ARE YOUR PEPPER PLANTS BEHAVING BADLY TOO? Mine, planted three months ago, haven’t set a single flower bud. Happily, in the comments under A Walk in the Kitchen Garden, reader Jen offered this possible pepper-panacea:
About 3 weeks ago i mixed a heaping teaspoon or two of Epsom salts with about 32 ounces of warm water in a spray bottle and started spraying my big, beautiful, pepper-less plants once every five days or so….the plants are still big and beautiful but are now filled with flower buds and tiny baby peppers…
Why did Jen’s Epsom-spray work? Because Epsom salt, or hydrated magnesium sulfate, boosts a plant’s ability to absorb nitrogen, sulfur, and — perhaps most importantly — phosphorus. Phosphorus is the key to abundant budding, and consequently fruit. (I regularly feed my African violets a high-phosphorus formula, and they bloom and bloom all winter.)
I’m going to give Jen’s treatment a try. Maybe you will, too. Applied in the quantity mentioned above, even if it doesn’t help flower-stingy plants, it certainly won’t harm them.
Furthermore, one can always pour the product into one’s bath water. For Epsom salt — so named because it was discovered in the well water in Epsom, England — is a known ache- and pain-reliever. But you probably already knew this.