To use Epsom salts or not?

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leeaun

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Hi, I was advised by Sam to water with Epsom salts (1 teaspoon to 4 litres of water) every few weeks as some of the new plants I have obtained are showing some signs of very light yellowing (the older leaves only) and at the very tip of the older leaves a slight browning.

My water quality analysis in my locale is 360ppm total hardness (expressed as CaCO3, mg/litre) and the detailed calcium levels are 145 mg/litre. There is no mention of the magnesium levels although a note in the report states that the very hard water is due to the dissolved Ca and Mg. I was advised by Sam to mix 2 parts distilled/RO water with 1 part of my tap water for watering. Given that Epsom salt is MgSO4, would not it be just as good to just increase the ratio of tap water to my distilled/RO water? Any advice please? Thanks!
 

PaphMadMan

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Applying awesome math and chemistry skills, 145mg/liter of calcium is almost exactly equivalent to 360ppm total hardness expressed as calcium carbonate. It is true that hardness in general is due to mostly calcium and magnesium compounds, primarily carbonates, but in your water essentially all of the total hardness would be accounted for by calcium carbonate, so your water has no significant magnesium content.

Also, excess calcium is antagonistic to magnesium uptake. If Sam says they need magnesium, they need magnesium.
 

Carper

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Hi, I was advised by Sam to water with Epsom salts (1 teaspoon to 4 litres of water) every few weeks as some of the new plants I have obtained are showing some signs of very light yellowing (the older leaves only) and at the very tip of the older leaves a slight browning.


Do you apply the Epsom salts on their own, nothing else added?

Gary
UK
 

leeaun

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Hi, I was advised by Sam to water with Epsom salts (1 teaspoon to 4 litres of water) every few weeks as some of the new plants I have obtained are showing some signs of very light yellowing (the older leaves only) and at the very tip of the older leaves a slight browning.

Do you apply the Epsom salts on their own, nothing else added?

Gary
UK
Hi Gary, I dilute my very hard water 1 in 3 with distilled water bringing the hardness to about 120ppm and just add 1tsp of the Epsom salt to every 4 litres. He has advised me to do it for the first 2 waterings and then do it once every 2 -3 months. For my normal watering, I supplement the 1 in 3 diluted water with RainMix from Akerne and he said it should be fine. What do you do for your barerooted roths showing yellowing in the lower leaves which are the older ones? He told me its normal.
 

Carper

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Hi,

As far as the lower leaves are concerned, that's just natural. On barerooted plants, I just pot up in straight orchiata. They get Kelpmax, which has been discussed on this forum many times, for the first 3 waterings then roughly at 3 weekly intervals. In between, they get virtually nothing, only a very weak version of Akerne, ie about 100, u/S for the first 3 months until I see new roots. I have followed a few on this forum with very weak feed every few days and it works for me.

Gary
 

leeaun

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Hi,

As far as the lower leaves are concerned, that's just natural. On barerooted plants, I just pot up in straight orchiata. They get Kelpmax, which has been discussed on this forum many times, for the first 3 waterings then roughly at 3 weekly intervals. In between, they get virtually nothing, only a very weak version of Akerne, ie about 100, u/S for the first 3 months until I see new roots. I have followed a few on this forum with very weak feed every few days and it works for me.

Gary
Hi Gary, thats good to know. I soaked my bark mix in a solution of Greenfuse Root solution and also incorporate into my watering to have promote rooting. I have not used Orchiata as I have read on varying success with it on many threads and especially with Sam who has veered away from it and I am using the mix of bark+Charcoal+perlite (I substitute it with Growstone instead) which Sam has advised the plants were growing in before he bare rooted them. I grow mine plants almost exclusively in the home and they seem to be getting on well and the new leaves are coming out too...so far so good.....I think you mentioned to me before that you use pure R/O water mixed with Akerne whereas my water is laden with lots of calcium so contains quite a bit of calcium in it so I guess the supplementation of a occasional magnesium sulphate does help. I will start with a 1/5 strength of Akerne once they settle in a bit given its winter now and they are still a bit traumatized.

I have still another 3 flasks of roths, 1 sanderianum and 1 haynaldianum to deflask but waiting till my live sphag arrives in a few days. I have used it in the past for my newly deflasked plants and they really seem to like it esp with root growth and I will transfer them to seedling bark after 9 months or so but in the meantime will be using a higher proportion of my hard water to offset the acidity in the sphag when watering....

I see you are in Nottingham. If I do have any surplus roths and sanderianum seedlings which I cant accomodate and am giving away would you want them? (have some more kovachii flask to collect at the RHS Show from Peruflora next months too.)

Lee
 

Carper

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Lee,

I have used RO water for a while now as my tap water is really hard and has very high readings. I only feed at about a quarter of what my tap water readings are so doing this I know exactly what I am giving my plants. The bark works for me and it keeps it simple. There is nothing else in there and all this helps me in my repotting regime. With regards to Sam's plants, I just pot up in the orchiata, after soaking with Kelpmax for 24 hours. I then feed kelpmax for 2 further waterings, nothing added. After this I feed very weak around 100 u/S for a few months until I see good root development, then only increase slightly until well established. I also use a heat mat for the seedlings and all newly acquired plants. I do add small amounts of Epsom salts and calcium nitrate alternately to my Akerne feed which seems to help.

I have sent you a PM aswell.

Gary
 
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