Even though silicon is not considered an essential mineral for a lot of plants, silicon has proven beneficial effects on plant’s growth, strength, quality, resistance to stresses and development. These factors prove why incorporating a silica supplementation into our growing practices results in better plants.
Why Is Silicon Important?
The nutrient silicon is absorbed as silicic acid and is deposited as hydrated amorphous silica in a plant’s cell walls. Its proven to improve and impact cell wall strength and leaf erectness. Silicon stimulates nutrient uptake and the plant’s process of photosynthesis. Plants fortified with silica are stronger, and produce bigger, healthier and more abundant flowers and fruits. It has also proven to increase plant tolerances of heat and drought conditions.
Although silicon, by itself, is not needed in order for a plant to grow, silicon has been shown to influence in particular the plant’s interactions with zinc, boron, and manganese. Silicon deficiencies are very rare since it's the second most abundant element in earth's crust and is found in significant quantities in soil.
Identifying Silicon Deficiency In Plants
Silicon deficiency affects new leaves, roots or stems with malformations from warping, hardening, and sometimes thickening. When plants are grown without silicon, they run the risk of being structurally weaker than plants grown with.
How To Correct Silicon Deficiency
In the case of a silicon deficiency, potassium silicate may be the solution. Potassium silicate is a beneficial supplement for your plants, and one that will make them larger, stronger, more resilient to diseases and pests, and capable of yielding more.
Because silicon requires a higher pH level in order to be soluble and in turn be taken up through the plant’s roots, silicon cannot be included in a regular feed schedule. In order for silicon to be used as an available supplement for your plants, it needs to be kept separate from the basic feed.
Now that you know the benefits of monitoring the silicon content in your soil and hydroponic growing systems, and what to do when you spot a deficiency, you can be sure to have the necessary tools on hand to keep your plants at their best.