When to Use Cal-Mag in Your Garden: In-depth Guide

Plants require innumerable nutrients to absorb and to grow healthily. Nutrients are not only essential for the soil-grown plants but also for the coco and hydroponically-grown plants too. Some of the most important nutrients for plants are potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which are the macro-nutrients.

Whereas sulfur, calcium, and magnesium are the micro-nutrients, as plants need them less than the other major nutrients. Calcium and magnesium, also known as cal-mag, are quite essential for the plants as without them the plants won’t grow as per your expectation.

If you already know the importance of cal-mag for your plants but don’t have any idea when to use cal-mag in your plants, then this article will help you to know about it. I will also discuss the relationship between the plants and cal-mag in this writing.

ScenarioWhen to Use Cal-Mag
PlantingAdd Cal-Mag to soil or nutrient solution to prevent calcium and magnesium deficiencies in plants.
ExerciseConsider Cal-Mag supplementation for muscle cramps, spasms, and bone health during intense physical activity.
PregnancyPregnant women may benefit from Cal-Mag to support fetal development, bone health, and muscle function.
AgingOlder adults may use Cal-Mag to maintain bone density, prevent osteoporosis, and support nerve function.
Vegan/VegetarianPlant-based diets may be low in calcium and magnesium, making Cal-Mag supplementation important for overall health.
StressCal-Mag can help manage stress by supporting nerve function, muscle relaxation, and promoting restful sleep.
Medical ConditionsCertain health conditions like osteoporosis, muscle cramps, or malabsorption may require Cal-Mag supplementation.
when to use cal mag
Image Source: plantgardenbugs.blogspot.com

Why Does the Plant Need Cal-Mag?

Cal-mag separately works for the growth of the plants. Like humans, plants also need some nutrition to thrive, but they also need micro-nutrients like cal-mag for healthy functionality.

Calcium is an immobile nutrient that locks up in one part of the plant and helps the part to grow. Intaking calcium helps the cells of the plants to be rigid and makes the shape and structure of the plants strong.

Calcium makes the cells of the plants unbending and makes transferring of the nutrients from one part to another quite easy. They prevent the plants from heat stress and helps in the growth of fruits and flowers. Without calcium, the plants will have a slow growth with stunt leaves.

Magnesium aids in the activation of several enzymes in the plants. Plus, it supports the plants in its most essential function, which is the photosynthesis process. Without the presence of magnesium, chlorophyll cannot be created in the plant’s cells.

Magnesium is the central part of chlorophyll, which helps it in the process of capturing the sunlight and makes the leaves green and healthy.  It is a mobile nutrient, which transfers to different parts of the plants where the nutrient is needed.

So, these are the reasons why calcium and magnesium for plants are quite necessary.

When to Use Cal Mag for Plants?

Most people add cal-mag supplements with the base feed for the plants. Some do use cal mag for seedlings and some start using them in the early growth period of the plant. Cal-mag benefits the plants in several ways, so using them from the early stage won’t harm the plants.

Additionally, it is better to use less cal-mag when you use hard or untreated water for your plants, as they contain enough nutrients and have a high pH level.

Next, you may face cal mag deficiency during flowering stage. High humidity and temperature can cause cal-mag deficiencies and makes your plant unhealthy and ruins its roots. Before feeding your plants with the nutrient solution, make sure to check the pH level of the soil and use cal-mag according to the Ph level.

The causes and signs of cal-mag deficiency are explained below so that you can easily find out and take immediate action.

When to Use Cal-Mag Hydroponics?

Hydroponically-grown plants mainly live on water and nutrients, so cal-mag is quite essential for them. When you use RO and distilled water for the hydroponics plants, the demand for cal-mag increases as distilled water has a low pH level. Make sure to use cal-mag as per the instructions, as using too much or less of it can harm the plants.

how long does cal mag take to work

Causes and Signs of Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency occurs in the plants, mostly due to the use of soft water in the plants. Moreover, when you overfeed the plants with magnesium and potassium, the plants cannot intake other nutrients, and that occurs calcium deficiency.

Since calcium is a nutrient that is locked and stays in one part and doesn’t transfer to the other parts, so the deficiency signs are mostly seen in the new leaves. They are:

  • Stunt or deformed new leaves.
  • Weak structure and stems.
  • Slow growth.
  • Brown spots with a rusty edge leaves.
  • Increased heat stress.

