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Posted:  19 Jan 2011 01:00  
We have used Protekt to good effect on one account with hundreds of pothos which appear to have some trouble with a fungus. Something identified long ago at our Agricultural Extension Service pathology department and I am embarassed to say, I don't recall what fungus specifically. We have no problem like this elsewhere. It manifests primarily as brown patches on new growth. It never entirely disappears but the Protekt seems to improve the pothos resistance. Our technician loves using the stuff to the point of the leaves feeling rather gummy.

My question is how often do you think we should use it? It gets rather expensive to add to the many fills of the 25 gallon water machine. 

In general, do people use Protekt on a regular basis? For specific plants or problems?
Posted:  19 Jan 2011 14:45  
When in doubt, read the label!

The label for any pesticide, fertilizer or other plant treatment MUST be followed in order to (a) be legal, (b) maximize the potential benefits of the product, and (c) avoid phytotoxic effects of overdosing or failure of the product to provide the expected results due to underdosing.

Protekt is a silicon supplement that promises to strengthen cell walls to make them less susceptible to piercing/sucking insects and certain pathogens that penetrate the cell walls from outside the cells.  I have tried the stuff, but not in a controlled experimental way that would let me draw any conclusions about its efficacy.  If it works in your situation, keep using it...according to the manufacturer's label rates and directions.

Clem
Posted:  25 Apr 2011 22:48  
Just noticed the reply to my question many months later! The Pro-tekt label recommends a maintenance schedule of use for every watering and has no recommendations for foliar spraying. I was just looking for some field experience by others with the product. Our experience is that the pothos appear to be doing very well and have an improved resistance. I wanted to come up with a less-than-random plan for continued treatment.
Thanks anyway!
Posted:  26 Apr 2011 02:59  
Product labels for things other than chemical fertilizers and pesticides tend to encourage you to use them up at as fast a rate as possible, for reasons of commerce rather than efficacy.  In other words, to sell more stuff!

The label says 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water at every watering.  Most interior plants don't get watered more than every two weeks or less often, so that's not really a lot of product.  I'd go with the lower end of the dosage scale, maybe at every watering for the first few months to get the plants up and running, then taper off to a less frequent schedule.

Clem
Posted:  03 May 2011 08:29  
Funny story about Protekt:

So I jump on the "silicon increases cell wall resistance to microorganisms" and apply as directed.

Long story short, plants don't look so good so I decided to check the pH of protekt in distilled water. pH is SO often overlooked. Yeah, it came in around pH=10 which is about instant death for a plant due to pH flucuation.

Companies sell product all the time with one claim not mentioning that their product doesn't even fall within the acceptable limits of other factors (pH) because they aren't required to do so on the label.

The plant supplement industry is no different than the unregulated herbal health industry. Pure snake oil most of the time but not all the time but enough of the time to fool most of the people.
Posted:  03 May 2011 16:55  
Well, regarding your remarks about the herbal health industry, you need to make distinctions between supplements that have undergone extensive double-blind studies and peer-review and those that are simply folk remedies.  For example, Vitamin D, fish oil and co-enzyme Q-10 have all undergone rigorous testing by independent universities and hospitals over the past several years and are dependable supplements that enhance cardiovascular health, among other things.  So we shouldn't lump all supplements into one classification.

As for pH, the pH of an aqueous solution of, for example, ProTekt and distilled water may be high as measured before application, but once watered into the soil, the buffering capacity of the medium may well negate any adverse affects on soil pH.  One way to find out: do a pH test of your medium a week or so after treatment with ProTekt, then again a few weeks later, to see whether the soil pH is trending higher after application or not.

Clem
Posted:  04 May 2011 18:59  
To Plantlady:  Because silicon, like calcium, is a non-translocatable element, optimum benefits require regular applications in growing plants to insure that the new tissue obtains soluble silicon.  With respect to cost, the manufacturer's suggested wholesale price of 1 gallon of Pro-TeKt is $20.35 (before shipping). At this price 1/4 tsp/gal in a 25 gal. water machine costs $0.64.  This is not a significant cost for the benefits provided: increased resistance to fungi, insects, low light levels, increased mechanical strength and less reliance upon osmotic pressure for leaf turgitidy (longer between waterings).  While silicon is incorporated in the cell walls, the principal benefits come from the deposition of silicon in an opalene form in the epidermis of leaves and stems.  This mechanical barrier deters many insects as it makes the leaves too tough for insects to feed upon.

To Anonymous:  You need to study the literature a bit. Todate more than 200 university studies have been published regarding the multiple benefits of soluble silicon.  If you are using distilled water, presumbably you are adding fertilizer.  Since most are acidic and applied at a rate higher than Pro-TeKt, the fact that Pro-TeKt has a high pH is more than offset by the low pH of the fertilizer.  With many thousands of long time users of Pro-TeKt, I know of no one who has lost a plant due to high pH.

To all plant growers:  Review the information regarding Pro-TeKt and soluble silicon in general on the Dyna-Gro website: www.dyna-gro.com. Feel free to address any questions that you may have regarding silicon on plant nutrition in general to: dave@dyna-gro.com
Posted:  04 May 2011 19:28  
There you have it!  When in doubt, contact the source.

Clem

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