is essential that silica (SiO2) is applied as an additive. Silica cannot
be included in concentrated nutrient formulations at meaningful levels.
This is because stable silica solutions are by nature highly alkaline.
Silica must be used throughout both vegetative and flowering phases.
microscopy and x-ray analysis both confirm that existing silica within the
plant is not mobile and cannot benefit new growth. To benefit new growth
silica must be present at all times in the
Various research projects have shown that the presence of silica in plant
tissue produces several beneficial side effects:
- Silica produces healthier and
stronger plant growth. When silica is taken up by the roots,
it is deposited in the cell walls of the plant as a solid, rigid
'quartz-like' matrix. This produces a ‘mechanically’ stronger plant which
enables superior leaf orientation and therefore greater rates of
photosynthesis and growth.
Increases the weight and shelf-life of fruit due to the physical
accumulation of silica in plant cells.
Increases plant tolerance to heat stress or “wilting”.
Increases resistance to fungal diseases, particularly mildews and
botrytis. It resists fungal ingress by accumulating around the points of
Improves the healing rate and neatness of pruning wounds. This property is
especially beneficial in commercial cropping of plants such as tomato and
cucumber. Regular pruning of these species threatens the plant's survival
due to the risk of disease penetration through the site of the pruning
Increases a plant’s tolerance to nuisance chemicals such as sodium and
Growers should note that many commercial silica solutions have a poor
shelf-life. This is evident when the concentrated solution turns cloudy.