Silica Supplements to Cultivate Healthier Cannabis Plants
Of all the cannabis supplements out there, silicon-based supplements are one of the lesser known. Yet, they could be one of the most beneficial.
Cannabis is rather easy to cultivate, and is not very demanding when it comes to growing conditions. Although there are many options and additional supplements on the market, not much is needed to cultivate cannabis well. However, even if a lot of supplements are not crucial for growing cannabis, there are a lot of reasons why it sometimes makes sense to consider their use. These products often aim for a healthier plant, where high yields can be seen as side effects due to an overall strength and vitality.
Silicon is one such supplement, and there are many potential benefits it has to offer. Silicon can help to produce bigger, stronger and healthier plants, making it very interesting to dive deeper and find out more about it.
What is silicon?
Most of us already have daily contact with Silicon. This is because it’s the most common element in the ground. About 90% of the earth’s crust consists of compounds called sheet silicates. There are hundreds of different variations of sheet silicates, all containing Silicon, Oxygen and additional metals or minerals.
Silicon becomes available to plants when it is extracted from the sheet silicates to form monosilicic acids. There is so much, that plants grown by mother Earth can consist of up to 10% Silicon. Some grasses contain more Silicon than any other mineral.
What are the benefits when using Silicon supplements?
Adding silicic acids to your feeding regime can have many positive effects on the overall performance of your plant:
1. Silicon promotes faster growth
Silicon can help to improve the cell development of cannabis by speeding up the production of cell walls. It is used to build a framework for cells out of silica and cellulose - these frameworks are also being produced when silicon is not specifically added, but it's way faster when the plant has access to sufficient amounts of it. It acts as cement for the cells, which results in an overall boost in performance.
2. The uptake of macro and micro nutrients can be improved by silicon
Silicon naturally increases the amount of available nitrogen and reduces the loss of it to Ammonia. This is a very good thing. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for cannabis plants, especially in the vegetation stage. Furthermore, silicon is thought to balance the uptake of several other nutrients. It can increase the uptake of Zinc, for example.
3. Silicon can help to protect plants from metal toxicities
Silicon can help to protect plants from Aluminium, Manganese and Iron toxicities. If the concentration of these essential elements becomes too high, there is a good chance that metal toxicity will stress the plant and lower final yields and quality. Silicon competes against these metals in your nutrient solution, helping prevent them from becoming too abundant.
4. Increased silicon uptake leads to stronger plants and robust cells
This is a pretty big argument for the use of silicon supplements. When giving your plants the chance to increase the amount of silicon within its cells, you will see a difference within the whole structure of the plant.
Your cannabis plants will look healthier, having thicker stems and stronger side branches. Together with a good air circulation, which also strengthens the plant's cell structure, there is a pretty good chance to grow magnificent looking cannabis.
Thicker stems are also beneficial for the nutrient flow. A bigger, stronger plant means more nutrition can be moved around more efficiently, which in turn, helps boost growth further.
5. Silicon can increase the resilience to pests and disease
There is nothing worse in the life of every passionate cannabis grower than a pest infestation threatening their harvest. Spraying plants with pesticides and fungicides is a big no-no, especially if you grow organic. Silicon can be a great alternative and works in multiple ways:
The outer skin of the plant toughens up due to high levels of Silicon in the cell walls. This means insects and pathogens have to be far more aggressive to penetrate through the strong and healthy outer skin of the plant.
Cannabis can also use silicon to create anti-fungal defences, helping prevent infection from the many dangers out there, including powdery mildew.
6. Final argument: Silicon leads to higher yields
Strong and healthy plants, with thick stems and solid side branches, which also have the resilience to defeat the challenges of nature, are very likely to yield high amounts of bud.
To argue why high yields are nice to have seems unnecessary. Silicon also influences final yields by promoting a rather dark green colour in the leaves. This can be ideal for the process of photosynthesis, the motor of healthy plant growth.
How can I apply silicon supplements to my regular feeding regime?
If you are thinking about trying silicon supplements, and want to do some tests in your own home-growing environment, then you will be pleased to know it is pretty easy. Silicon based plant supplements are easy to pick up online, and can be integrated into a regular feeding schedule.
Last words about Silicon
At the end of the day, it is a matter of individual preference if you want to use silicon supplements or not. A lot of growers prefer to keep it simple, and question new products and supplements. However, silicon seems to have many advantages. Even growers who prefer to grow organically can consider Silicon-based supplements, which are also available as organic products. Silicon is not a new chemical, developed by some scientist who decided to make some cash, but a natural product already used to one degree or another by every plant out there – all you are doing is by using these supplements providing a large supply.
Silicon is one of the most common elements on the surface of our planet and, therefore, a good option to use as a supplement, even for those who prefer sustainable grow techniques. Keeping our plants healthy and strong is the best thing we can do to optimize yields and flavours. If Silicon helps, why not give it a try?