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  • 20-05-2024

Silicon in fruit trees

Silicon is a basic component of the earth’s crust, being the most abundant element on the planet after oxygen. Although it is not an essential nutrient, silicon brings very important benefits to the crop, and that is what makes it an increasingly important nutrient in our agriculture.

Silicon is deposited in amorphous form in the cell walls and helps providing rigidity and elasticity to the cell wall. It also activates genes involved in the production of secondary metabolic compounds, such as polyphenols and enzymes related to the plant defense mechanisms.

Main functions of silicon in fruit trees: 

  • Strengthening of plant structures. The main function of silicon in plants is related to its structural role. Fruit trees use silicon to strengthen and reinforce their cell walls, increasing their mechanical resistance and helping them to better resist breaking of branches due to wind pressure, rain or other factors that may damage the plant structure.
  • Improvement of fruit quality. Wall strengthening has an impact on the texture and firmness of the fruit. This is beneficial for those fruits that are easily cracked or are prone to degradation during transport and storage. The silicon supply extends the life of the fruit and preserves its quality for a longer period of time.
  • Increased tolerance to abiotic stress. Fruit trees can suffer from various types of stress due to drought, salinity and temperature, among others. Silicon helps to improve resistance to these external factors, as it is able to control plant transpiration through the stomata, regulating water loss through the aerial part and optimizing the use of water absorbed by the roots.
  • It facilitates resistance to the toxicity of certain heavy metals. In contaminated land, an excess of metals can appear, which can lead to over-assimilation by the plant, causing toxicity effects. The application of silicon reduces the damage that could be caused by heavy metals since it modifies the ability of cell walls to capture certain metals, thus preventing their translocation.
  • Improved defenses against biotic factors. The application of silicon strengthens the plant natural defenses against diseases and pests, and hardens cell walls, making them less prone to pathogen penetration.

At Herogra Especiales we offer the product Herosil Forte, which is a fertilizer, biomineral inducer, cell wall strengthener, enzyme activator and natural osmoregulator for the plant. Its special composition based on silicon and potassium achieves a synergistic effect between both components.

Potassium acts as an enzymatic activator of multiple metabolic processes which are essential for crop development. It also has a powerful osmoregulatory effect on the plant and regulates stomatal opening, offering greater resistance to drought or frost.

The application of potassium and silicon in crops offers a number of benefits, ranging from increased resistance to stress to improvement of fruit quality, which translates into better yields and higher profitability for farmers.

The application of Herosil Forte is recommended for all types of crops. Experiments carried out with the product have shown that, in cherry crops, it reduces the percentage of cracking by 15% and increases firmness by 9% compared to the control. In addition, in tests carried out on tangerines, the cell wall is strengthened (Figure 1).

FIGURE 1. TOP: MANDARINS TREATED WITH HEROSIL FORTE, BOTTOM: CONTROL.

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