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Epsom Salts for Roses

DitsyDitsy LondonPosts: 169
Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on giving roses epsom salts. Would it be used instead of feeding or as well as?

Thanks.
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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,548
    Only if they have a specific magnesium deficiency, with yellow around the edges of the leaves and between the green veins. This is different to chlorosis, yellowing of the leaves due to lack of iron. A proprietary rose food like David Austin or Vitax Azalea (which has the same NPK as the DA food) has a balanced nutrient content including magnesium - which is what epsom salts is - so you wouldn’t need or want to add more usually as it would may the balance and may lock out uptake of other essential nutrients. It cannot take the place of a balanced feed on it’s own.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,870
    Epsom salts will correct a lack of magnesium if your roses are suffering from a lack of magnesium.
    If your roses are not suffering from a lack of magnesium and you give them Epsom salts, you'll risk depriving your roses of calcium which will cause a problem.
    So unless your roses are showing signs of magnesium deficiency don't give them Epsom salts.
    I feed mine with blood, fish and bone in early March and give them a mulch at the same time. In late June I give them a little more BFB and that's all they get.

    If you think there's a problem with your roses, post a pic and we'll try and help
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I'm quite enchanted with Bunny Guinness at the moment (Gardeners' Question Time / Chelsea designer). She says Epsom Salts do bugger all.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,870
    Fire said:
    I'm quite enchanted with Bunny Guinness at the moment (Gardeners' Question Time / Chelsea designer). She says Epsom Salts do bugger all.
    Epsom salts alter the chemistry of the soil and the availability of elements to plants - so saying they do 'bugger all' is plain wrong.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    If your soil is alkaline, roses can have difficulty taking up nutrients so feeding an ericaceous mix can help, I believe.
  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,121
    edited April 2021
    @Fire, I’ve also become a fan after watching YouTube video about Rose replant disease. I’ve been watching the rest of the videos she’s done on YouTube, the one about how NOT to get back pain when gardening was useful.
    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Pete.8 said:
    Fire said:
    I'm quite enchanted with Bunny Guinness at the moment (Gardeners' Question Time / Chelsea designer). She says Epsom Salts do bugger all.
    Epsom salts alter the chemistry of the soil and the availability of elements to plants - so saying they do 'bugger all' is plain wrong.

    Ok. Better to say - Epsom salts don't help.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    @Fire, I’ve also become a fan after watching YouTube video about Rose replant disease. I’ve been watching the rest of the videos she’s done on YouTube, the one about how NOT to get back pain when gardening was useful.

    I like the videos on the benefits of baseless pots and raised beds too.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,548
    I think epsom salts, used properly and at the correct dosage, may help if you have a noticeable magnesium deficiency in your soil or caused by your soil profile preventing take-up. There are a few things BG has said lately that I felt at best were misleading!

    I have atrociously shallow, rocky alkaline clay soil and extremely hard water. I do have to supplement with chelated iron occasionally to combat chlorosis, mulch deeply with ericaceous compost made from pine chippings, use rainwater when I have it or slightly acidify tap water by chucking a couple of used teabags in the watering can AND feed, otherwise my roses languish and flower poorly. I have never added epsom salts so far.

    However, this year I’ve made my own rose food from alfalfa tea with added fish emulsion plus a very small proportion of epsom salts and iron. I used this as an initial feed and now give weekly liquid seaweed feeds and will add potassium sulfate later for flowering. Basically I am attempting to recreate the balanced feed you can buy in a packet, since I can no longer get any organic rose feed here!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    BG suggests it's unusual to have a magnesium lack in the soil.
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