Metallic ions for foliar sprays

January 23, 2023
By Dennis Klocek 6 min read

In the quartet of phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and magnesium the sal and sulf influences on the life processes of plants can be identified.  The phosphorus and potassium issue in NPK thinking revolves around the very attractive nature of phosphorus for other minerals and the strong tendency for potassium to constantly seek combination. Phosphorus with a deep link to oxygen is highly attractive for metallic elements in a soil solution.  Potassium, a metal, quickly fills this attraction and links to carbon to form tissues.  This is sal, the formation of an ash out of a solution. Sal represents the forces of attraction and deposition. 

In current thinking magnesium is not thought to be as critical as NPK. This may be because P and K are minerals that form an ash that can be analyzed.  It is difficult to get an ash to analyze from a burning piece of magnesium. Both magnesium and phosphorus are highly reactive and burst into light and flame when given access to air.  It takes complex technology to get pure phosphorus and pure magnesium. They exist in nature mostly in reactive combination with other substances. However, by bursting into flame and light in their pure form, they reveal a common and fundamental relationship to light. From the perspective of the light energies and mineral formations it can be said that phosphorus in nature instigates a descending path for light and the energies of life. Phosphorus quickly loses life movement to become fixed (sal) into matter. On the opposite or sulf side we could say that magnesium instigates a path for light to once again unfix from matter and enter into life. Phosphorus and magnesium are polar regarding light. Phosphorus attracts light and fixes it into substance; magnesium receives light and distributes it throughout the growing plant where it provides the vehicle for continued growth processes threatened by the fixing activity of phosphorus. This is an alpha/omega relationship to light in these two minerals.

Potassium on the sal side is polar to sulfur on the sulf side. Potassium in nature is a salt or ash that falls out of the life cycle in order to become visible matter. Its character is deposition. On the sulf side, sulfur is a mineral that can self sustain burning if given oxygen. Any ash residue analyzed after burning will reveal a complete absence of sulfur.  The active force of the dissolving power of sulfur has escaped from being intimate with matter to fly away to combine with water vapor. The two salts potassium and calcium are often related to each other in the plant sap. Sulfur is a necessary activator for both. Calcium and potassium are agents on the sal side that need sulfur to become active in living things. These inner relationships point to the inner dynamics of minerals in plant sap that serve as the foundational influences for hormone regulation of plant growth. The formative or sal hormone is auxin and the dissolving or sulf hormone is cytokinin. The extraction of these minerals and hormones can be accomplished by small scale fermenting practices that produce spray solutions that are rich in these substances in a very dynamic form.

These inner relationships point to the inner dynamics of minerals in plant sap that serve as the foundational influences for hormone regulation of plant growth. The formative or sal hormone is auxin and the dissolving or sulf hormone is cytokinin. The extraction of these minerals and hormones can be accomplished by small scale fermenting practices that produce spray solutions that are rich in these substances in a very dynamic form.

Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) extraction

The sal process where light is forming into substance is the action of the plant growth regulator (PGR) auxin. The sulf process where light is making its way back from form into life processes is the realm of action of the PGR cytokinin.  Processes requiring a governing action are regulated by the PGR gibberellin. Gibberellin is always present where the other two are in interaction. Even the metabolism of the yeasts and bacteria involved in fermentation produce adequate amounts of gibberellin to balance the other two in the action of the base ferment as a foliar spray. Herbal supplements can tailor the spray program to the specific needs of the grower when added to the base.

All of these actions are well within the scope of a grower who wishes to become more intimate with the hidden conversations that take place between minerals and plants. Superior vegetables, fruits and medicinal herbs are the result. Rational spray programs can be developed based on the particular hormonal needs in various stages of plant development. 

Root development of a germinating radicle is guided by cytokinin, while the mature secondary or lateral roots require auxin. Xylem flow from root upwards is regulated by cytokinin; phloem flow from leaf to root is regulated by auxin. In a greenwood shoot lateral bud break is regulated by cytokinin; terminal bud development requires auxin. In the flower cytokinin dominates the pre-budbreak development while auxin stimulates anther/pollen formation and the development of the sperm tube in the pistil. This controls fruit set, but then fruit development once again centers on the influence of cytokinin.

These hormone patterns are never found without the polar influence of both being present even in the most minute areas of the cell. However different stages require the action of either one or the other to predominate. Anticipating these changes and having on hand hormonal extracts that can support the particular phase of a plant’s development takes the practice of regulating plant growth to another level through natural hormonal extractions applied in foliar sprays.

The basic process makes use of fermented greenwood shoots, roots, and herbs that specialize in sequestering the metals.

The parsley plant balances the depositing tendency of phosphorus. We could call it labile or available phosphorus. Macerated parsley leaves and crowns extracted in the base ferment bring the potentials for enhanced phosphorus availability since the living parsley plant has rendered the phosphorus capable of continuous activity. A phosphorus adjunct to parsley is the mineral langbeinite known as sul/po/mag, (sulfur/potassium/magnesium). This natural mineral is a marine deposit of these three minerals in a highly balanced form. The mineral form can be dissolved in boiling water and stored. A small amount added to the parsley extraction gives the P/K relationship flexibility. As a mineral, langbeinite has solved the equation between potassium in the sal pole and sulfur and magnesium in the sulf pole.  Together, parsley and langbeinite offer a store of these key minerals in a balanced form when applied in a foliar spray. 

The addition of other herbs for specific targets is also useful in the base ferment. Usnea hirta, a lichen, and Artemisia annua (sweet Annie) in the daisy family can be added to help the plant balance strong energy shifts in plant sap electrolytes as demands of minerals change from growing cycles to the production of fruit and seed. Usnea and sweet Annie specifically influence the integrity of mitochondria in cells. To prevent aging due to stress they regulate the permeability of mitochondrial membranes and temper their metabolic rates.

To specifically deal with heat and drought stress herbs that produce soft leaf waxes can be extracted in the base ferment. Soft waxes regulate the function of the respiratory organs in the leaf known as stoma. In strong temperature swings the stoma must open and close in quick response to water stress signals. Hard wax covers the surface of leaves, but is not functional to regulate the stoma found on the undersides of leaves. The softer waxes enable the stoma on the underside to easily open and close. The tea plant is known for its complex waxes. Camellia flowers are in the same family as tea. When fermented the soft, abundant, waxy flowers of camellia release the soft wax of their petals into solution through the production of abundant saponins (soaps) making soft wax available to the sprayed leaf.

 If accelerated ripening is desired the base spray with the addition of vitamin C accelerates the breakdown of pectins in the cell walls of ripening fruits. Pectins are complex carbohydrates that form embryonic fruit cell complexes out of cellulose as a just-set fruit is doing its initial swelling. The cellulose needs to be dissolved later at ripening time by vitamin C. The cellulose that is broken down produces the sugars that change the ripening flesh from sour to sweet. Vitamin C in a spray can restart a stalled ripening process in such crops as citrus fruits that are ripening into the cold or medicinal plants that are maturing into an early fall.

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Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at

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