Planet Earth is full of natural resources that have served as food and subsistence to plenty of animal and vegetable species. Land and water are crucial to the vast majority of plants we know of. Elements like oxygen, nitrogen and C02 provide plenty of benefits, just like certain elements such as silica, potassium, phosphorus or magnesium.
All the previously mentioned elements are essential for the correct cultivation of cannabis strains. The different elements that marijuana plants need to carry out their photosynthesis process should be present in the soil. Unfortunately, on some occasions, substrates can be contaminated or have a low mineral content. In such cases, the best solution is to use additives and fertilizers to supplement the nutrients that cannabis plants need.
However, sometimes the extra dose of nutrients is still not enough and plants end up lacking certain elements that stop them from growing properly. This is when silica comes in handy, or more concretely, silicon dioxide. The benefits of silica in marijuana crops, or in any type of grow really, are numerous and enable the development of strong and healthy plants.
- 1 What is silica?
- 2 How important is silica for plants?
- 3 Benefits of silica in Marijuana crops
- 4 Strengthens cell walls
- 5 Extra protection against pathogens and plagues
- 6 Improves resistance against environmental stress
- 7 Prevents the absorption of heavy metals
- 8 Increase nutrient absorption and improved functions
- 9 Great quality marijuana crops thanks to the benefits of silica
What is silica?
This element is present everywhere in nature and is part of pretty much everything we see and touch. It is present in 59% of the Earth’s crust, only surpassed by Oxygen and it’s one of the 10 elements with more presence in the known Universe (8th place). Beach sand is formed by silica, as well as more than 90% of the rocks of the planets and even the floor itself.
As if this wasn’t enough, silica is also present in the human body. It facilitates the formation of collagen, a substance that helps form bones, tendons, cartilages, teeth, hair and blood vessels. As a curious fact, silicon stays in its pure form only when isolated from oxygen. As soon as both particles enter in contact, silicon turns into silica.
How important is silica for plants?
It would be easy to think that silica is irrelevant for plants. It is a solid mineral that is present all over the planet, it surrounds the ecosystem of all crops and essentially lives with them. When crops are grown outdoors and straight into the ground, it is way easier for plants to interact with silica, as it is part of the Earth’s crust.
However, plants grown in pots with pre-made substrates are quite often short for silica content. This element is extremely relevant in the development of crops, its lack could deteriorate the final result.
Benefits of silica in Marijuana crops
Silica is very important for plants. When plants show intense green colors it is because they are accumulating lots of silica. In most cases it is present in larger amounts than other macro and micro nutrients such as Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus.
Although it is an essential nutrient for plants, it does have a very important function. It increases survival and promotes environmental adaptation by improving general conditions and adding vitality. The benefits of silica when added to cannabis grows in a soluble form are the following:
Strengthens cell walls
Silica is a strengthener for vegetable walls, from the inside of the plant to the outside. By having stronger cell walls, plants develop stronger branches capable of holding the weight of buds. Stems also get bigger, therefore they transport water and nutrients all over the plant more efficiently. The final result is bigger and stronger plants.
Extra protection against pathogens and plagues
When a plant has enough silica accumulated, it uses it as a protective shield against pathogens and fungi such as oidium or mildew. Silica makes it difficult for pathogens to access the plant and expand inside it. It also stops plagues from proliferating by strengthening the plant’s tissues, therefore, making it more difficult for insects to bite or suction. Foliage application of silica complexes strengthens plants.
Improves resistance against environmental stress
Silica is known as the super vitamin of plants, as they don’t have an immune system to protect them. This element helps plants withstand weather changes, therefore, it is perfect for outdoor grows. It also creates a protective layer around the plant, preventing water loss induced by transpiration. This way, our plants will have more water and a protection mechanism against drought.
Prevents the absorption of heavy metals
Excess of heavy metals like cadmium, lead, tin or mercury in the soil or in water can stress plants. However, silica can reduce this bio-availability to reduce absorption.
Increase nutrient absorption and improved functions
Apart from everything that has been mentioned up until now, silica plays a very important role in plant nutrition. It increases capillary vessels, enlarges stems and favors nutrient absorption such as magnesium, nitrogen and potassium.
And last but not least important, this component improves the plant’s metabolic functions. It increases chlorophyll concentration and promotes a more effective use of CO2. The benefits of silica make plants healthier, prettier and with all their properties intact.
Great quality marijuana crops thanks to the benefits of silica
After going through all the benefits of silica, it is obvious that this element should be part of any fertilizer kit. However, it should be taken into account that silica has to be applied separately, never with the rest of the products. Otherwise, it could degrade the nutrient solution to the point of making it useless. The best way of adding silica to your crop is by either spraying the leaves or watering the plants with it.