Have you ever used Epsom salt for Christmas cactus? If not here I am going to explain the methods of using Epsom salt and benefits of them. Lets find out more details in this article.
What is epsom salt?
In terms of the appearance, Epsom salt tends to look more like table salt which has a higher component of magnesium Sulfate.
They are quite crucial in boosting the flowering activity as well as in enhancing the regular green color foliage in the plant.
Furthermore it helps to boost the uptake of essential nutrients from the surroundings as well. Once you apply them properly on the cactus and on succulents, they would cause a significant vigorous growth of these plants.
When we consider the nutrient’s requirements of the Christmas cactus, it is important that they get a wide array of minerals in addition to proper sunlight and water levels.
The most important minerals that Christmas Cactus require are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium. In addition to that, you need to ensure that Christmas cactus get minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium and Sulfur as well.
Magnesium is crucial for photosynthesis. In fact, Magnesium is the most critically important factor for the proper conduction of photosynthesis.
Magnesium is what enhances the absorption of sunlight. Besides it is useful for the phosphate metabolism and plant respiration and for the cell division as well.
Moreover, it helps to activate enzymes in the cactus. Further it will increase the Nitrogen and Phosphorus uptake from the soil too.
On the other hand, Sulfur is also crucial to conduct the photosynthesis process of the Christmas cactus.
Apart from that Sulfur is useful to improve the winter hardiness too. If you fail to supply these minerals in sufficient levels, it will result in stunted growths ,discoloration of the plants. Moreover, they would form purple and dark spots as well.
Once you use the Epsom salt, it would supply these essential nutrients for the plants. In fact, it will be more like superfood.
Besides these advantages, they would tend to make the soil a little acidic too.
Chances are that the acidity of the soil mix could change as the time goes. So, when you apply Epsom salt, it would help to balance the pH in the soil as well.
It would be more like a secondary fertilizer which would be quite productive in boosting the health of the plants.
Christmas cactus prefer to have a slightly acidic soil mix. However, as the time passes, the pH of the soil mix could vary.
Hence if you apply Epsom soil, it would be quite useful to balance the pH of the soil. As mentioned in the above, keep in mind that it would be more likely a secondary fertilizer which could stimulate a healthy growth of the plants and not the regular type of fertilizer you can use. Epsom soil is natural. Furthermore, it is cheap as well.
Can you use Epsom salt for Christmas cactus?
You can use Epsom salt on your Christmas cactus as appropriate.
If your precious cactus run out of sufficient nutrients, chances are that they would tend to turn their foliage yellow.
Hence, if you apply the right fertilizers from time to time during the actively growing season, you do not have to apply Epsom salt. As aforesaid, when you add Epsom salt, it would fulfill the magnesium and sulfur requirements.
Apart from that it will increase the uptake of the Nitrogen and Proposers and Potassium as well. It would make the Christmas cactus look greener and vibrant too.
Furthermore, if you apply Epsom salt ,you can expect better flowering of the plants as well. Literally, it would help to make bigger blooms of the Christmas cactus.
How to use Epsom salt for Christmas cactus
You need to keep in mind that you should use Epsom salt only as secondary fertilizer since they do not contain any main minerals.
Hence you cannot use them as an alternative for main fertilizers.
If you have grown the plants in an already rich magnesium and sulfur soil mix, best is to test your garden soil at least once every four years and then use. You can use a pH meter and then check the pH of the soil mix.
In fact, what I would recommend is to refrain from applying Epsom salt if you have grown them in an already rich Magnesium sulfur soil mix as then it would create a bad impact on the wellbeing of the plants. You can consider applying them only if they are short of these minerals.
When applying, you may use a tablespoon of Epsom soil into one gallon of water and then spray the solution in the soil area of the plants.
You may do this process once a month and see how your Christmas cactus reacts.
Further when you apply the regular fertilizers check the ingredients of it so that you will not over supply any of these nutrients.
In case they are already included in the regular fertilizer, you should refrain from applying Epsom salt manually for about two months.
If you end up overfeeding with Magnesium and Sulfate, it will create an unhealthy impact more than a healthy impact.
How often do you use Epsom salt?
You can feed the Christmas cactus once a month with Epsom salt.
Having said that, you need to avoid feeding the cactus with Epsom salt right after you feed them with the regular fertilizers. Instead, you need to ideally wait for some time and then feed with Epsom salt.
However, in terms of the quantities you need to add 5 mil of Epsom salt per every four liters of water. If you stick to these guidelines, it will be sufficient for them to fulfill the nutrient requirement.
In other words, it will fulfill the Magnesium requirement which is quite essential for the epiphytes.
Avoid feeding them during late summer unless it would badly affect the flowering of the Christmas cactus. Furthermore, do not feed them in winter since they would not be growing well during winter.
Furthermore, when you apply the fertilizers, you should carefully go through their guidelines and then apply.
Otherwise, it would lead to salt build up in the soil. If you mistakenly end up over-feeding with the Epson salt, ensure that you get rid of the excess salt by placing it in the shower and letting it dry after that. Needless to mention that you need to allow the excess water to drain from the pot as well.
Are eggshells good for Christmas cactus?
Eggshells are quite good for Christmas cactus as they would nourish the plants.
However first you need to educate yourself on how to make them. In simple words, you need to gather more eggshells and place them in a refrigerator.
Once there is an adequate number of eggshells, you can take them out and leave them exposed under the sun. After that you can make a powder of it after grinding it.
Egg shells are a very good fertilizer which has calcium carbonate and some other trace elements. They are effective in promoting the overall health of the plants.
Besides, it would stimulate the flowering of them as well. Apart from these methods, some people tend to place the eggshells in the basin first and then add some water to them. Let them wash a little bit in the water so that the egg white inside can wash out.
Next, put the egg white containing water in a plastic bottle. To that , you may also add some orange peels and some rice washing water as well.
Moreover, you may add some vinegar. Leave it that way for about two to three days. Next you can dilute the solution by adding water to that. Finally, you can apply this solution on your precious Christmas cactus.
Homemade fertilizer for Christmas cactus
You may apply coffee grounds for Christmas cactus as a homemade fertilizer.
You can obtain the coffee grounds from the coffee beans for this purpose. They have nutrients such as Potassium and Nitrogen included. They are crucial to enhance the soil structure
To apply them, you simply have to spread them on a larger area and then wither them. Bear in mind that moist coffee grounds will create mold faster and you need to avoid using them as fertilizers.
So, best is to place them in an open vessel so that you can maintain their good quality until the point that you use them.
When using you can either stir the dry coffee in the water or just simply scatter them around the plants and mix it well in the soil.
As you may understand it would be a great idea to use Epsom salt on your Christmas cactus as it would nourish your plants.
It is not mandatory to apply for them as they can thrive well on their own. Having said that, it would bring extra benefits for their vigorous growth though.
Literally if you spot any signs of stress or any weak growth, you can consider going ahead with this option.
They are affordable for anybody. Further they are natural too. It is just that you need to avoid applying them multiple times for the plants so that it would be harmful for the plants.
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