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Can You Use Epsom Salt on Crepe Myrtles?

can you use epsom salt on crepe myrtles

If you’re caring for a crepe myrtle, you probably already know it likes a little acidity in its soil. If your soil is alkaline, you will have to ensure the tree get what it needs. You’ve heard of several common household substances good for crepe myrtles. But what about Epsom salt?

Can you use Epsom salt on crepe myrtles? Yes, you absolutely can. However, it’s ideal for soils that are far too alkaline. In other words, the soil has a pH higher than 6.5. Crepe myrtles prefer acidic soil that ranges between 6.0 and 6.5. So, it’s possible to hurt your tree if you use Epsom salt too.

This will all rely on the composition of the soil. Aside from pH, there’s also the matter of soil nutrients. Crepe myrtles love a high concentration of phosphorous, which means you will need fertilizer appropriate for the tree. In order to have big beautiful blooms, you have to mimic the tree’s native conditions from Southeast Asia.

How Does Epsom Salt Affect Crepe Myrtles?

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When you add Epsom salt to the soil around the base of a crepe myrtle, it gives the tree a boost of micronutrients. These include things like oxygen, magnesium and sulfur.

If you have a soil with a pH balance higher than 6.5, administering a little Epsom salt is perfect. But, if you have the appropriate acidity, then you don’t have to give Epsom salt.

The best way to do this is by dissolving one tablespoon of pure, unscented Epsom salt with 17 cups of water (4 liters or one gallon). The most ideal time is when you have to water the tree. Pour the tonic at the base of the tree and follow it with some plain water. You can also do this when you know it’s going to rain.

To check the current price and availability of Monterey Epsom Salt, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

What Is the Best Fertilizer for Crepe Myrtle Trees?

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The best fertilizer for crepe myrtle trees depends on the soil it resides in. Because these trees like things on the acidic side, the kind of fertilizer you use can make or break the success of the tree. It should be time-release granules or spikes with an NPK appropriate to your soil.

Soil Scenarios

For instance, if your soil already sits in a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5, then you don’t need much fertilizer. You may want to give a tinge of bone meal when you want to proliferate blossoms. Other than that, you will over-fertilize the soil, which will cause the tree to struggle.

However, if your soil is alkaline, meaning it’s well above 6.5, then your fertilizer will have to match the deficiency. To illustrate, if your soil is at 7.5 and it lacks phosphorous, then an NPK ratio of 8-55-7 will be your safest bet. Also, giving Epsom salt in this case will be an excellent supplement to ensure you don’t over-fertilize.

But, if it’s only at 6.9, then an NPK of 10-15-9 or 10 across the board should work beautifully. This means you will have to test the soil for its nutrient content and its pH level. It’s the only way to ensure you get the right fertilizer.

To check the current price and availability of Crepe Myrtle Fertilizer, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

How Can I Make My Crepe Myrtle Bloom More?

To make your crepe myrtle bloom more throughout the growing season, you want to deadhead the spent flowers after they bloom. This prevents them from dying back onto the branch, which inhibits additional flower growth. You want to do this before they begin forming seeds.

Then, administer half of the amount of fertilizer you normally would for seasonal maintenance. But, don’t give too much water or fertilizer, this almost always causes more green leaves than colorful, vibrant blooms. Ensuring the soil conditions are appropriate and giving the tree full sun is best for ensuring prolific flower production.

However, you should pay close attention to your fertilizing schedule and only do it twice throughout the growing season. First give some at the beginning of spring and then again in early summer. If you give too much fertilizer, you may inhibit flower production. But, too little fertilizer means the tree will struggle to derive nutrition.

What Causes a Crepe Myrtle Not to Bloom?

If you find there is far more foliage than actual flowers on your crepe myrtle, chances are you’re giving too much water and fertilizer. Be sparing with these things since a little bit of neglect (not much) helps the tree develop more blooms.

Only water crepe myrtles when the top two inches of soil are bone dry or when it’s hot and arid. Avoid watering during humid spells and ensure the soil’s moist but not waterlogged. Crepe myrtles cannot bear an overly wet environment and are prone to contracting root rot because of it.

In terms of fertilizer, only administer when you think the tree needs it. So, you should only have to fertilize one or two times per growing season. But, this will impinge on what kind of soil you have. If you have the appropriate pH of 6.0 to 6.5, then you shouldn’t have to give fertilizer.

Final Thoughts

Epsom salts can be a great treatment for crepe myrtles to ensure beautiful blooms throughout the growing season. But this is only advisable for highly alkaline soils, or well above a pH of 6.5. When your soil has a balance of nutrients with the proper acidity range of 6.0 to 6.5, then no Epsom salts are necessary.

While crepe myrtle trees aren’t difficult to care for, you do have to guarantee the soil suits their preferences. In many cases, you will have to use fertilizer and other amendments to ensure more and continual blossoms. If you use too much, flowers will be few but too little means the tree will struggle to find nutrients.

This is why a soil test is crucial. The results will tell you exactly what you need to do. It will help you decide if granules, stakes or bone meal will be better.

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