How To Make Hostas Grow Bigger, Bushier, Lusher With Epsom Salt

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Learn how to make hostas grow bigger, bushier, and lusher by using Epsom salt in this article!

What Epsom Salt Do to Plants

Epsom salt is “hydrated magnesium sulfate,” it consists of 10 percent Magnesium and 13 percent Sulfur. Both of them are considered as secondary essential nutrients after Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

Magnesium in Epsom salt increases water retention, helps in the better intake of nutrients, and most importantly, in the creation of chlorophyll, on which the process of photosynthesis depends.

Similarly, sulfur also participates in the development of chlorophyll, increases the plant’s resistance to diseases, and helps in growth.

How Epsom Salt Helps Hostas

Application of Epsom salt in hostas reduces the stunted growth, makes their leaves greener and thicker as it boosts chlorophyll levels. It also facilitates bushier plant growth and their resistance to diseases and pests.

1. Get Rid of Slugs

Slugs are the most common pests that affect hostas. To get rid of them, place a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a shape of a ring around hostas to prevent slugs. The sharp crystals of Epsom salt will irritate their body, and they will avoid coming near your plants. Apply once a week for best results.

2. For Yellowing Hosta Leaves

Yellow hosta leaves can be a sign of Magnesium deficiency. As a solution, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt around the base of your hosta plant per 12 inches of its height, once a month (or more frequently, if required) until it starts to look green again.

3. For Lush and Healthy Hosta Plants

Even if your soil is not deficient in Magnesium, some factors like acidic soil, low soil temperature, cation exchange capacity of soil, excess potassium or sodium reduce the uptake of Magnesium from plant roots.

In that case, foliar feeding your hosta plants with Epsom salt solution is a good idea:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 1 gallon of water and spray once a month on the foliage in the rapid growth period.
  • When growth slows, reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon. The foliar application will keep your hostas lush and healthy.

4. Mix Epsom Salt with Fertilizer

You can also mix a pinch of Epsom salt with the all-purpose liquid fertilizer before feeding the hosta plants and then apply according to the instructions on the fertilizer’s packet to enhance its efficiency.

Tips and Warnings

  • As with any ingredient, the success of Epsom salt for hostas depends on its balanced use.
  • Avoid overdosing. Also, it is best to look for the sign of Magnesium and Sulfur deficiency in plants to get the desired results from Epsom salt application.

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  1. If we apply the circle of Epson salts once a week around the hostas to get rid of slugs, will that not make the soul too alkaline? The amount used to water them or in fertilizer seems so much lower, it worries me to try this.

    • I do this once every month or two, mixing a tablespoon of epsom to a large pitcher of water for each plant. My kimberly ferns are lush and green and love it, careful to only pour the water into the soil and not the leaves or fronds. Do not do more than once monthly and even if it rains.

  2. I am going to try this as I have been seeing lots of slugs and that concerns me. I have to wonder what it would do for Hydrangeas! Great article I plan on doing this tomorrow!

    • Yes you can use epsom salts around roses. I just sprinkle the epsom salts around the base of the rosebush and let the rain wash it into the soil in the spring to give her a boost to really get a healthy start.

    • DEFINITELY. My rose bushes are the best they’ve ever been after applying Epson Salts once when my Forsythia blooms (which indicates when the soil has warmed) and again as they started to bud.

  3. Can I use the Epsom salts on my elephant ear plants?
    If so how much, and what is the best method of applying it to them

    • Epsom salts are not the same as common table salts. Firstly, there should be some deficiency in your plants if you’re going to use epsom salt. It’s very high in magnesium which is needed for chlorophyll and photosynthesis. Secondly, it should only be applied every few weeks in sparingly amounts. There are numerous online articles about the pros and cons of using epsom salts in your garden. Be sure to find out where, when and how much you need before using it out you could do more harm than good.

    • Irish soap works to deter deer from eating plants.. just shave small pieces and place around the base. Reapply as needed


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