FAQ

Silicon for plants:

Have a question you’d like answered?
Get in touch via our contact form or on Instagram.

If you can, do both. Foliar application biases silicon uptake slightly towards leaves, and when applied via irrigation there is a slight bias towards the internals of the plant. So ideally, do both. BUT: One of the unique attributes of mono is the ability to provide plant-wide benefits via foliar application alone. Other forms of silicon only provide system wide protection and faster growth via irrigation. Why? Again, because they have to be turned into mono first before they work….not so with mono. So if you can only irrigate, or only spray: no problem! You’ll still get plant-wide benefits and protection with Grow-Genius.

Yes, GG mono really is completely pH neutral. The reason Silicon supplements are associated with aggressively high pH is because most of them are based on potassium silicate. GG uses totally different chemistry to other products and so doesn’t have these drawbacks. Add it after nutrients and final adjustment, or before – whatever suits you. NB: if you add GG to R.O water with nothing else you’ll get unreliable pH readings – add it after any soluble nutrients and you’ll see it has no effect on solution pH.

Not actually beer 😉 It’s an analogy for monosilicic acid products that sums up a technical subject in a way that’s easy to intuitively understand. You wouldn’t buy expensive beer that says it’s strong but doesn’t list how strong…or a sports car that didn’t list a top speed. So why buy mystery gardening products?

Marketing can pass almost anything off as progress and that stops people learning. It takes the power of choice away if you don’t know how or why products work.

GG Mono works because mono is a plant nutrient: not an invention. The special part is how it’s stabilised to give affordable 40% strength. And we love to talk about that – but most important to us is getting the plant science message out to people.

Bonus fact: Beer is actually one of the most concentrated natural sources of monosilicic acid in the human diet!

Not recommendedThat’s not to say if you make a mistake you’ll automatically damage your plants – we do build in a safety margin with our dosages – but there’s little advantage to be gained from exceeding our recommendations, and you risk overloading your plants. As with any garden product, significant excess dosage risks causing issues: in excess Silicon blocks access to calcium and your plants will wilt and potentially suffer permanent damage.

If you have over applied GG mono the best thing to do is flush your substrate through with as much water as is realistic – ideally a few times the container volume. In open soil water thoroughly.

Via solution: our biodegradable stabilization progressively releases monosilicic acid over a period of about 7 days after first mixing with water. For this reason, there is no benefit to be obtained by using it or adding to your reservoir / tank  more than once per week.

Via Foliar spray: If you need to (pest infestation or serious mildew pressure for example), on woody stemmed plants it’s normally safe to apply weekly for a prerood of a few weeks if fast growth is occurring and new leaves are forming. However, do not drench plants, and make sure you’re not allowing significant amounts of nutrient solution to drip / run into substrate as it’s a much higher concentration than the safe rate for roots.

Silicon: (Si) Widely used common chemical element, important plant and human nutrient.

Silicone: Silicon + synthetic polymers: for bathrooms and kitchens. Not for plants.

​Silicium: (Si) Old name originally proposed for silicon in 1808. Still the normal French word for silicon today. Confusing if you’re not in France. Used in marketing to make basic Potassium Silicate Sound like a monosilicic acid product proper.

Silica: (SiO2) Silicon dioxide, a compound of silicon and oxygen: aka quartz beach sand. Very stable. Very hard for plants to pull usable silicon out of.

Silicates: (SiO4) A wide range of silicon/oxygen compounds often with calcium, or potassium. Common industrial Si fertiliser. When silicates are in contact with water, especially at low pH, a tiny quantity of monosilicic acid (one single silicon atom with a few hydrogen and oxygen atoms around it) is released. After several weeks, that will be enough to start having a noticeable albeit limited effect on plants. This is how all silicon silicate and “organic” Si sources work, and why monosilicic acid is the shared link between them all.

Orthosilicic acid: Si(OH)4. Another name for monosilicic acid.

Monosilicic acid: Si(OH)4: The naturally 100% plant available form of silicon: i.e silicon in the form that plants naturally take up. As above, all other forms of silicon have to break down or be broken down into mono over time before they can be used by plants. Applying Mono directly shortcuts the process and delivers silicon in the exact form plants have evolved to use.

