Quantcast

Silicates and Paphs

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

myxodex

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
607
Reaction score
3
Location
London, UK
I have noticed a few orchid nurseries here in the UK sell silicate solutions and clay powder containing available silicates ... the promotion suggests it strengthens the plant tissues. I know that some grasses incorporate silicates, but do paphs? The reason I'm asking this follows that fact that Slipperfan reported success with diatomite mix and P. hookerae. Firstly, diatomite contains and will release small amounts of silicate. Secondly, P. hookerae and P. volonteanum are (as far as I can gather) often found near serpentine rocks which also can release silicates. Very, very, speculative, I know ... can any of you shine a light on this?
Cheers,
Tim
 

Leo Schordje

wilted blossom
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
2,463
Reaction score
5
Location
NE Illinois
From that part of my memory that is best labelled "Vague but True"; Silica is a nutrient required by all plants. Silica in its many forms is common in natural soils, as a result serious silica deficiencies are rare. I believe you are correct, Diatomaceous earth, diatomite (fossilized freshwater diatoms) and similar products do release small amounts of water soluble silica compounds that plants can absorb. Dyna Grow used to sell a fertilizer, Protek?, that contained "liquid glass" or Sodium Silicate hydrate, which was quite alkaline, but works fairly well as a silica suplement if you don't over do it. When I used it I ended up with attractive hard glossy leaves that cracked or broke too easily. Possibly I used too much of a good thing. I currently use Green Care's MSU fertilizer, and don't worry about silica or supplementing any other nutrient for that matter. The MSU seems to have it all.
Leo
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

Guest
ProTekt contains potassium oxide (?) K2O....which is why I use it as a pH adjuster for paph fertilizer...haven't seen any benefit from the silica though...Take care, Eric
 

Sangii

malipo nut
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
545
Reaction score
0
Location
Europe
in Thailand a lot of paph growers use some special stone in their mix, coming from Kanchanaburi area (I believe it is a sort of fossil coral)and they told me that one of the benefits of using this stone i is that it is rich in silicate and obviously stimulates root growth ....

this is the same stone in which they also carve pots sometimes

 

labskaus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
1
Location
Germany
over here is horsetail extract (Equisetum arvense) available from garden shops. I use a diluted solution as a leaf spray every other month or so on all my orchids. Has lots of silica and apart from strengthening the leaves it is supposed to annoy snails. Overdosing may lead to brittle leaves, though I haven't observed any negative effect yet. Lots of receipes for home-made horsetail teas on the internet.

best wishes, Carsten
 

Rick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
12,765
Reaction score
3
Location
Leiper's Fork, TN
Eric Muehlbauer said:
ProTekt contains potassium oxide (?) K2O....which is why I use it as a pH adjuster for paph fertilizer...haven't seen any benefit from the silica though...Take care, Eric
Besides the potassium hydroxide it also contains allot of silicates. I use it just as Eric does for the same reasons.

Purportedly the silicates can strengthen the cell walls to help against diseases. Since I've had worse luck than usual with Erwinia this summer, I can't say that its been helping (unless it could be allot worse than what I've been experiencing).

Also the horsetail tea mentioned in labskaus post is also toted as a remedy for atheletes foot fungus in the herbal medicine area. So the use of silicates as a preventative for fungal and bacterial infections seems to have some merrit from a couple of angles.
 
J

johnndc

Guest
Rick, can you post a picture of what one of your plants with Erwinia looks like?
 

Rick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
12,765
Reaction score
3
Location
Leiper's Fork, TN
johnndc said:
Rick, can you post a picture of what one of your plants with Erwinia looks like?
I hope I'm done with it for the time being, but there may be some other folks that may have posted a picture from way back.

Erwinia is a redish brown discoloration that starts generally in the axial of the oldest leaves. Often when the plant is about to start a new gowth or root, and it is getting ready to abort the old leaf.

The discoloration may also be a bit wet or weepy, and there is a distinct sickly, sweet, fermentatious smell.
 
J

johnndc

Guest
Thanks Rick. Well then that definitely isn't what's been plaguing my plants for a while now. They seem to get an almost bleached spot at the base of the fans, only in my paphs. I've treated with everything, and it seems to have not spread any more, but it's weird.
 

Marco

Slipperless member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
18
Location
Great Neck - New York
I don't know if its erwinia but here's a picture of leaf rot on a phal I have when I first got it this past april. Safe to say the phal has recovered after serious surgery.



and now



I do use protekt on a regular basis but I wouldn't be able to tell you if its use has any advantages.
 
P

PHRAG

Guest
Please tell me you are wearing pants in that last picture, and they just can't be seen in the photo. :(
 

Marco

Slipperless member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,002
Reaction score
18
Location
Great Neck - New York
PHRAG said:
Please tell me you are wearing pants in that last picture, and they just can't be seen in the photo. :(
Nope I'm in boxers! Those are the legs I use to hitch rides on the freeway. Unfortunately, I just get big burley women most of the time. :(
 
Top