Hey, good morning, it’s Jason from Fraser Valley Rose farm I want to talk to you today about epsom salts – magnesium sulfate, and it’s use for roses You could apply most of what I say here today to plants all around the garden But I think particularly when it comes to roses there’s a lot of misinformation going around about it. It’s spread here on YouTube It’s also all over the internet with the local rose societies and articles Talking about how you can add epsom salts to your rose garden to improve results and the way that they recommend you use it Number one they say you should plant it with your roses at the time of planting number two they say you should top dress it to established roses at number three, they say dissolve it into a Water spray and liquid feed it to your roses. And in that order, I will say “wrong”, “Mostly wrong” and “only sometimes right”. So let me go through those specifically. But first this is what I’m talking about Epsom salt you can buy this at your grocery store. You can buy this at your local mass merchant store or a agriculture store It’s a white crystal powder Completely dissolvable in water magnesium sulfate is the chemical Part of the misinformation around this comes from the fact that magnesium and sulfur are both plant nutrients and they’re both helpful in small amounts to your plants health They definitely line up on the minor end of the nutrients needed by plants so they’re behind the N P and K that you talk about on the fertilizer packages. They’re some of the more minor nutrients but essential in their smaller Doses. So in the order I mentioned talking about planting it with new roses. I’ve got a new rose here It’s a bit early in the season for me to consider planting yet But you can see across the bottom of the pot that has all these fine roots now roots take up their water and nutrients More easily when the soil solution is less salty So this is why I say no to planting epsom salts in planting hole a water soluble fertilizer Planted into the planting hole makes no sense. It’s going to make the water more salty around the plant I think the implication of some of these recommendations is that magnesium has some special role in helping your roses to root and there is no evidence to support that so unless you would take Miracle Grow in the same way and just dump it in a planting hole You shouldn’t consider epsom salts the same way. It’s just not a good use of a water-soluble fertilizer The second when they talk about is top dressing at the base of your roses and Particularly, the myth that goes around this one is that this will help your rose to develop basal breaks and again looking at my Rose here a Basal break is when you’ll see as new shoots come up right from the base there right from the crown of the rose and come up and create these strong new shoots Where flowering will be particularly strong Once again, there is no evidence that magnesium sulfate will improve basal breaks Although it is put out there many many times If you search that on the internet, you will find lots of people recommending it for that purpose But I defy you to find one article Scholarly article – University supported that would say that basal breaks are improved by magnesium sulfate the other thing that I have to say Let me back up a second here is to that same point of Roses and plants have a hard time bringing up nutrients in water when there’s too much fertilizer down So you have a fertilizer budget and I’m not talking about the budget that you spend money on fertilizer. I’m talking about How much fertilizer can you add to a plant before it gets harder for that plant to take up nutrients so if you take that fertilizer budget and you spend it on the minor nutrients magnesium and sulfur That’s a poor use of your fertilizer budget You’d be better looking at a more balanced fertilizer something either organic that’s going to give you all the nutrients your plants going to need or to take something like Miracle Grow or Osmocote or something a little more balanced that has more of the N the P the K and then the minor nutrients in The order that your plant uses them putting down magnesium sulfate arbitrarily Is kind of like saying well, I’ll choose boron. I’ll choose Zirconium, I’ll choose some other minor nutrients and I’m just gonna take that and add it to the soil and I have to warn you Just if you go and take borax and throw it down at the bottom of your plant. It’s a bad idea So if you have no reason to believe that magnesium sulfate is curing a problem with your soil Then don’t add it. Now. This goes to the next point is that sometimes people say while I’m doing it to cure a magnesium deficiency Okay, so if you see on a plant and I’ll I’ll put a picture up here to show you the symptom I’m talking about the older leaves will have interveinal chlorosis or yellowing between the veins of the leaves that is a classic sign of magnesium deficiency and if your plant has that and You put epsom salts around the base. It might cure it on the other hand I think you’d be in most garden situations better you would be better off to use dolomite lime so dolomite lime will also correct the ph upwards and it has a slower source of magnesium to cure that problem in your roses So unless you’re trying to cure magnesium deficiency There’s no reason to add that simple nutrient to the base of your plants and even if you are seeing magnesium deficiency Then it’s it might not be your best choice the third use they talk about is as a foliar spray and the mythology that’s attached to this one is that it will deter pests (not!) or The other way they talk about it is again to cure those magnesium deficiency symptoms if you see them on your plant This is the one time well I will say it might have some merit if you see that interveinal chlorosis at On the leaves the older leaves of your plant and you were able to spray on some magnesium sulfate to try to cure that magnesium Deficiency as a foliar feed and it showed results that would both confirm your suspicion that it’s a magnesium deficiency And it cures the problem So that’s the one limited case in which I will say magnesium sulfate is a good use in your garden I see videos all over the youtubes where that people are sprinkling it around their garden like fairy dust and That’s irresponsible. And I say it’s irresponsible because Adding too much is actually can actually be harmful too much of any fertilizer nutrient going to the base of your plant Can cause leaf burn it can cause root dieback You just don’t want to add I guess the wisest thing to say is that with all nutrients You want the lowest level of nutrient that will provide you with a healthy plant? Don’t just go willy-nilly throwing out a ton of nutrients in your garden. I hope that answers some of your questions about epsom salts Particularly with its use and roses and if you have any questions, please drop those below the video