How to use Neem Oil with plants
Neem Oil is quite well-known in the plant community as a way to prevent pest infestations. Even if you already have pests on your plants Neem Oil is useful for you. Neem Oil is a very effective method to kill and get rid of a lot of pests on your plants. When you apply the Neem Oil to your plants, those pests won't be around for much longer. In this guide, we'll talk about everything you need to know about Neem Oil. We'll even give you a recipe for making your own Neem Oil mixture for much cheaper than you can buy in stores. These are the topics we'll cover:
- What is Neem oil?
- How does Neem oil work?
- Can you use Neem oil on any plant?
- How do you make your own Neem Oil mixture?
- How do you apply Neem oil to your plants?
- Repetition is key
Neem Oil is a great way to prevent pests and treat your plant when pests are already in or around your plant. Let's get into everything you need to know about it!
What is Neem oil?
Neem Oil is a natural essential oil from a Neem tree. It's often used in vegetable and fruit gardens to fight pests, but you can also use it for a lot of other purposes. One thing you can use Neem Oil for is pest prevention and pest treatment of your houseplants. If you're regularly using Neem Oil on your houseplants, you'll have very little trouble with most types of pests. You can clean your plants with it and even spray it on your soil when you're dealing with flies.
How does Neem oil work?
Neem Oil has two different functions. The first one is smothering or suffocating the insects on your plants. This part only works well if the insects are small, like spider mites. The second function is to kill off any insect because of the chemicals in the Neem Oil. This kills both the smaller and bigger insects on your plants.
The chemical, called Azadirachtin, disrupts the insect's normal bodily functions, so they become inactive and will slowly die off. It's a non-toxic solution for fighting pests on your plants. When you use Neem Oil, you're not harming your plant in any way. You are, on the other hand, making your plant very unattractive for insects and pests.
Keep in mind that Neem Oil doesn't work right away. It takes a few days, usually about 3 to 4 days, and a few treatments before you start to see the results you're looking for.
Can you use Neem oil on any plant?
So Neem Oil is a very effective way to get rid of pests, but can you use it on any plant? Well, you can use Neem Oil on most plants, but it won't be effective on plants that don't have smooth surfaces. If your plants have fur, needles, and any other way to allow pests to crawl deeper in the leaves to escape the Neem Oil, it won't be effective. Plants that have fuzzy leaves, like most Calatheas, are also plants you should not use Neem Oil with.
How do you make your own Neem Oil mixture?
As we mentioned at the beginning, we'll give you a recipe on how to make a Neem Oil mixture on the cheap. You can buy Neem Oil in gardening stores as spray bottles with some sort of Neem Oil mixture in them. You can also use these premade mixtures if you'd like, but you can also make it yourself for much cheaper. When you make it yourself, you'll need these items:
- 100% Neem Oil (cold pressed and unfiltered)
- Spray bottle (500ml / 16oz)
- Warm water
- Dish soap
The 100% Neem Oil is the raw Neem Oil as it has been harvested from a Neem tree. The premade bottles in the gardening stores usually don't use the same Neem Oil mixture, but they add other chemicals, including alcohol, to the mixture. This is fine to use on your plants, but we won't add any other chemicals to our mixture.
To get started, fill your spray bottle with warm water. After this, you should add 0.5 teaspoon of Neem Oil and a few drops of dish soap (3-4 drops). Put the lid on your spray bottle and shake it well. This helps to mix the soap, water, and Neem Oil together in the spray bottle. After you've shaken the spray bottle you can spray your plants. Every time when you're going to use your spray bottle, make sure to shake it first. Neem Oil is an oil and oil doesn't mix well with water, in fact it'll float on top of it.
How do you apply Neem oil to your plants?
For this section, we assume that you have a mixture of water and Neem Oil, like we made in the previous section. You can also use the store bought mixture for this section. There are several ways you can apply Neem Oil to your plants:
- Add Neem Oil to a spray bottle and mist your plants
- Add Neem Oil to a bowl with water and soap and wipe off your plant
- Use a Q-Tip dipped in your Neem Oil water mix to remove pests
As Neem Oil is an oil, it's thicker than water and doesn't really mix well with it. When mixing these two substances, make sure the water you're using is warm. This makes mixing these two much easier. If you're using a spray bottle, shake your bottle with water, Neem Oil, and soap before using it to make sure it's mixed together. These three methods have advantages and disadvantages, so let's talk about them.
Misting your plants
Misting your plants is by far the quickest solution to apply Neem Oil to your plant in order to fight the pest. However, by misting you might miss spots on your plant. This is fine if the pests on your plant aren't very widespread. If the pest is aggressive, missing spots means you'll have to mist your plant multiple times to make sure you've gotten everything. Wiping your plant might be a better solution if the pest is aggressive and widespread.
Wiping your plants
If you want to be thorough and make sure you're not skipping parts of your plant, you should wipe off your plant with the Neem Oil and soap mixture and a microfiber cloth or cotton ball. Wiping your plant off completely does take up a lot more time, depending on how large your plant is.
Remove pests using Q-Tips
When you're dealing with spider mites you can dip a Q-Tip in the Neem Oil mixture and remove these pests from your plant. By dipping the Q-Tip in the Neem Oil mixture, you're marking the spot that had the pest and it won't return. Using this method, you'll also kill the pests you're touching with your Q-Tip.
Repetition is key
As Neem Oil doesn't work right away, make sure to repeat cleaning and spraying your plants for a few days in a row. If your plants aren't dealing with any current pests and you're using Neem Oil for pest prevention, you can spray them once per week to keep protecting your plants against any pests and infestations. If you're someone that regularly wipes off your plants anyway, it's a great moment to spray them with your Neem Oil mixture before wiping off your plant. This way your plant will look great, but it'll also be protected against any pests that might want to live in or around your plant.
Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.Posted on: Dec 12, 2020