Causes and Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

A plant can be deficient of magnesium if you use soft water, when the Ph level is low, and when the plant is overdosed with calcium nutrient. For hydroponic plants, if the level of water is high, then the oxygen level for plants to breathe becomes less, which leads to magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is a mobile nutrient, which means it transfers to different parts where it is required. So, the signs of magnesium deficiency are mostly seen in older and matured leaves. They are:

  • Brown rust spots.
  • Yellow leaves with green veins.

If you are wondering how long does cal mag take to work for the damaged leaves to be healthy again, then the answer is the damaged leaves will not recover. You need to add a sufficient amount of cal-mag in the regular nutrient solution for your plants and wait for the plant to recover, but you will see the difference in the form of healthy growth of new leaves and bud formation, within 1-2 weeks max.

How Much Cal-Mag to Use for Plants?

The amount of cal-mag supplements to be added in the nutrient solution depends on the type of cal-mag supplement you will be using for the plants. Cal-mag is found in pre-mixed powder form and in liquid form, the amount to be used will be specified in the product.

Add only the specified amount of Cal-mag to balance it with other nutrients as overdosing the plants with cal-mag can harm the plants later on.

Natural Cal-Mag for Plants

If you are looking for a cal mag alternative, then let me tell you that you can make cal-mag supplements with natural ingredients. All you need is pure Epsom salt (without any scent), crushed egg shells, and vinegar or lemon juice.

You have to make a solution with the crushed egg shells and vinegar or lemon juice and use it as a calcium supplement for the plants. You will find out more information regarding how to make the solution on the internet.

Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, so it can be used as a magnesium alternative for the plants. Create a good balance of these ingredients and use them for your plants.

Cal-Mag Feeding Schedule for the Plants

Start by using a little amount of cal-mag for seedings, and when you reach the vegetative phase in the second week, increase the dose. It is safe to use 3-5ml in the vegetative stage until the late flowering stage. You can increase the dose if you see any symptoms of cal-mag deficiency.

Most people stop using cal-mag in the 6th week of the flowering stage, which means before the ripening phase, as per instructions. Make sure to follow the cal mag feeding schedule for the plant to thrive in a healthy way, without any problem.

When to Use Cal Mag for Autoflowers

For autoflowering plants, Cal-Mag can be used during various stages of growth. It is typically recommended to start using Cal-Mag during the vegetative stage and continue throughout flowering. Autoflowers may have specific nutrient needs, and Cal-Mag can help prevent calcium and magnesium deficiencies, which can negatively impact plant health and growth. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with experienced growers for optimal timing and dosage of Cal-Mag supplementation for autoflowing plants.

Related Questions

Q: When should I use Cal-Mag for my plants?

A: Cal-Mag can be used during planting or added to the nutrient solution to prevent calcium and magnesium deficiencies in plants.

Q: Can Cal-Mag be beneficial for athletes or those who exercise regularly?

A: Yes, Cal-Mag may be beneficial for athletes or those who exercise regularly to support muscle health, prevent cramps, and maintain bone density.

Q: Is Cal-Mag recommended during pregnancy?

A: Cal-Mag may be recommended during pregnancy to support fetal development, bone health, and muscle function. However, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Q: Should older adults consider Cal-Mag supplementation?

A: Yes, older adults may consider Cal-Mag supplementation to maintain bone density, prevent osteoporosis, and support nerve function as they age.

Q: Can Cal-Mag be beneficial for vegans or vegetarians?

A: Yes, Cal-Mag can be beneficial for vegans or vegetarians as plant-based diets may be low in calcium and magnesium, which are essential for overall health.

Q: Can Cal-Mag help with stress management?

A: Yes, Cal-Mag may help with stress management by supporting nerve function, muscle relaxation, and promoting restful sleep.

Q: Are there any specific medical conditions where Cal-Mag supplementation is recommended?

A: Yes, certain medical conditions like osteoporosis, muscle cramps, or malabsorption may require Cal-Mag supplementation. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper guidance.

Wrap Up

Cal-mag is quite an essential supplement for the plants as they help the plants in strengthening the cells and keeps them green by boosting the chlorophyll production in the plants. They also help in preventing nutrient deficiencies, stimulates the growth of fruit, and helps in the proper transfer of different nutrients in different parts of the plants where they are demanded.

Using the right amount of cal-mag to the base feed is also very important since a high dose of calcium or magnesium can prevent the plant from consuming other nutrients. I hope this article has helped you to know when to use cal-mag for your plants, how and what kind of role it plays in the growth of the plants.

Good luck.





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