• Home /
  • Blog /
  • Silica For Plants: What Every Grower Needs To Know

Silica For Plants: What Every Grower Needs To Know

You’ve likely heard all about silica for plants. But unless you’ve taken a deep dive into the science behind this nutrient, you may be unaware of its importance.

Silica, also known as silicon dioxide, is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. It is present in rocks, sand, and soil, and it is an essential element for plant growth. While silica is not considered a nutrient, it plays a vital role in supporting the health and growth of plants.

We’ll cover what exactly silica does for plants, and how you should apply it to your own garden.

We'll then dive into the best source of silica for plants. This nutrient can get pretty tricky, and not all forms are created equally.

Continue reading

Silica For Plants: What Every Grower Needs To Know


You’ve likely heard all about silica for plants. But unless you’ve taken a deep dive into the science behind this nutrient, you may be unaware of its importance.

Silica, also known as silicon dioxide, is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. It is present in rocks, sand, and soil, and it is an essential element for plant growth. While silica is not considered a nutrient, it plays a vital role in supporting the health and growth of plants.

We’ll cover what exactly silica does for plants, and how you should apply it to your own garden.

We'll then dive into the best source of silica for plants. This nutrient can get pretty tricky, and not all forms are created equally.

What is silica?

Silica is a form of silicon dioxide, which forms when silicon comes into contact with oxygen.

It’s actually one of the most common minerals on Earth. Silica is the second most abundant nutrient found in the Earth’s crust. Thus it's highly concentrated in many soils, which in turn makes it a major part of plant tissues.

There are all kinds of forms of silica being used on the market today. The most common are:

  • Potassium silicate
  • Calcium silicate
  • Silicic Acid

We’ll cover which form is best for your plants in a moment. For now we’ll explain why you should be using a silica supplement in the first place.

What does Silica do for plants?

Silica is widely known as a “superfood” for plants. It doesn’t directly increase bud size, potency, or terpenes. It does the little things that lead to a successful and plentiful harvest though.

Increased growth rates lead to a quicker harvest

One of the biggest reasons growers feed their plants a silica supplement is because they see more growth.

This nutrient helps improve cell growth by speeding up the production of cell walls, helping serve as a framework.It also acts like cement for the cells. This allows them to work better and be more effective at their job. All of this adds up to a plant that can grow tissue faster, and thus grow faster.

Increased nutrient uptake (other sources)

Another reason silica leads to a healthier, better plant is because it increases your plant's ability to uptake other nutrients.

Macronutrients and micronutrients alike are able to be taken up by the roots more effectively. This creates a more balanced and even nutrient profile.

Silica Increases Plant Strength & Vigor

Why is silica so important for plants?

Another thing silica does is increase the strength of cell walls in your plant.

This is huge for growers hoping to cultivate huge, dense flowers.

You can have the biggest flowers in the world and still have a poor plant. If your branches can’t support them, they’ll snap and never fully develop.

This is also an important benefit for those growing outdoors.

Heavy winds and storms can easily damage the foliage and branches on your plant.

A secondary benefit of thicker stems is that nutrients have an easier time moving through the plant. A thicker stem leads to getting to the areas that need them most.

This can lead to a more plentiful harvest as your plant has greater nutrient uptake abilities.

Increased resistant to pests and diseases

Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, the last thing you want is your hard work to go to waste. Spider mites or powdery mildew can overtake your garden quickly.

If you use silica, however, this chance decreases. The reason being that silica increases plant tissue.

This means pests will have a harder time easting the tissue and doing real damage.

Some studies have shown tested plants grown with silica that have been infested. The pests actually end up leaving to seek out easier prey!

Silica also helps your plant create an antifungal property. This lowers the chances of mold and mildew taking hold on your plants.

All of these reasons we’ve listed above add up to a plant with a higher potential for heavy yields.

But, we’ve mentioned that finding the right silica supplement is even more important than using one at all. So what is the best source of supplemental silica?

What is the best source of silica for plants?

As we’ve already briefly mentioned, not all forms of silica are created equal. There are all kinds of different formulas which have varying degrees of solubility and plant availability.

As a grower, your goal should be to only give your plants a source with high solubility and availability.

Like most things in chemistry, molecular size and structure depict function. These factors play a key role in how easily our plants can uptake certain compounds.

We’ll dive into the most common forms you’ll find on a plant nutrient ingredient label. Then we'll explain why we believe silicic acid is the best form out there.

Potassium Silicate

Potassium silicate is one of the most common forms of silica you’ll see in this industry.

This is a problem because this form of silica is actually not easily absorbed. This means your plants won’t be able to use it to the extent they’d like.

