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From: Durightmm at aol.com on 2002.03.20 at 13:51:09(8300)
A product for foliage spray on ornamental and crop plants consists of potassium and silicone. It protects against environmenet stress, disease, insects and temperature extremes. Can anyone explain how silicates accomplish this. Joe

From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2002.03.20 at 16:23:34(8301)
Joe, you might like to read this page from my
magazine - it doesn't explain it, but does have the name of a couple of
researchers in Gainesville, and their hypothesis on the mode of action.

From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2002.03.20 at 19:26:19(8302)
Duh! Why do I do these things in such a
public way. The URL to the very brief article dealing with silicates is http://www.horticulturist.com/mastermag2/best2.htm

I intended to give it before. Thank you Dewey.

From: "Celeste Whitlow" politicalamazon at charter.net> on 2002.03.20 at 19:27:43(8303)
I would think that the silicone could
protect the plant from desiccation and from perhaps chewing by
insects. The potassium could have an impact on the opening or closing of
the stomata since the stomata are opened or closed by potassium (and then water)
either entering or exiting the guard cells that surround the stomata.
However, I have not worked with the product in question so I don't really know;
just postulating theories based on plant physiology.


From: Ted.Held at hstna.com on 2002.03.21 at 08:09:26(8310)
People should be aware that silicates are not at all the same as silicones.
Many silicates are common soil minerals. Vermiculite is a silicate, for
example. Silicones are a large family of carbon-silicon compounds. Some of
these are oily, surface active compounds, others are rubbery like silicone
caulk. Potassium silicate is a water soluble compound that is harshly
alkaline. All these are derived from the element silicon from which Silicon
Valley gets its name. I notice confusion on this issue when I hear the home
of the semiconductor industry called Silicone Valley, as in silicone breast

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