Neem oil is an organic solution used for dealing with common houseplant pests and is found in seeds from the neem tree. Since it is a natural oil, it can be used on plants without causing harm to the environment.
Like horticultural oil, neem oil also has a long history of being used in treating plants. With that being said, what is neem oil and how can it be used for effective results?
What Are Neem Oils?
Neem oil extract is obtained from the Azadirachta indica tree. The neem oil plant or tree can be found in tropical regions of South Asia. The neem tree oil can be extracted from most parts of the tree. But, the seeds produce the most quantity.
How Does The Extracted Neem Oil Work?
The oil in a neem plant contains Azadirachtin. This is an effective organic compound that does the work of repelling insects… When using neem oil spray for plant pests, the organic compound produces a harmful effect on the pest. This causes them to stop feeding and results in them dying off.
They also work like horticultural oils as they can clog the breathing holes of insects. This can then lead to the pests dying from suffocation.
Spraying neem oil on insect eggs can disrupt their life cycle. This could kill them or stop them from hatching
What Insects or Pests Can Be Controlled With Neem Oil Application?
One good thing about using neem oil as an insecticide is that it works on a large range of bugs. A few of these are:
It also works on a few fungal diseases. These are;
- Black spots
- Root rot
- Sooty mold
Proper Use of Neem Oil Treatment For Plants
Neem oil can be used all through the planting season. But, to be most effective, use them in the cool morning or cool evening. Using neem oil for plants in the hot afternoon can cause burn damage to the plant’s leaf.
Also, beneficial bugs are dormant during the morning and evening time. So you won’t have to worry about harming them.
It is worth noting that neem oil pesticides do have a strong smell. This means a mask is recommended during use. It is also recommended that you test a few drops of the plant-based insecticide before use.
Pour a few drops on a leaf and watch to see if it reacts to the solution. Doing this can let you know if the plant is too sensitive to the neem oil.
How To Mix Neem Oil For Plants
To get the best out of your neem oil insecticide, a proper mix should be done. By doing this, you can reduce the effect of oil damage on the plant leaf. Below, is a neem oil insecticide recipe you can try…
- Spray bottle
- Garden sprayer (neem oil sprayer)
- Neem oil (2 tablespoons)
- Liquid dish soap (2 tablespoons)
- Protective gloves
- A gallon of water
Time needed: 20 minutes.
- Dissolve the Soap in Water
Because organic neem is an oil solution, it would need an emulsifying agent to dissolve in water. A mild liquid dish soap should be perfect for this. Add the 2 tablespoons of liquid soap to the gallon of water. Once done, mix it till it is dissolved.
- Mix the Neem Oil in the solution
With the soap and water mixed, you can add 2 tablespoons of neem oil to the solution. Once done, ensure you mix it till the oil has dissolved.
- Spray the solution
With your gloves on, spray the neem oil pest control all over the plant. Ensure you cover all surfaces, even the undersides. You can repeat this process every week or 2 weeks till the infestation stops.
Frequently Asked Questions
It acts as a pest repellant as well as a pesticide. This means it kills and repels pests.
Yes, it works on almost all bugs including broad mites and russet mites.
Neem oil can also harm beneficial insects. To keep them safe, spray neem oil when beneficial insects are dormant.
Yes, neem oils are very safe for humans, but they do have a strong smell. This can be offensive to some people.
Neem oil can be purchased from most online stores like Amazon. They are also available in garden centers.