Succulent plants generally do not require much tending effort, and gardeners love to grow them because of their ability to thrive well with relatively minimal care.
However, it is still useful to provide succulent plants with nutrients to keep them growing. Although most succulents can do fairly well on their own, some elements can boost their growth. So, the question is, are Epsom salts one of such elements? Are they good for succulents?
Epsom salts are not only good for succulents but they’re some of the best supplements you can use for your succulents. They’re rich in magnesium sulfate, and if strategically used on your succulents from time to time, they can increase the overall growth and development conditions of the succulents.
Benefits of Epsom Salts on Succulents
Magnesium is the second most important element succulents require in their growth and development. Magnesium directly affects a succulent’s ability to engage in photosynthesis.
Without magnesium, succulents will not be able to photosynthesize, and if they do not photosynthesize, they will not be able to maintain their vibrant green color, and the plants will wither. Thus, to maintain enough magnesium, succulents need Epsom salts.
There are vital roles that Epsom salts perform, which makes them indispensable in the growth of succulents.
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is vital for making the plant firm and contributes to its overall health. However, there are other functions magnesium performs in the well-being of succulents. They are:
- It’s an active agent in the activation of enzymes, cell division, and it ensures proper intake of other nutrients from the soil. In addition to that, it makes the soil more nutritious for succulents and other plants.
- Magnesium assists in the functioning of chlorophyll, the main element responsible for light reception during photosynthesis. So without magnesium, there will be little or no photosynthesis in succulents.
- Magnesium plays a vital role in plant respiration by making the soil absorb more air and aiding phosphate metabolism.
Because of this, it is helpful to use some Epsom salts as Epsom salts equals to magnesium. On the contrary, if there isn’t enough magnesium, some of the consequences are as following:
- The leaves of the succulents will become dry and have dark and purple spots.
- The plants may become stunted.
- The leaves may also become yellowish.
Not only is Epsom salts good for succulents, but Epsom salts also are highly water-soluble. That being the case, you can easily dissolve it in water and use it to water your succulents which is a very effective way of getting the water and nutrients into the soil very quickly and easily.
To encourage fast and healthy growth, you can begin with one tablespoon of Epsom salts per gallon of water. Don’t forget to water your plants at least twice a month.
Furthermore, Epsom salts are good for plants because of the high levels of magnesium it contains. However, too much magnesium is not good for plants, so excessive use of Epsom salts will harm plants instead of helping them. The reason is that too much magnesium causes stunted growth.
It can also be helpful to sprinkle Epsom salts around your plants or even on the soil before you plant. Magnesium from the salts help the plants absorb more nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus with constant cultivation.
The soil may become depleted of magnesium again. Thus, sprinkle some Epsom salts around the soil or on the soil to make the plants more recipient to other nutrients. Since it is very difficult to overuse Epsom salts, unlike most fertilizers, it is safe to use them on all your garden plants.
It is a good idea to fertilize your succulents from time to time, especially when they are growing. If you don’t do so, then you may end with yellow sickly-looking sickly succulents. Inadequate nutrients can also make the leaves fall off.
If you can carefully fertilize your succulents two times a year or slightly more often, use a well-balanced fertilizer. Not one that is too harsh or extremely acidic; you may not necessarily need to use Epsom salts.
When Can I Not Use Epsom Salts for my Succulents
Sometimes, using Epsom salts for succulents will not have the desired results; it may even give you an opposite result. Therefore, I will tell you some of the conditions where you shouldn’t use Epsom salts.
1. If the soil you’re using to plant is already acidic, you don’t need to use Epsom salts. You can use a pH meter to check the acidity of the soil.
But even if you don’t check the soil pH, you shouldn’t use Epsom salts if you recently applied fertilizers because most fertilizers increase acidity. Succulents prefer slightly acidic to alkaline soils, not highly acidic soils.
2. It would be best not to use Epsom salts as a replacement for commercial or regular fertilizer. It is better to fertilize your succulents during the growing season instead of relying on only Epsom salts.
Experts always recommend well-balanced fertilizers that contain high levels of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Your succulents can not survive without those three elements, and they cannot be found in Epsom salts, so Epsom salts should be used as a supplement to the commercial fertilizers and not an alternative fertilizer, or you can use it as an addition to the regular.
3. When the soil also contains magnesium and sulfur. It is important to test the nutrient content of the soil you will use for planting. If the soil already contains magnesium, then there is no need to use Epsom salts because these are also the contents of the Epsom salts.
It would help if you also kept in mind that it is not wise to over-fertilize your potted succulents. And it would help if you didn’t give them excess Epsom salts either.
Potted plants have limited soil reserves; as such, the soil they’re planted in can retain the nutrients for as long as the soil has not been changed. Using excessive fertilizers or Epsom salts on potted succulents will make the soil too acidic for the plants.
If you want to start using Epsom salts on your succulents, you can use them on the plants themselves or in the soil where they’re planted. There are very simple ways you can go about introducing Epsom salts into your succulents.
But it would help if you kept in mind that little is always best. Don’t go pouring all the Epsom salts in the store on the poor succulents!
You can pour the Epsom salts in water and use them to water your succulents instead of just your regular water. So, you can replace your regular watering with the Epsom treatment.
Pour a teaspoon of Epsom salts into a gallon of water, and use it to water the succulents once a month, no more.
After the first month, watch and see how your succulents react to the treatment. Also, if your regular fertilizer already contains Sulphur and magnesium, you shouldn’t use Epsom salts for at least two months after applying fertilizer.
I’ve already mentioned that too much magnesium and sulfur can do more harm than good.
Epsom salts are really handy when growing succulents. They contains magnesium which is a very vital nutrient for the growth of succulents. So, it is not out of place to keep some Epsom salts in hand. But keep in mind that little is always best!