fruits and vegetables for magnesium or sulfur and also what is the required level of these chemicals?

  35. TinaGross Says:
    January 12th, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I use Epsom salt on all plants and they thrive
    I even use it on my house plants and it’s amazing how beautiful and how fast they grow.

  36. ALAN Says:
    January 13th, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Last summer I put Epsom salt on all my roses, they have bloomed all alone, today January 11- 2016, I still have blooms even after the frost days that we had. They love it.

  37. Jacqueline Dickerson Says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Thank you the amazing tip regarding adding Epsom Salt to my flowers and plants. I do my own germination and cant wait to try this tip. I always get tips from my mom and now i can give her one. I am ecstatic i too love Hydrangus and spend alot of money buying them again thanks i am so excited about this tip. Thanks again

  38. Stoaker Says:
    February 3rd, 2016 at 11:24 am

    If you get bottom rot on your tomatoes, mix 3 Tbsp Epsom Salt (available at COSTCO for very little) with 1 gal water. Spray it generously on plants, after you remove affected fruit, and you’re good to go. This also works like a dream on azaleas, rhododendrons and similar plants….they’ll perk up, green up, and be beautiful.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

Click to check out all our great giveaways!