This means it is not easy to guess when it is broken down and then made available to the plant. You will never know exactly what your plant is getting.

This makes it not very effective. While you may think you are providing a 5mL dose, you won’t truly know what your plants are absorbing.

There are even more insoluble forms of silica like rock rust. These are even harder to manage.

On top of this, potassium silicates can break down over time as they sit on the shelf. This will lead to a decrease in efficacy. It can also lead to a change in consistency and color that is much more difficult to work with.

The other issue is that they tend to be very basic. You have to spend a good amount of time lowering pH down to the ideal conditions.

Mono Silicic Acid

The best form of silicon is mono sicilic acid, also known as ortho silicic acid. Unlike potassium silicate, it is 100% available immediately upon feeding. This allows you to accurately and reliably dose your grow.

Silicon is an immobile nutrient. So it cannot be moved to other parts of the plants once taken up by the roots.

This means you need a steady flow of silicic acid to take full advantage of the benefits silica has to offer.

When using silicic acid, you can rest assured your plants are getting this vital nutrient throughout. You won't need to wonder whether it is working or not!Plus, silicic acid maintains its properties much better over time, and won't degrade nearly as much. It's also easier to pH and mix, and works great with autodosers!

The best silica supplements for plants

Now that you know you should use a silica supplement that contains silicic acid, how do you find one? There are a few supplements that stand out above the rest:

Alchemist Stout MSA

Alchemist Stout MSA

Alchemist Stout MSA is derived from a complex process that delivers the most readily available form of silicon possible.

The process starts with digested quartz. It then goes through a proprietary digestion process leading to a more stable product. This leads to the purest product possible, with no added potassium.

This gives you, the grower, more control over what you are actually feeding your plant. It also adds less conductivity (lower EC) to your nutrient solution.

You may assume that Alchemist Stout MSA is too pricey considering how pure it is. Because the product is so easily absorbed, you can feed at a lower rate (Around 5mL/gallon).

This actually makes it cheaper than most silicic acid on the market. It’s also much closer to the cost of potassium silicates.

Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin

Advanced Rhino Skin

When it comes to fertilizing your indoor or outdoor plants with the best, Advanced Nutrients is the line for you.

Most hydroponics leaders have found it difficult if not impossible to deliver silica to your crops. You can see why that is. Silica is the main element in sand.

It is very thick and solid. It doesn’t easily dissolve in water. It isn’t easily taken into plants.

The scientists who created Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin knew all this before they started the product design and testing process.

That’s why they looked into many different types of silica, as well as different ways to make it. They found that the form of potassium silicate used in Rhino Skin produced the highest crop silicate percentages.

Power SI Granular Silica

Power SI

Power Si excels in creating silicon based plant supplements. The main goal is to improve plant growth, yield, and resistance to stressors. The company has a range of products that are all made with high-quality silicon to promote healthy plant development.

Power Si Granular is the only, first of its kind slow release granular formula containing stabilized silica, and other proprietary ingredients. This mix plays a key role in releasing locked up nutrients from the soil. Power Si Granular provides a stable matrix to keep silica in an active state. It stays available to the plants for an extended period (up to 30 days after use).

Power Si is one of the best non-nutritional things you can use for plant growth and vigor. Power Si is unlike other silicon products. It works quickly and effectively. Adding Power Si to your regimen results in thicker & stronger stems.

Power Si works as a transport agent bringing nutrients from your root zone to the rest of your plant. You'll see improved strength and vigor as Power Si excels at moving nutrients from the root zone to the top of your plant.

Final Thoughts On Silica For Plants

By now, you should have a good understanding of why you should feed your plants a silica supplement.

While supplemental silica can be great for plants, it is important not to overuse it. Too much silica can lead to nutrient imbalances and cause other problems. Therefore, growers should follow recommended dosages and monitor their plants' response to silica.

In conclusion, silica plays a crucial role in plant growth and health. It can improve plant resilience to environmental stress, enhance the quality of crops, and strengthen plant tissues.

While silica is abundant in most soils, supplemental silica can be used to overcome deficiencies and promote optimal plant health. By knowing the benefits of silica for plants, growers can take steps to improve their yields and overall crop quality.

If you want to learn more about plant nutrients & pH, check out our complete guide!

If you have any questions about bringing this nutrient into your feeding schedule our experts here. Give our Master Growers a call now!

Have questions about your grow? We're Here To Help!

Our Northern California based experts can help. We're here to make sure you get what you need to maximize your harvest.

888-815-9763

or Email an expert

© 2011-2023 Hydrobuilder.com - 500 Orient Street Suite 150, Chico, CA 95928 USA

All trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective trademark holders.