Silicon (not to be confused with SILICONE) is Atomic number 14 and is one of the earths most abundant elements. In fact it is second only to oxygen making up approximately 24% of the earths crust.
Silicon plays an important part in plant and animal life. In plants, it is considered 1 of the 11 key micronutrients beneficial to plant development. Silicon is found mainly in the cell walls of plants and when given soluble amounts, plants have shown greater heat/drought tolerance as well as possible insect and disease resistance.
I’ve found that adding soluable silicon (such as Pro-Tekt) to your nutrient regimen can help plant growth during the warmer/brighter months. To help with uptake most products will combine silicon with potassium. One thing to keep in mind, a Silicon supplement will effect the PH and may need to be adjusted for proper nutrient uptake.
Potting Media/Container Chart
All of us have needed to make a change in our potting media from time to time. You may find that your Paphiopedilums need to stay a bit more wet or that your Cattleyas need to dry-down a bit faster. Here I’ve designed a chart that compares the general Air Flow, Water Holding Capacity, and Stability of the most commonly used Containers/Potting Media.
When referring to this chart , please keep in mind that the comparisons are based on the mentioned material alone and doesn’t take in consideration the properties (AIR,WATER,STABILITY) when combined with each other. Also keep in mind that the particle size can greatly alter these as well. A good example would be bark, generally the larger the particle the less water holding capacity and the more air flow. And that same bark will dry even faster and stay more stable when a basket is used vs. a plastic pot. Hope this helps!