The very nature of hydroponics is water, but there are many things that can go into that water to help plants grow. Potassium silicate has been brought up as an additive to help plants grow and maintain sustainability throughout the growing season. People have been adding various products to soil for years, trying to keep plants healthy and silica may be hydroponic equivalent of burying a banana peel in your garden.
What Is Potassium Silicate?
Potassium silicate is a type of silica salt created by adding potassium hydroxide with silicon hydroxide. In hydroponics, it’s generally introduced in water solution made up of 3.7 percent potassium and 7.8 percent silica. Outside hydroponics, it’s used in woodworking to protect against fire, metal cleaner and corrosion inhibitor. It’s the primary way to get silicon to your plant.
Gardeners should remember to examine your waters pH levels after adding potassium silicate in case it throws off the balance. It comes in powder form, flake and a variety that can be sprayed. It doesn’t matter how you get silicon onto your plant, just do it. It’s like the Terminator of hydroponics.
Makes Plants Strong Against Disease
Hydroponic plants can be sensitive to pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, but introducing silicon can help shore up their strengths against these deadly diseases. When silicon is introduced into the planting system, it can act as a barrier between powdery fungus and your plants. It can also find itself in the cellular walls of the plant where it can keep parasites and bacteria away from the stele.
If a fungal infection has already started, then place the silicon on the plant immediately to help stop the spread not only on your plant, but also to those surrounding it.
There is nothing worse than seeing your crop slowing wilting away in front of your eyes. Silicon found inside the cell walls acts as a barrier and protective layer and increased the plant’s tolerance to higher than normal levels of minerals as well as mineral deficiencies.
It’s necessary to occasionally use cuttings and plugs from your plants. Silicon increases their stress tolerance and loss of water because of transpiration happens at a higher temperature.
In its sprayed form, silicon discourages infestation by aphids and other biting insects. The silicon layer acts as an intense barrier against the insect’s jaws. It can also be a sap sucking inhibitor for various insects.
Silicon Is Necessary
Silicon is a necessary addition to plant growth in hydroponics and plants that go without it can be in big trouble. Plants that don’t get enough silicon often don’t pollinate or bear fruit. It’s like a miracle drug for hydroponic planting and too many people don’t realize it until it’s too late.
While hydroponics is all about being natural and using only water, the addition of a few additives can be critical to the survival of your crop. Silicon helps plants throughout the growing season and to help create better and healthier fruit.