Plant Guard- Potassium Silicate Supplement
Do I need potassium silicate?
Potassium silicate can provide many benefits. It helps strengthen cell walls, guards against environmental stress, improves the uptake of water and minerals and adds an extra level of protection against fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. Commercial cucumber growers often add 50 to 100 ppm of silica to their water before adding fertilizer, and they continue to provide silica throughout the crop’s growing cycle. If the plant comes under attack by a fungus, silica is mobilized to the infection site to harden the surrounding tissues and help prevent the spread of the disease. PLANT GUARD is a potassium silicate supplement, which may increase the rigidity of your plant’s cell walls.
Silicon dioxide, or SiO2, is found in living organisms, is a major component of sand, and occurs naturally in quartz. For some organisms, silica is one of life’s necessary building blocks. For others, it has no health effect whatsoever. Silica can even be harmful to certain organisms.
For crops, however, silica is a key nutrient that is necessary for building and supporting cell structures within plant tissue. Being that plants are intelligent, they use the silica in their environment, however they need it most.
When a plant needs to store water molecules between its cells, it turns the available silica into hydrated silicon dioxide, or silicic acid. When a plant is building stronger leaves, or growing more permeable roots, the silica becomes a gel-like substance. Both of these tasks are accomplished by the plant’s transpiration system.
Silica is the second most abundant element found in the earth’s crust. It’s present in most soils, so if you grow in this medium, your crops are already exposed to silica. But if you grow hydroponically, you need to add the silica to your crop’s environment.
What Silica Does For Plants
Silica is like the mortar that holds bricks together. Inside plant tissue, the cells are like individual bricks and the silica is the binding, strengthening material between them.
Without sufficient silica levels, a plant’s body is weak. The stalk droops and the flowers are puny, while leaves are yellow, curling and prone to falling off their stems.
Think about the role mortar plays in a brick wall. A wall of stacked bricks can easily be toppled, and if you catapult a big rock at it, it’s certainly going down. But a wall made of bricks mortared together? That’s a solid structure that needs a pretty huge rock whipped at it pretty hard if it’s gonna come down, if at all.
Silica also acts as your plants’ immune system. Just like a mammal’s white blood cells rush to an injury or infection site to fight off invading pathogens, accumulated silica in a plant’s body creates a barrier around its cells that makes it more difficult for pathogens to penetrate. And for pests that bite down on stem and leaf surfaces to suck crops dry, a protective silica barrier makes it a lot more difficult to latch on.