Q • My neighbor is an avid gardener and gave me a box of Epsom salt for my plants. How much do I use and what does it do for my plants?
A • Epsom salt has a cult following that touts myriad benefits including disease management, soil quality improvement and increased seed germination. Unfortunately, the reality does not live up to the hype and the evidence for these claims is taken out of context.
Epsom salt is an excellent source of magnesium, an essential element for plants to grow, and dramatically improves performance of plants grown in deficient soil. But fortunately for St. Louis area homeowners, magnesium is abundant in most soils and it is rarely needed to be supplemented.
Write to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Center for Home Gardening at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Horticulture Answer Service, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110.
Every week, we feature a St. Louis-area home to showcase, usually because of its great style; but sometimes, just being quirky earns it the distinction.
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