Hostas are beautiful plantain lilies that are commonly used decoratively in shady areas. They’re relatively simple to grow and don’t require any “special treatment,” as other plants do – not even sunlight. However, that doesn’t mean things can’t go haywire. If your hostas are looking a little so-so, you might consider Epsom salts. But should you?
Epsom salt can be highly beneficial to hosta plants. It improves magnesium levels, eliminating yellow leaves and stunted growth, leading to a vibrant and healthy plant. It can be sprinkled on the ground or used in conjunction with water or fertilizer. Don’t overdo it, though, as this can be detrimental.
If your hostas aren’t looking so great and you need to find a quick cure, Epsom salt may be your magical ingredient for fixing. Keep reading to find out what Epsom salt does for hostas and how to apply it for success.
What does Epsom salt do for hostas?
Epsom salt is ideal for upping the magnesium absorption for your hostas. It does this in five particular ways, including: aiding photosynthesis, promoting healthy cell division, enhancing protein formation, creasing water retention, and streamlining the absorption and use of phosphorus.
With enough magnesium, your hosta will grow beautiful and more robust. The leaves may appear brighter, greener, and thicker, giving your plant a bushier and more vibrant aesthetic.
Without enough magnesium, your hosta will turn an unsightly yellow hue and may have stunted growth. So, if you’re noticing any of these symptoms in your hosta, it may be due to a magnesium deficiency – and Epsom salt can help.
Epsom salt can also possibly boost your hosta’s resistance to disease while fending off pests that can destroy your plants. However, gardeners have had conflicting results using Epsom salt for disease resistance and pest control.
How to Apply Epsom Salt to Hostas?
Epsom salt can be applied to Epsom using various methods. The most straightforward option is to sprinkle the Epsom salt around the hosta. You can also mix it with water or fertilizer and apply it that way.
When to put Epsom salt on hostas?
There are two distinctive times when you should apply Epsom salt to hostas: during spring, as new leaves begin to emerge, and after blooming. Hostas tend to bloom for approximately three weeks between the months of May and September.
How much Epsom salts do you put on hostas?
When applying Epsom salt to your hostas, you shouldn’t need more than two tablespoons. This is true whether you sprinkle the Epsom salt directly onto the hosta plant or mix it with another ingredient, such as water or fertilizer.
You should only apply the Epsom salt during your usual watering or spraying times. Too much Epsom salt can be damaging to your hosta, so it’s imperative not to overdo it.
Adding Epsom Salt Directly to Hosta Soil
Adding Epsom salt to hosta soil is the most simple and straightforward way to give your hosta a significant boost in magnesium.
To apply, simply sprinkle a tablespoon or two of Epsom soil around the soil. To ensure the Epsom salt soaks into the soil and is absorbed by the hosta, water the soil.
Watering Hostas with Epsom Salt
If you want to revamp your watering routine with some Epsom salt, you can easily do so.
- Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt to one gallon of water
- Mix, so the Epsom salt is incorporated
- (Optional) Add another water-soluble fertilizer – make sure it does not contain magnesium to avoid the risk of overdosing your hosta
- Water, as usual, saturating the hosta’s soil
Spraying Hosta Foliage with Epsom Salt
For those who are avid sprayers, you can use your sprayer to douse your hosta in a mixture of water, fertilizer, and Epsom salt. Here’s how to do it.
- Add the recommended amount of fertilizer to a gallon of water in the sprayer
- Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt and mix
- Spray down the hosta, so the entirety of the plant is drenched
- (Optional) Spray the soil beneath your hosta plant for added nutrients
Note: You can also use water and Epsom salt in your sprayer – no fertilizer is required.
Will Epsom Salt Kill Hostas?
Too much of anything is never a good thing – and that includes Epsom salt. Too much Epsom salt can lead to the death of your plant.
That’s because an excess of Epsom salt can cause many detrimental side effects, such as fertilizer burn, aluminum release, and nutritional deficiencies, all of which can destroy your plant’s health, eventually leading to death.
The best way to avoid this misfortune is to have your soil checked to uncover a genuine magnesium deficiency. You can also opt to use less magnesium, for example, a single tablespoon rather than two, mixed with water or fertilizer for dilution.
What to do if Epsom salt is too much?
Have you been adding too much salt to your hosta? Then you may be doing your hosta a significant disservice. Too much Epsom salt can have the reverse effect on your hosta, leading to a plant that has stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and, eventually, death.
The good news is that it is improbable that your hosta ends up with an Epsom salt overdose. It would take a relatively large amount of Epsom salt in order for this to happen. So, if you’re sticking to the one or two tablespoon rule, this should not be a problem.
If you went above two tablespoons or used Epsom salt far too regularly, the best option is to water the hosta with several gallons of water. The second thing you can do is transplant bush into fresh soil.
Epsom Salt Can Benefit Hostas – But Not Always
Epsom salts are loaded with magnesium, which your hosta needs to thrive. If you notice a magnesium deficiency – yellowing leaves or stunted growth – consider using Epsom salt. Add Epsom salt directly to the ground, or mix it with water or fertilizer and apply. Don’t overdo it, though. Test your soil to be sure your hosta needs more magnesium. Otherwise, it may overdose and die.