It has become well known that growing plants in soil for harvest depletes soil nutrient reserves, and if not replenished the soil becomes lifeless. For greenhouse growers the problem starts at day one, because Soiless mixtures contain no nutrient value for plants to sustain life. Silicon is readily absorbed by terrestrial plants, which contain appreciable concentrations. Silicon is the second most abundant element in plants and with out it they can not survive. However, this fact is commonly overlooked by growers.
A common source of silicon is clay. Clay particles contained in the soil largely determine a soils suitability for cultivation. The most frequently found silicate clays are aluminum silicate, magnesium silicate, calcium silicate and potassium silicate. Silicates are a decisive factor in the healthy development of plants, not only for the silicic acid content, but also for trace elements, pH buffering, and enhancement of the microbial population in the growing medium.
Clay surfaces absorb large amounts of plant nutrients without any appreciable change in the osmotic concentration of the growing medium or fluctuation of pH. The bond which holds clay together is very weak. The potential bonding with water is stronger than the bond with the clay, resulting in the clay literally falling apart when exposed to water. This falling apart creates a slow release of silicic acid, which is the property of PyroClay.