Stabilized monosilicic Acid (MSA): Mono is unstable by nature: to be able to use it at realistically high concentrations, you need a stabilizing formula. In the 1990’s researchers first noticed that Boron and Molybdenum can capture some of the mono that naturally comes from Potassium and other silicates in acidic water thus producing the First Generation (Gen 1) 1% strength MSA formula and revolutionising Silicon delivery in agriculture. Using silicates alone requires up to a tonne per hectare. Gen1 mono reduced that to tens of litres.

Second generation stabilization 40% strength (GG) has brought that down to less than one litre – for the same area at much lower cost….

No. Not the PGRs you are thinking of – we won’t ever use them or be associated with any brands that do. Almost all products that affect plant growth are, or contain, Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs): compounds that act in analogous ways to hormones in humans. Using bananas to ripen fruit is a PGR hack. The problem with PGRs arises when unscrupulous companies sell industrial synthetic PGRs developed for bedding plants and unsafe for human consumption into other markets. Grow-Genius comes from the food producing sector and uses totally different technologies to get our results. Our products are always 100% safe for use as instructed and we publish product details online in our comprehensive MSDS for those who are interested. We also respond to specific enquiries of all kinds from customers so if you have a specific question get in touch via our contact page!

Silicon reduces stress thresholds and the effects of stress in plants in a variety of structural and metabolic ways. This ranges from improved uptake of water, to better protection of the plant’s epidermis from heat and wind thanks to thicker and more plentiful trichomes (hairlike structures on stems and leaves).

Unlike mystery “stress reducing” products based on PGRs, silicon is a fundamental plant nutrient that has been thoroughly studied and evaluated by independent scientists and researchers. This doesn’t mean we have all the answers to all the details of each mechanism yet: but the results are not debatable. We encourage you to read through some of the hundreds of studies into various aspects of silicon performance in different crops: many are easily accessible online such as this fascinating look at water management from the US National Center for Biotechnology Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844968

Not due to chemistry: GG mono is completely stable until mixed with water. It does not decompose or lose effectiveness over time, however, we recommend storing GG in a cool place and using it within one year of purchase to ensure your GG mono remains in good condition as any water / humidity ingress will damage the product.

No. For a couple of reasons: First: monosilicic acid isn’t harmful to plants in the concentrations we recommend: any GG not used turns into harmless trace silicates and the stabilization biodegrades rapidly. We recommend the dose we do because it’s optimal for silicon loving plants when applied weekly (most competing brands require more frequent application).

And second: if you know your plants need less (if for example, the species is a ‘silicon rejector’) – you simply use less GG Mono!

Some first Generation 1% strength Mono products claim to be optimised at max concentration: they aren’t: all water based formulations are limited by chemistry to around 4% concentration max. That doesn’t mean they aren’t effective: they are: even at 1% strength – but it’s not a reason to pay the same for 1% as you could for a 40% strength product! So in short: there’s no risk to 40% mono: and if you want it weaker: use less, and save even more money!

Some first Generation 1% strength Mono products claim to be optimised at max concentration: they aren’t: all water based formulations are limited by chemistry to around 4% concentration max. That doesn’t mean they aren’t effective: they are: even at 1% strength – but it’s not a reason to pay the same for 1% as you could for a 40% strength product! So in short: there’s no risk to 40% mono: and if you want it weaker: use less, and save even more money!

No need. In fact, adding it last is preferable as it will reduce foaming in soft / R.O water. The whole “add Silicon first” reflex is due to other Silicon products being based on highly reactive, unstabilised Potassium Silicate which has a very high pH. Because of this it was necessary to add older products to water first, stabilise pH and then proceed to add other nutrients etc.  As GG is NOT based on potassium silicate, and is stabilized in the bottle, it is not subject to side reactions and does not cause pH swings – or dropout.

If you have no other choice – yes – but, never with leaf temperatures above 30C, or in direct sunlight. It’s always best to spray garden products at dusk or dawn to allow the longest possible time for uptake. High winds, strong heat or light will dry sprays faster, and potentially reduce their effectiveness.

GG Mono includes a wetting agent for superior foliar performance. This means that (like anything that bubbles) it does generate some foam when mixed in R.O or soft water, especially if strong air pumps are in use. The easiest way to avoid this is to simply add GG after CalMag so that you’re effectively adding it to hard water.

Are you sure you would like to download these resources?