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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR EARLY STRESS DETECTION AND EFFICIENT AGROCHEMICAL UTILIZATION FOR PROTECTED HORTICULTURE CROPS

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Title: Does Silicon Have a Role in Ornamental Crop Production?

Authors
item Frantz, Jonathan
item Locke, James
item Mattson, Neil -

Submitted to: OFA Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 24, 2010
Publication Date: November 12, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/48084
Citation: Frantz, J., Locke, J.C., Mattson, N. 2010. Does Silicon Have a Role in Ornamental Crop Production?. OFA Bulletin. Nov/Dec 2010. 924:17-18.

Technical Abstract: Silicon (Si) is not considered to be an essential plant nutrient because most plant species can complete their life cycle without it. Still, some plants can accumulate Si at concentrations greater than nitrogen and potassium, and all species evaluated so far have concentrations of Si in tissue greater than boron, copper, and zinc. A clear benefit of Si for some ornamental crops has been reported. These include: decreased bract necrosis in poinsettia; decreased powdery mildew in zinnia, sunflower and phlox; enhanced flower size of gerbera; resistance to metal toxicity in zinnia; decreased population growth of aphids on zinnia; improved salt-tolerance in New Guinea impatiens; and improved shelf-life of poinsettia. Due to these positive responses, interest in using Si in ornamental crop production has increased. Si is not, however, a cure-all. There was no benefit from supplemental Si in the control of mealy bugs on ficus, for example, and the extent of control of some pests that Si provides may not justify commercial application of Si. This report reviews some of the information on the role of Si in plant growth and how Si can be applied in a commercial setting.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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