Last Updated on March 5, 2023
Today, we’re going to be looking at an organic source of silica for plants and the best sources. Although not a major plant nutrient, silica is still considered to be important in any grow room. One of the most abundant components in the earth’s crust, silicon is a major contributor to the plant kingdom.
It comprises about 55-70% of soil mass and just happens that some plants can gather high levels of silica in their tissue. These plants have high levels of silica compared to minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
In the past, agronomists ignored the use of silicon as fertilizer but lately, due to its benefits to the growth of a plant and its ability to improve plants’ resistance to disease, it is becoming more popular with many plant growers who apply silica to their gardens for a wide range of plants.
The use of silica is common among hydroponic farmers who add it directly to the reservoir away from other nutrients since the mineral becomes sticky when added together with other concentrated salts.
In this article, I will be sharing with you a little detail about silica for plants, including plant sources and the benefits they add when they are included in fertilizer in the garden.
What is Silica?
Silica is what is commonly used to refer to the compound silicon dioxide. It is a major component of plant tissue and is formed when oxygen and silicon come in contact. A lot of plant growers believe that silicon doesn’t have any benefits when added to their garden since it isn’t part of the essential nutrients required for plant growth. But this certainly isn’t true.
Silicon health benefits
Silicon is needed as part of a balanced diet for every healthy individual. It plays a major contribution to bone and teeth development and as such should be included in our diet. The ligaments, joints, tendons, and tissues in the body require silica for strong and healthy development. The mineral also helps to balance the release of insulin by the pancreas. The skin, hair, and nails are not left out as they require essential minerals to be able to develop properly, and apart from calcium, silicon also helps out in that department.
Now that I have mentioned some of the health benefits of silica, you should begin to see the reason why most plant growers add silica to their gardens to improve their plant yield. The next question you will be asking will be where these growers find the silica they add to their garden.
Organic Source of Silica for Plants
For you to consider a quality silicon source, it needs to contain high levels of soluble silica, has physical properties that are safe for machine applications, readily available, and shouldn’t be expensive to purchase or apply to plants. Although silicon is the second most available element in the earth’s crust, it is usually in combination with other elements. The best sources of silica for plants are the ones that are highly soluble but since most sources are insoluble, you may have to do a bit of work and research in finding a good source of plant silica for your garden.
Some of the available sources of silica for plant growers include:
A by-product from the industrial processing of iron and other alloys, slag is used as a source of plant silica due to its high solubility and concentration. It is usually a combination of silicon dioxide and metal oxides, but it can also contain metal sulfides and other metals depending on the refining process. When making use of slag as a source of silicon for your rice or sugar cane farm you should ensure that it has a high silicon dioxide content so as not to expose your plant to other toxic metals that are not beneficial to its yield.
This is by far the most important source of silicon for plants and is best for soil application. Wallosonite (calcium metasilicate) is the most effective source in places where the soil is low in soluble silicon concentration. Another by-product of slag, gotten from the production of phosphorus in an electric furnace can be applied to soils with low silica contents in the cultivation of watermelon, sugarcane, rice, and other crops.
Another good source of silicon for plants, sodium silicate often referred to as water glass has many industrial applications including textiles, ceramics, cement, silica gel, and adhesives. It is produced by the treatment of quartz sand, caustic soda, and water in a hot steam reactor.
A common fertilizer used in Brazil, thermo-phosphate is also a good source of plant silica. Although it might be difficult to come by and expensive to purchase, it is highly effective in increasing the plant yield in gardens where there isn’t much silicon content in the soil.
Benefits of Silica in Plant
The addition of silicon to plant soil either in hydroponics or traditional gardening has a lot of numerous benefits and they include the:
- Helps to Strengthen Plant Cell Walls
Silica helps to provide the plant with a stronger cell wall, and this makes it possible for the plant to develop strong stems and branches that are capable of supporting fruit production when the plant reaches maturity.
- Strengthen Plant Immune System
Unlike animals, plants lack an immune system that can help them to resist the effect of environmental factors on plant growth. Adding silica to plants helps them to withstand the effect of climate and drought throughout the plant’s life.
- Improves Plant Metabolic Function
The addition of soluble silica to plants provides them with a higher chlorophyll concentration where it is needed. This helps to reduce wilting in the leaves and improves leaf production. Also, there is a noticeable improvement in the health of the foliage when silica is added to plant soil.
- Increased Resistance to Pests and Pathogens
Feeding your plant with soluble silica helps to improve its resistance to pests and pathogens. It helps to fortify areas around the cell wall of the leaves making it difficult for diseases to get into the plant. It also makes it harder for bugs to bite and suck the plant thereby reducing plant damage.
Natural Silica for Plants
The truth is there are many natural sources of silica to help your plants thrive. While silica isn’t listed as an essential nutrient for your plants, I’ve found that it helps your plants to thrive in a way that they don’t without it. One of my personal favorites is diatomaceous earth. You may know it better as diatomite.
