Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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

14 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.

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 todayshomeowner.com.

Click to check out all our great giveaways!