The Effects of Kaolin on Green Plants

Kaolin is a white, edible mineral clay that has long been used in a variety of cosmetics and health supplements. Recently, farmers have begun using a suspension of this clay to protect their green plants from a variety of threats. Kaolin is popular and exciting because it is organic and highly effective at limiting and eliminating many forms of green plant problems from large crops. However, used incorrectly, improperly refined or without the proper application process, kaolin can destroy green plants as well. If you decide to use kaolin on your green plants, be sure to invest in a certified-safe kaolin suspension and the proper tools to administer it.

Insect Protection

When green plants are sprayed with a kaolin suspension, it coats them in a fine, white layer that not only makes plants harder for insect pests to recognize, but can also discourage the insects from landing on the plants or hanging around the area in the first place. The dust attaches to the pests' bodies and acts as an irritant. In addition, the green, delicious part of the plant is protected by the white "armor" and the insects will likely be unable to penetrate the kaolin to eat the plant even if they try.

Insect Sterilization

Another pest-related effect of kaolin on green plants is that this spray renders the plants inhospitable to insect eggs and larvae. Even if the clay does not actually bother the insects themselves, it tends to make egg-laying and egg-depositing nearly impossible on treated plants. As a result, the insects cannot leave their eggs or larvae on the treated green plant crops and the green plants themselves enjoy a happy, pest-free growing season. This effect is especially evident on plants that are susceptible to burrowing insects and larvae.

Sunburn and Heat Protection

Since kaolin is reflective, it can help protect green plants from sunburn. This is particularly important for fruit and nut trees and for any plant prized for the colors of its foliage. If fruits are ripening too fast, the kaolin sprays can also help keep them cool and slow the ripening process so that they do not get too ripe on the tree and become mushy and fermented before they reach market.

Keywords: kaolin on green plants, kaolin suspension, kaolin sprays

About this Author

Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.