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FloraMax Silica

Monosilicic Acid for hydroponic plants

Monosilicic Acid for hydroponic plantsFloraMax Silica contains 16% silica present as Mono-silicic Acid (“MSA”) and Meta-silicic Acid (“MTSA”)* .  Both of these compounds are bio-available forms of silica and are completely soluble in nutrient solutions. This yields several benefits for hydroponic growers:

  • Improves the rigidity of stems and leaves.
  • Helps prevent leaf wilt during extreme heat.
  • Increases weight, potency and shelf-life of fruit.
  • FloraMax Silica is highly concentrated and readily absorbed by plants (Monosilicic Acid and Metasilicic Acid).
  • FloraMax Silica is highly stable – shelf-life exceeds 20 years (testing origins predate 1998).
  • Available in larger pack sizes – 1L, 5L, 20L, 220L and 1,000L – suitable for large scale commercial applications.
  • Dosage: 0.1-0.25ml/L (0.25 – 1 ml/Gal) during veg and flower.  Silica should be applied to an existing nutrient solution and used throughout both veg and flower.  Silica is also very effective as a foliar spray at 3ml/L (3ml/Qrt).

* Reference:  Molybdosilicate Method 4500-Si D., Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water, 19th Edition 1995, p4-118,119.  Prepared and published jointly by American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.

FloraMax Silica contains Monosilicic-Acid-and-Metasilicic-AcidPlant available forms of silica?  To ensure plant availability, silica needs to be present in the nutrient solution in a soluble form.  This is achieved by hydrating the silica molecule:
•  SiO2 + 1H2O  —>  SiO3H2  (metasilicic acid, “MTSA” – smaller molecule)
•  SiO2 + 2H2O  —>  SiO4H4  (monosilicic acid or orthosilicic acid, “MSA” – larger molecule)
Bioavailability of FloraMax Silica is confirmed via “silica-demand” analysis of re-circulating hydroponic nutrient reservoirs using *AWWA’s Molybdosilicate Method.

Why use a silica nutrient for hydroponic plants? Hydroponic plants are often susceptible to leaf wilt and bud rot, especially when exposed to heat from HID lamps. Silica helps strengthen plant cells to prevent limp or weak growth.  Silica, known chemically as silicon dioxide (SiO2), is the chemical form that silicon (Si) adopts in plant matter. Silica is NOT the same as silicon.  Silicon is the stuff computer chips and car polishes are made from.

Combating heat stress:  FloraMax Silica is very effective for combating leaf wilt during summer heat.  Prevention treatment is best done by applying Silica as a foliar spray 3ml/L (3ml/Qrt).  This typically allows plants to endure ambient grow room temperatures upwards of 40 deg C (104 deg F).  Foliage remains rigid and turgid so that photosynthesis can continue unaffected.

Testimonials - “The plants are much stronger... more resistant to diseases and rot...
“We never grow without Silica. It gives us consistency all year round. Weight and potency are improved and are reliable from crop to crop”

“The plants are much stronger… more resistant to diseases and rot… able to withstand the shock of higher growroom temperatures AND STILL DELIVER formidable results”

Silica additives - General information
It 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. Electron 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 therefore, silica must be present at all times in the nutrient solution.

Various research projects have shown that the presence of silica in plant tissue produces several beneficial side effects:

1. 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.

2. Increases the weight and shelf-life of fruit due to the physical accumulation of silica in plant cells.

3. Increases plant tolerance to heat stress or “wilting”.

4. Increases resistance to fungal diseases, particularly mildews and botrytis. It resists fungal ingress by accumulating around the points of fungal attack.

5. 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 wound.

6. Increases a plant’s tolerance to nuisance chemicals such as sodium and chloride.

For more see page 40 of the FloraMax Hydroponics Manual.