Location: Application Technology ResearchTitle: Does Silicon Have a Role in Ornamental Crop Production? Author
Submitted to: OFA Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2010
Publication Date: 11/12/2010
Publication 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. Interpretive Summary:
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.