Objective: Growth performances of four maize varieties (91 SUWANI, TZL COMP 4, DT STR Y SYN 2 and IWO SYN C2) were investigated at four levels of silicon concentration (0, 2500, 5000 and 7500 mg, with 0 mg as control).
Methodology: Viable seeds were planted in polythene bags (64 bags) containing soil in a randomized complete block design (a 4×4 factorial experiment) with four replications. Plant height, stem girth, leaf area and leaf number were evaluated at 4, 6, 8 and 10 weeks after planting.
Results: There was significant difference (p≤0.05) for all growth parameters and across varieties. Highest mean plant height (144.58 cm) and mean number of leaves (12.23) were recorded at 5000 mg silicon concentration in all varieties, while stem girth and stem biomass were highest in TZL COMP4 (3.42 cm, 38.44 dry weight g-1).
Conclusion: Based on these results, 5000 mg silicon concentration is recommended as nutrient supplement to enhance maize production.
Keywords: Silicon; biomass; concentration; growth performance; leaf area; leaf number; maize; plant height; stem girth.