Lesley Ramsay, New Zealand

Fwd: Epsom salts?

October 20, 2010

Categories: Bulb Information, Fertilizing, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Soil

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Hi Loyce.

I believe that Epsom Salts is magnesium.   We (the Late Max and me) believe that magnesium does improve colour of the blooms and the strength of the foliage.  We use Caus-mag to get this important element into the soil.  We prefer it as it is very slow release and is therefore superior to sulphate of magnesium which is very soluble and leaches out quickly.


4 responses to “Fwd: Epsom salts?”

  1. Keith Kridler says:

    Epsom salt contains 10% Magnesium and 13% sulfur. (a hundred pounds of Magnesium Sulfate/Epsom Salts will contain 10 pounds of pure Magnesium and about 13 pounds of sulfur)
    BOTH of these are critical plant nutrients for plants and magnesium has to be easily available in the soils for tomato plants during the heat of the summer. We often add Magnesium into liquid fertilizer injectors for the garden plants a couple of times a summer but NOT very much. For large tomato plants we will use one tablespoon Magnesium Sulfate to five gallons of water once a month during the fruiting season.
    For Onions (similar requirements of nutrients to Daffodils) the CL or Critical Level of Magnesium in the root zone of the plants, they require or need 50 Parts Per Million of Magnesium (this is the absolute minimum) when you get a Soil Analysis Report!
    According to our soil tests and where our daffodils grow the BEST the Magnesium levels in our soils are near or just above 200 Parts Per Million. OR where the Magnesium levels are three to five times the minimum requirements for growing Onions.
    The Critical Level for Sulfur in the root zone of Onions is just 13 Parts Per Million and our soil tests show the sulfur in our three main fields are just from 15 PPM to 18 PPM or very near the critical level for growing healthy onions.
    Our PH levels in the “best” looking daffodil fields are 6.8 and 7.0 or nearly a perfect neutral PH.
    A cheaper source of Magnesium for lawns, flower beds and fields is Dolomite Lime as it contains 19% Calcium and 10% Magnesium or again 100 pounds of Dolomite Lime will contain 19 pounds of Calcium and 10 pounds of Magnesium but 100 pounds of bagged Dolomite Lime in this area is just under $8.00 so a full pound of Magnesium only costs 80 cents a pound and the 20 pounds of calcium is free.
    Onions on the other hand require a CL Critical level of 180 PPM of Calcium in the soil, in the root zone of the plants. Our “best” looking daffodil fields have fifteen TIMES this critical level but they range all the way down to just THREE times this critical level.
    Onions require 4.25 PPM available Iron in the root zone for a Critical Level and our levels of Iron in our fields range from two times to four times the Critical Level. Iron found in nails and or steel or even cast iron shavings is not going to be in a form of iron that the daffodil roots are going to be able to pull up and use. In the USA you can add “Ironite” to the soils as this product contains various metals and trace elements for plants in a form that the plants can actually use fairly rapidly.
    Don’t forget that Boron “might” be lacking in some of your daffodil beds. You will NOT know without getting a soil sample. LACK of Boron affects the elongation of rapidly growing plant cells. SOOOO a LACK or shortage of this in the soil where daffodils are growing would stop or slow down the rapid growth of leaves and or flower stems and the formation of the buds growing rapidly into a full sized Daffodil flower!
    TOO much Boron in the soil is toxic to plants, too little Boron in the soils also causes severe plant problems. Our soils were actually quite low on Boron levels BUT we only needed to add one pound of pure Boron per acre or 5 pounds of Boric Acid per acre. Onions only needed 0.60 PPM of Boron. Most of our fields only averaged about 2/3 rds of this amount.
    Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

  2. Ted Snazelle, Mississippi Ted Snazelle says:
    I would like to make one point about magnesium.  Magnesium is a part of the two chlorophyll pigments (chl a & chl b) involved in green plant photosynthesis, i.e. the light induced manufacture of glucose.  Arguably, glucose is the single most important organic compound in the world as its carbon atoms are found ultimately in every organic compound (i.e. compound containing carbon) comprising living things including our beloved daffodil.  Thus, if magnesium is not available in the soil, no chlorophyll would be available for photosynthesis.  If anyone wants to know more about photosynthesis, etc., they can contact me privately.

    Theodore E. Snazelle, Ph.D.

    101 Water Oaks Drive

    Clinton MS 39056-9733

  3. Joanna Lloyd Tilghman says:


    I have used it on my broadleaf evergreen shrubs that I was going to put in a flower show.  It has magnesium and intensifies the green color.  We were always taught to spray the shrub before 2 in the afternoon since the plant was actively absorbing nutrients until that time.  Could be an old wives’ tale, but the green was definitely better and more luscious looking.  I haven’t tried it on daffodils, but if it made the color better for shrubs, it might also work for daffodils.



  4. Barbara and Len Weber, Oregon Barbara and Len Weber says:

    We put epsom salts with alfalfa  in the spring for getting the roses off to a good start.   There was also a recipe in The Oregonian Home and Garden section today for making bath salts with Lemon Verbena and epsom salts.  Who is willing to try it for daffodils so precious.?  Hmm.

    Barbara in Corvallis.