What Plants Don’t Like Epsom Salts

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What You Need to Know: Plants That Don’t Like Epsom Salt

Did you know that some plants don’t like Epsom Salt? We see it touted as a safe cure-all in the garden. How can it be bad?

We all want to take the best care of our plants and help them with the proper nutrients.

Epsom salt, known for its use in baths and home remedies, has also found its way into the gardening world as a plant supplement.

Magnesium does have a job in the garden but is adding more really the ticket?

dying plant and Scentimental roses with text overlay. should you use epsom salt in your garden? is it really safe, flower patch farmhouse

Let’s explore which plants that will really pitch a fit if you give them this common household item and why.

Natives with a Different Taste

Imagine if you traveled to a new place and the locals fed you a dish loaded with a spice you’ve never encountered before.

Native plants are kind of like that—they’re used to the soil they’ve grown up in.

Adding Epsom salt to their diet might not be what they’re used to, and it could disrupt their natural harmony.

If your garden boasts native plants, you might want to think twice before sprinkling Epsom salt around.

Indian Paint Brush, what plants don't like Epsom Salt

Acid Loving Plants

Some plants, like blueberries and azaleas, have a real taste for acidic soil.

Epsom salt can mess with the pH levels these acid-loving plants adore.

If you’re trying to keep your blueberries singing the blues, it’s best to avoid Epsom salt in their vicinity.

The acid-loving plant list includes Coniferous trees, rhododendrons, and dogwoods.

Rhododendron, Garden Journal May 17th and 24th

Succulents and Cacti

Imagine overeating your favorite meal. Your stomach might not appreciate it, and neither do succulents and cacti when it comes to Epsom salt.

Succulents and Cacti thrive on meager nutrients, and Epsom salt might just overwhelm them.

The worst thing you can do is over-love them with either too much water or too much nutrients like Epsom Salt.

This includes sedums, echeverias, and sempervivums.

Water Loving Plants

Picture a thirsty plant gulping down water from the soil like a straw in a glass. Now, imagine if the straw suddenly became clogged or the water turned into a bowl of soup.

That’s what can happen when certain plants come into contact with Epsom salt. It might mess with their ability to take up water which leaves them a bit parched.

Water-loving plants include plants that love damp areas like bamboo, cannas, Joe Pye weed, and hardy hibiscus.

bamboo plant in a vintage crock

Aquatic Plants

If you have an aquarium, you know how delicate the balance of water chemistry can be.

Well, it turns out that some plants in your garden can be equally picky. Epsom salt might be like an uninvited guest, causing ripples in the aquatic ecosystem of your plants.

So, if you have water-loving plants like water lilies, you might want to keep the Epsom salt on the bathroom shelf and away from the pond.

Note: Epsom Salt leaches from the soil and runs off, even if you use it on plants you feel benefit from it you may be creating a problem elsewhere.

waterlily in pond, plants that don't like epsom salt

Carnivorous Plants

Pitcher plants, sundews, and Venus flytraps are all carnivorous plants that get their nutrients from insects.

They don’t need any additional fertilizer, and Epsom salt can actually be very harmful to them.


Beans have a deep root system that allows them to access nutrients from the soil.

They don’t need any additional magnesium, and Epsom salt can actually build up in the soil and harm the plants.

Leafy vegetables

Leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, don’t need much magnesium.

Epsom salt can actually make the leaves yellow and stunted.

lettuce, tomatoes and snap peas with text overlay, Grow a container salad garden, Flower Patch farmhouse

Find out how Epsom Salt can create more problems than it supposedly helps…

dying plant and Scentimental roses with text overlay. should you use epsom salt in your garden? is it really safe, flower patch farmhouse

Stop Using Epsom Salt in Your Garden!

Though many claim it works miracles in the garden and is perfectly safe you can actually be doing your garden a huge disservice. This article will explain why you should not use Epsom Salt for plants in your garden!

Lastly, even for plants that usually appreciate magnesium, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

Just like we need a balanced diet, plants need balanced nutrients. Overloading them with Epsom salt can lead to nutrient imbalances and unhappy plants

Unless you have a magnesium deficiency in your soil adding Epsom Salts is not helpful. In fact, it can prevent plants from uptaking other nutrients and create toxic soil.

So leave the Epsom Salt next to your bathtub and give your plants a break. The best thing you can do is regenerate the soil for the best plant health.

Happy Healthy Gardening!

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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