Silica Supplements to Cultivate Healthier Cannabis Plants
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?
The trend towards innovative fertilization solutions is continuing. Plant science discovered multiple benefits in the use of Silicon supplements.
Please Stop Using Silicon/silica During Flower! Thank You 🙂
I’ve noticed a growing problem with cannabis the last few years and it’s reaching a peak I really don’t care for. Growers are using liquid silicon and silica during flower. This is so, so wrong, seriously decreasing end quality of the flowers.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE silicon for cannabis. I use it extensively in veg and during stretch for massively strong branches and a superior vascular tissue system for transpiration. Awesome benefits for cannabis plants, just before flower.
During flower? Please don’t do this. Cannabis has zero need for silica, when producing flowers. It adds toughness (Ever *Have* to reach for a grinder or scissors to break up flowers?) and heat (smoke a microchip some day) and diverts plant resources that should be producing terpenes and cannabinoids.
Don’t believe me? Flower out one plant with zero silica/silicon during flower, vs your regular silica/silicon fed plants. You’ll be surprised at how easily the flowers break up and how much smoother/cooler the smoke is.
Cannabis is frangible. Highly frangible. You should be able to *gently* press a bud against the side of your bowl and have it break into a crumbled pile of frosty bits. You’ll then be able to easily pull out a single main stem (no branches) and push the pile into your bowl. This is how clean cannabis performs. 🙂
Cannabis is truly a unique and amazing plant.
Almost dusted *tightly* packed bowl of Twista. Notice how nice and fluffy the ash is?
You realize that the plant never takes up silica right? Microbes provide it to the roots at the request of the plant producing exudates. While I agree cannabis quality continues to decline as the green rush sees no end, but this post seems to lack any facts based in science. Most of the growers I know cut silica just after the half-wy point through flower. Growers using pure organics may use things like rice hulls/carbonized rice hulls/biochar as their silica source and certainly don’t sift it out of the soil before the flip.
It is important to understand that plants have a defined biological sequence of nutrient
uptake. This starts with Boron, which stimulates the root system to leach sugars into
the medium. These sugars feed the microbes, which transform silicates (Si) into silicic
acid through a process called silicification. Silicic acid enhances Calcium uptake, fol-
lowed by Organic Nitrogen (from L-Amino Acids), Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potas-
These elements should be present in a bioavailable form to plants. If one nutrient in
this sequence is not available (or less available), the uptake of all other elements in the
sequence is more difficult or missed. It is very important to respect this sequence in
order to avoid mineral deficiencies and/or nutrient uptake problems.
A common nutrient problem in indoor gardening is Calcium deficiency. This is because
Calcium is immobile, meaning it doesn’t naturally move into and throughout plant
tissue. Also, Calcium is pushed away by other minerals that are often added in large
quantities, such as Nitrogen (as Nitrates) and Potassium.
Looking at the chart above we can see that Calcium is near the beginning of the se
quence. And if Calcium uptake is limited in any way then all other nutrients uptake and
availability will be affected. There are many other problems with Calcium deficiency
that will be discussed later.
One of the best ways to increase Calcium availability and uptake (other than chelating
with amino acids) is to optimize Silicon levels in the form of Silicic Acid. This is the
beginning part of the biochemical sequence. In most indoor applications, silicic acid is
rarely available because of the time it takes soil micro-life to naturally convert silicon
into silicic acid. Even if a grower is adding a silica supplement (not in silicic acid form),
virtually all of the silica remains in the growing medium until it is converted, which can
take many weeks to months for any meaningful conversion.
Adding bioavailable silicic acid, as in FaSilitor, helps to increase the uptake and avail-
ability of Calcium and thus, all other nutrients. This is the natural mechanism and is
far more efficient than any synthetic method.” Source: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0923/6556/files/Aptus-Bible.pdf?1422367918238403486
I would recomend building a soil that has rich enough microbial life to always have exactly as much available silicic acid, not using bottles as this is where too much of a good thing can be true.
Hello, I've noticed a growing problem with cannabis the last few years and it's reaching a peak I really don't care for. Growers are using liquid silicon…