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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 08-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

Is there any reason to occasionally sprinkle a little around banana plants?

A fellow I met at our farmer's market told me that he sold fertilizer to banana companies in Central America for years.

He suggested that I add epsom salt to my plants here to give them a boost.

Any opinions?
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

Yes, All plants need Magnesium--it is the central atom in a molecule of chlorophyll. Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulfate. Many fertilizers will add about 2% Mg.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

If they have a Mg. def. I would dilute it down to 2 tablespoons per gallon though. And just do 3 gallons at most.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

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If they have a Mg. def. I would dilute it down to 2 tablespoons per gallon though. And just do 3 gallons at most.
Not sure if there is a Mg. def, how would I know? Also would 2 tablespoons around the base of the plants and several rain showers do the same thing?
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

Well i put 2 tablespoons once a month and they do well.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

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Not sure if there is a Mg. def, how would I know? Also would 2 tablespoons around the base of the plants and several rain showers do the same thing?
Yes. When in doubt just use a wee bit.

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Old 08-01-2009, 09:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

If you are growing in pots, then perhaps the label on the bags of soil will tell you. If you are growing in the ground, then your county agricultural extension office should have an idea whether or not your soil is magnesium deficient.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

I use magnesium and potassium to strengthen my Ae Ae bananas and it seem to help. See what I'm doing with the Ae Ae: My Ae Ae's Brother
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

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Not sure if there is a Mg. def, how would I know?
Symptoms are yellowing between veins beginning on the older leaves at the tips, then edges, then moving in towards the petiole, getting worse and worse moving to the younger leaves as the deficiency progresses. (Note: It is a bright yellow.) The yellow parts start to sunburn, turning brown then papery / dry.

It is more common on sandy, well flushed soils (like here in Florida) than on soils that don't rinse out so fast. Besides the non-native palms, we toss Mg on the gardenias and a few other plants. I believe there is some sort of competition between Mg and K, so the high potassium ferts we use on the bananas could cause or contribute to a Mg deficiency.

I think -- but I'm not positive -- that the yellowing is permanent, unlike, say nitrogen deficiency which is reversable. If a leaf forms without enough Mg, or it gives up its Mg to a newer leaf, it stays that way. You can only stop the progression to the new leaves.

Come to Lakeland or Winter Haven, FL and look at the Canary Island Dates that the city / county paid multiple $K for in the road medians for a textbook example of Mg deficiency.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

Quote:
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Well i put 2 tablespoons once a month and they do well.
That may be a bit much, but it is not highly soluble. A tsp or so a month is probably enough for a container plant if your fertilizer does not have Mg.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epsom Salt--Yay or Nay?

I think you'll find that Sul-Po-Mag (aka K-Mag) costs less and does a better job. As the name suggests, it also contains sulfur and thus maintains acidity in the soil.
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