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Can anyone please let me know if I can bring them back? I used Epsom salts. They were doing great and now it looks like they are all going to die

  • how much epsom salt did you use? How did you apply it? – kevinsky Jun 6 '18 at 21:46
  • A gram or 3 per gallon is the way to go. Looks like you overdid it. I'd rinse the leaves and water well. You might get lucky and save the plants. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 7 '18 at 13:59
  • Did you water onto the leaves, or did this damage occur spontaneously after watering the soil? If you watered onto the leaves; why? – Tom W Aug 1 '18 at 19:28
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    Epsom Salts is not salt.. Epsom salts does not contain sodium chloride, which is the active ingredient in salt it is a mineral and used frequently in farming and gardening. – Dori Bon Sep 9 '19 at 13:13
  • In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound made of positive and negative ions. In common language “salt” specifically means Sodium Chloride, but according to the chemical definition epsom salt is a salt. – SethMMorton Sep 11 '19 at 4:35
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You have salt damage. Epsom SALTS. Why did you decide to water with Epsom Salts? Was it because someone on the internet said Epsom Salts are great? I am sorry. This internet is filled will more uneducated, inexperienced opinions that others think are gospel and truly drags all of us down.

I use epsom salts for my horses hooves when they get stone bruises. Epsom salts are NOT fertilizer. If you were seeing symptoms of magnesium deficiency and knew what those looked like, then a BIT of Epsom Salts might help. Only professionals and sometimes not even professionals KNOW the signs of chemical deficiency or excess much less how to mitigate...whether to add a chemical, whether just changing pH of the soil will work at unlocking the chemistry already in the soil, to know that just allowing the soil to warm will release the chemistry plants have to have to make their own food. We never give plants FOOD.

Otherwise, what have you added for a balanced fertilizer? Have you had a soil test (probably not for a few cucumbers)? Were there indications your cucumbers NEEDED extra magnesium? Symptoms?

Magnesium is one of a dozen MICRO chemicals (sometimes erroneously called nutrients) plants need in tiny tiny tiny tiny amounts. Otherwise there are 3 of the MACRO chemicals; Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. Your cucumbers look or looked just fine so I am assuming you added fertilizer other than Epsom Salts? Only professionals that KNOW the symptoms of magnesium deficiency should use Epsom Salts on their plants. I have NEVER found the need.

My little ditty on fertilizer; Less is Best...More is Death...None is dumb seems to help others remember. I'd hose down my plants, wash them off and drench the soil hoping to leach some of that magnesium away.

This is a super question that others need to read! These fertilizer myths, feeding of plants who make their own dang food, talking about 'fertile' soils is discouraging newbie gardeners as well as professionals. Thank you for asking this question.

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    Commercial lime that people add to their gardens to raise pH often contains a significant fraction of magnesium. If your soil pH is already too high and you've gardened for decades you may get Mg deficiency. Old container plants sometimes benefit from 100ppm (1 g/L). – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 7 '18 at 14:04
  • Container plants are easy to just change out the old soil for new. Potting soil. Magnesium deficiency is easy to detect as a symptom of the leaves I don't see it on these leaves...hard to tell from pictures. – stormy Jun 8 '18 at 0:39
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After a few years of fighting blight and blossom end rot you try anything. I am convinced a little pinch of Epsom Salt in the soil is good but I found watering with diluted Epsom Salt 1 tbs to a gallon is NOT a good idea. My tomato plants wilted from it. NEVER AGAIN. I watered the daylights out of them to dissolve the salts and it seems to be working. I'm still going to attack blight with baking soda spray but its early yet for that to show up. Keeping leaves off the soil and cutting low branches off so the plant is not close to the soil helps. The best FOOD for tomato plants etc. is home made compost! End of story!!!

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I don't know anything about gardening, but we bought a cucumber plant in the spring and have had numerous cucumbers start but they never got past and inch long before dying off. The plant itself is thriving just no vegetable yield. I was told to try Epsom salts and after 2 days we have cucumbers that have tripled in size! I don't have any real advice but it has worked great so far so don't discount the idea.

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