Epsom Salt Issues Wake-Up Call to Indoor Plants

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A few weeks ago, I read about Epsom Salt as an additive to improve performance and yield of vegetable gardens. I thought to myself, “Hmm, I wonder if it would help any of my discouraged and unmotivated indoor garden denizens.”

Epsom Salt Rumored to Bring the Power

Happy happy year-old basil in its pot with the ginger roots.

Happy happy year-old basil in its pot with the ginger roots.

The instructions on the DIY website that I’d found (and can’t seem to find again) said to add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water before giving the plants their daily watering in the morning – and to do so for ten days. That’s a lot of Epsom Salt, folks, even more than I’d normally add to a soaking bath.

Instead of the full recommended dose, I took just a wee pinch (that’s the scientific term for about 1/32 of a teaspoon, give or take a grain), and sprinkled it on top of the water in the plastic drinking glass that I use to water the dining room plants each morning.

Seven Days to Overnight Epsom Salt Success

I marked the calendar to give this a ten-day try, just to see if it would help the plants or turn them into candidates for the compost heap.

Naturally, since I have the patience of a four year old, I started looking for signs of progress the same day I started. Nothing happened.

Next day – nothing.

Can you see the new peppers? Huge!

Can you see the new peppers? Huge!

Third day, however, there were five new blossoms on the pepper plant… unusual since I am pleasantly astounded when I get ONE.

Fourth day, and the unnamed green leafy houseplant-resembling thing on the top of the bookcase was starting to look a bit happier, greener and leafier.

I was still skeptical, but by the fifth day the two year old mint had morphed from a scrawny heap of twisted half-dead vines to a small field of leaf buds.

Day six, and the clump of ginger roots had started to produce sprouts after five months of nada. Its companion basil (they share a large pot) had gained about 20% more healthy leaves.

The bright green leaves are all brand new!

The rubber tree’s bright green leaves are all brand new! (*NOT a rubber tree – turns out I was misinformed)

And by the seventh day, every single plant was showing signs of growth or reactivation (except the sumac, and that’s been dead for over a year).

I gave them a few days off, then started using the Epsom Salt again on the third day. Now, after a total of ten days of ‘salting’, even the ancient rubber tree (still recovering from being nipped and chewed on by Annie “Godzilla” Wingnut, our new two-year-old cat) is showing signs of renewed hope in the form of five HUGE leaves.

The Science Behind the Miracle

Pardon me while I climb off my proud-gardener-mommy soapbox a moment to explain what’s going on.

The Epsom Salt Council website says (and I quote):

Magnesium and sulfur are two naturally occurring minerals that are major components of Epsom salt. Magnesium is a critical mineral for seed germination. Plants use it to produce chlorophyll and as an aid in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen. Sulfur is also a key element in plant growth, helping produce vitamins. Tests by the National Gardening Association show that Epsom salt helps produce more flowers and makes pepper plants grow larger.

More flowers and larger plants? Yes, please – and it’s definitely working.

So if your garden is showing signs of being tired and disillusioned, just slip a wee bit of Epsom Salt into their drinking water – and stand back. You can pick up boxes of Epsom Salt almost anywhere, or you can click this handy-dandy little link that’ll help you buy some at Amazon in the Epsom Salt department. (Yep, that’s an affiliate link)

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass

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