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I was speaking to an orchid grower the other day, and now days they seem to be fertilizing with silicon to make leaves more ridgid and less fungus sensitive.

Do any of you pros use silicon to make the pitchers last longer?

When I was a young 'un silicon wasn't exactly on the "necessary micronutrient" list, but things change....

Oh, and if it hasn't occured to anyone yet, and it works out, a few seeling neps will satisfy me
Protekt by Dynagro is Potasium Silicate.
Its been around awhile and is no new thing, Its actually thought to help prevent susceptibility to peircing insects not fungus.
This is something you need to use SPARINGLY. You can make leaves stiff enough that they will easily snap off if bumbed into or handled roughly.

Being relatively new to orchids I've never heard of this before. Khai can you explain what this stuff does exactly?
Sounds fairly bizarre. It just hardens the plant it doesn't kill it? If you used enough could you preserve the plant material?

The grower I spoke to has several huge greenhouses, and he applies twice a year or so. He said that it makes th cells stronger which prevents fungus attacks. I would seem Neps would be a perfect candidate for this, or not?
If it made the cells stronger then maybe some of the very fussy species could be much easy to grow perhaps? Maybe humidity wouldn't be a big problem anymore with the use of this stuff. Make all the cells stronger and they might be able to develope leaves and pitchers in a less favorable atmosphere?
Hey guys This is what I know of Silicate use in plants, I hope you find it educational. In the 1940s the Japanese began researching silicon use and found that rice yields improved where silicate levels were elevated. Rice plants exhibited less disease and did not lodge as easily, though little was known as to why this occurred. Over the past sixty years, almost every civilized country has researched the benefits of silicon in agriculture.
It is used in the construction of cell walls. Silicon is deposited in layers just beneath the epidermis. This physical layer reduces the penetration of the hyphae of disease causing fungi. Therefore, the severity of disease is reduced enough to prevent loss in yields. Silicon also increases the uptake of phosphorus, which is widely known to enable plants to resist diseases. This layer of accumulated silicone refracts sunlight and increases photosynthesis. This also benefits the plant when it does not receive enough sunlight, either by shade or during times of the year when light hours are reduced.

Silicon also reduces the uptake of sodium up to 50% and binds with heavy metals to form compounds that are unavailable for plant uptake. It aids in the distribution of relative immobile nutrients throughout the plant. It has been shown to guard plants against nematodes and insects. Silicon moves very freely in the plant and is then exudated through ectodesmata of the outer walls of epidermal cells. After the silicon dries it forms crystals that are deposited on the leaf surface. These crystals irritate the mouth parts of chewing insects, making these plants undesirable.

Physiological functions of silicon in plants include reduction in evapotranspiration rates and increase of the root oxygen supply by strengthening air canal walls, allowing the plants to breathe in water-logged soils. Silicon can increase the longevity of active roots and functional leaves and improve their photosynthesis efficiency.

Sure thing!