In our industry, nitrogen and phosphates get a lot of the spotlight. But when it comes to making those elements available for plants, it’s silicon that can make the difference between success and failure.

Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth. All plants need it to survive, however the only form available to them is monosilicic acid. It’s a catch-22 that’s been responsible for the decline of civilisations the world over, and its importance to the health of soil is still misunderstood by many.

ZumSil at a glance

24% solution of Monosilicic acid

Silicate-based soil conditioner

Made up of the only silicon-containing molecule that can be taken up by plants

Unlocks the potential of phosphates and other elements in soil


  • Protection of plants from insects, disease and water stress
  • Improved uptake of phosphates and other minerals
  • Improved soil texture and water holding capacity
  • Improves penetration of root tips through soil
  • Mitigates Aluminum toxicity
  • Forms an external layer on epidermal tissue (leaves)
  • Improves photosynthesis

The Importance of Silicon on Your Land

Crop protection and Phosphate uptake with ZumSil


As far back as the 1800s, scientists have studied the reasons behind the decline of successful crops. And after years of independent research around the world, one conclusion that the majority have come to is that, over time, a lack of monosilicic acid and activated humic compounds is directly related the decrease in quality and overall yield of crops.

Silicon is found in a number of forms, but only one is available to plants. Monosilicic acid is readily absorbed by crops, but when they begin to decline there are usually two options. One is to slash and burn new plots for planting, and the other is to apply nitrates and other phosphates into the soil. Each only achieve short-term success.

The rate at which silicon naturally becomes activated and available to plants after farming stops and land is left to fallow is around 20 years. That’s far too long in our opinion. It was far too long a wait for a number of civilisations that have since collapsed, but they didn’t have the knowledge or ability to understand the importance of soluble silicon.


Activated silicon, or monosilicic acid in particular, is essential to healthy crops. Whether you’re farming green grass or green bananas, it’s a mineral that allows for phosphates and other growth factors to be absorbed by root systems. And when combined with humic compounds (organic matter), the result is soil that’s able to speed up growth and decrease the amount of water required to achieve optimal yield.

Once it’s absorbed by plants, the presence of active silica strengthens cell walls and forms a protective epidermal layer. This in itself is strong enough to combat a number of diseases, infections and insects – reducing the reliance on other pesticides and fungicides.

In New Zealand in particular, we have a habit of applying nitrates to soil to increase growth. But one side effect is soil that becomes too acidic to function optimally. In the paddock, this is normally seen as a crop that continues decline, and a common mistake is to either continue adding nitrates, or switch to a phosphorus-based product. What’s actually happening beneath the surface is soil that’s lacking the available silica required to facilitate that growth. It’s soil that’s out of pH balance, and monosilicic acid can aid in restoring that balance and provide for future crops.