While it does contain other parts, it is predominantly made of silica; which is why it’s perfect for your plants – and all-natural! Diatomaceous earth is essentially algae. It helps your plants to thrive as it’s absorbed into your plant and helps to strengthen both the root system and structure.
As well as this, it also can provide other positive effects on your garden environment. For example, it’s great at retaining moisture, so works well against any drought issues your plants may be having. As well as this, it can even work as a pH buffer.
Best Organic Silica for Plants
You may be wondering how to make silica for plants and the best organic silica source for plants. Some other options we’ve not yet looked at are potassium silicate and mono-silicic acid. Let’s take a closer look.
This is often the easiest type of silica you can get your hands on; meaning that it’s easily accessible. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely bioavailable, which is what may veer you away from choosing this type of silica. This means that if you add a certain amount to your plants, you can never be sure how much of the silica they have received. Over time, it may also not be as effective, which is another downside to this type of silica. However, in terms of price and ease of usage, we would highly recommend it. It’s quite basic, which is great for gardening beginners
Mono silicic acid
You may know it better as orthosilicic acid. This is my favorite choice of organic silica because however much you feed to your plants, you can be sure that they’ll be receiving every last amount. It will offer a flow of silica to your plants, which they can use to flourish and grow. This time of silica is versatile and doesn’t degrade as quickly as other types of silica.
Best Silica for Variegated Plants
When it comes to silica for variegated plants, the truth is, you can use whichever silica you’d like. You simply have to find out what works best for your plants and garden; as this will be different for everyone. However, I’ve found that well-rounded silica is Alchemist Stout MSA. While the price tag of this supplement may deter you, you don’t need to use much of this supplement at all. For this reason, it’s likely to last longer than other silica supplements you may use.
All of the supplements will feed into your plant and this silica source is as pure as they come. Whether you’re a new gardener or an expert, I would highly recommend this silica.
How to Add Silica to Your Plants
Depending on the product you are using, you need to follow the dosage prescribed. During the early stages of plant development, it is advisable to feed them soluble silica at a slow rate and then up the application as plants increase in size and maturity.
You can apply silica to your plant either as a foliar spray or to the roots; but for maximum absorption, you should apply minerals with the aid of a foliar spray. Remember to dilute the silica and add the solution to the reservoir to avoid contamination with other elements.
When purchasing soluble silica for your farm, you should buy from trusted brands that sell grower feeds and tools so that you can be certain of the quality of the mineral your plant is receiving.
If you have any questions about using silica for your farm or garden, let us know in the comment section and we will be glad to be of assistance. We encourage you to share this article if you find it helpful. Do you have any tips or tricks for using an organic source of silica for plants in your garden? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Why is silica good for the soil?
Silica is used to enrich the soil and protect it from water loss. A) help plants grow B) prevent plant disease C) hold moisture in soil D) allow moisture to evaporate from soil E) store nutrients
A silica particle is a mineral composed of silicon, oxygen, and other elements. It is used in many products that we use everyday. A) sand B) glass C) soap D) mortar E) clay
Silica is needed for healthy roots and leaves, but can be found in soil or rocks. You may also find it in your tap water. Silt is a finely divided sediment consisting chiefly of clay particles. It is found in streams, rivers and lakes.
If you're looking for a silica supplement for your soil, then look for a product that has silica as its primary ingredient. There are many that do. They are often marketed as "plant food," but I wouldn't recommend using them. Instead, just add a small amount to your soil and let it work its magic.
What is a good source of silica for plants?
I've heard a lot of different sources of silica: A) Silica is found in the soil naturally, but not in large amounts.
B) Silica is found in sand, which is usually sold for landscaping purposes. C) Silica can be purchased in bags and comes in various sizes and shapes. D) Silica can also be purchased in liquid form and sprayed on plants.
How much do you need for a large tree?
This depends on what kind of tree you have and how big it is. I use about 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, and that should be enough for most trees.
What’s a good brand of silica that anyone can use?
I use the mineral brand "Silica" from Amazon. It's just a powder, so it's easy to measure out. You could try other brands, but I've had great results with this one. I've used it in my own garden and in others' gardens, and it seems to work well.
How is silica added to the soil?
This is a good question and one that I have also asked myself. Silica is added to soils by chemical companies as a fertilizer. It is added to soil as an inert filler, or it may be used in the form of an inert dust. Inert means that it does not affect the chemistry of the soil. It is inert because it is not chemically active in the soil.
How does silica form on earth?
Silica, like all minerals, is part of the earth's crust and thus it's always there. The mineral silica SiO2 is present in the soil as a result of weathering and erosion processes. The most important sources of silica for plants are the soils that were formed by sedimentary rocks, such as shale or sandstone.
Lory is an avid gardener who loves spending time outdoors. She is passionate about using her green thumb to create beautiful, lush gardens for her friends and family. She finds joy in tending to her garden, trimming plants, and cultivating new species. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with others who have a similar enthusiasm for gardening. Lory is a true nature enthusiast who loves to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors with all who meet her.