The Role of Silicon in Plant Nutrition: Enhancing Resilience, Yields, and Quality

Silicon, often overlooked as a nutrient due to not being essential to plant growth, plays a significant role in aiding plant nutrition, and has gained recognition for its numerous benefits in horticulture. From increased resistance to abiotic stress and pest/pathogen attacks to improved brix levels and higher yields, silicon supplementation has proven advantageous for numerous crops. This article will explore the multiple benefits of silicon in plant nutrition, with a focus on its role in enhancing plant resilience, yields, and quality, particularly when using monosilicic acid supplementation.

Increased Resistance to Abiotic Stress

  1. Drought Resistance: Silicon deposition in plant tissues forms a protective barrier, reducing water loss through transpiration and enhancing the plant's ability to withstand drought conditions. This increased water-use efficiency can help plants survive and thrive in arid environments.
  2. Heat and Cold Tolerance: Silicon aids in regulating plant temperature, protecting against heat stress by improving leaf cooling and minimizing heat damage. Similarly, it enhances resistance to cold temperatures by reducing the negative impact of frost and freezing conditions.

Enhanced Resistance to Pests and Pathogens

  1. Insect and Mite Resistance: Silicon strengthens plant cell walls, making them more resistant to penetration by insects and mites. It can deter feeding and reduce the susceptibility to damage caused by pests such as aphids, mites, and borers.
  2. Fungal and Bacterial Protection: Silicon promotes the production of phenolic compounds and antimicrobial substances, bolstering plant defences against various fungal and bacterial pathogens. It can reduce the severity of diseases like powdery mildew, grey mould, and bacterial spot.

Increased Brix Levels and Nutrient Uptake

  1. Increased Brix: Brix refers to the sugar content in plant sap and is an indicator of flavour and sweetness. Silicon supplementation has been associated with higher brix levels in crops, leading to improved taste, quality, and market value.
  2. Enhanced Nutrient Uptake: Silicon facilitates the absorption of certain essential nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It increases the availability and uptake of these nutrients, promoting healthier plant growth and development.

Improved Yields and Crop Productivity

  1. Increased Biomass: Silicon supplementation has been shown to enhance plant growth and biomass accumulation, resulting in larger and more vigorous plants. This can lead to increased crop yields and productivity.
  2. Seed Germination and Fruit Setting: Silicon can improve seed germination rates and promote more uniform and robust seedlings. It also enhances fruit setting, contributing to higher yields and improved crop quality.

First-Generation Silicon

First-generation silicon supplement products are typically derived from the inorganic salt potassium silicate. These supplements offer a convenient and accessible way to provide plants with silicon. In addition to silicon, these products may also contain other minerals such as molybdenum or other trace elements that can further enhance plant growth and health. The inclusion of molybdenum is particularly valuable as it plays a crucial role in nitrogen metabolism and enzyme activities within plants. These first-generation silicon supplements provide growers with a straightforward and cost-effective solution to incorporate silicon into their plant nutrition programs, promoting the numerous benefits associated with silicon supplementation in crop cultivation.

Second-Generation Silicon

Second-generation silicon supplement products derived from monosilicic acid offer significant advantages over first-generation potassium silicate-based products. Monosilicic acid, being highly bio-available, allows for easier and more efficient absorption and utilization of silicon by plants. This results in improved plant health, vigour, and resilience. Unlike potassium silicate, monosilicic acid does not contain excess potassium, which can lead to nutrient imbalances in certain crops. Additionally, monosilicic acid-based supplements offer greater pH stability, preventing fluctuations that could affect nutrient availability. With their superior solubility and efficient uptake, second-generation silicon supplement products provide growers with a more refined and effective means of delivering silicon to crops, optimizing plant performance, and maximizing the benefits associated with silicon supplementation in agricultural practices.

Benefits of Monosilicic Acid Supplementation

When supplementing silicon in hydroponics or soil-based cultivation, monosilicic acid (H4SiO4) is a highly effective form. Its advantages include:

  1. Enhanced Solubility: Monosilicic acid is readily soluble in water, ensuring easy absorption and utilization by plants.
  2. pH Stability: It helps maintain optimal pH levels in hydroponic solutions or soil, minimizing the risk of nutrient imbalances or pH fluctuations.
  3. Efficient Uptake: Monosilicic acid is readily absorbed by plant roots, efficiently delivering silicon to various plant tissues.
  4. Crop Versatility: Silicon supplementation with monosilicic acid is beneficial across a wide range of crops, including ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, and food crops,
    providing resilience and improved quality in diverse agricultural settings.


Silicon, often overlooked in plant nutrition, offers remarkable benefits for plant resilience, pest/pathogen resistance, brix levels, and crop yields. Incorporating monosilicic acid supplementation in the cultivation of ornamental, medicinal, and food crops can unlock the full potential of silicon's advantages. By harnessing the power of silicon, growers can enhance the performance, productivity, and quality of their crops while promoting sustainable and resilient agricultural practices.