Over time, we have come to learn the downfalls of using synthetic pesticides.
Using neem oil in your gardens is an environment-friendly way to bid goodbye to many garden pests on both indoor and outdoor plants. However, the key is to use neem oil correctly. If not used right, It can bring harm to certain plants.
You can purchase neem oil solutions from markets, but they may be less potent and effective than homemade versions. In this blog, we'll tell you how to prepare and use neem oil mixture against certain insects and pests to help your plants thrive.
What is neem oil?
Neem oil is the oil extracted primarily from the seeds or leaves of the neem tree. The extracted oil is diluted with water and applied to plant foliage to control diseases and pests such as aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, leafhoppers or spider mites on your plants. Besides being a natural and mild insecticide, neem also has medicinal properties and is largely used in personal care products.
Things you'll need to prepare neem oil spray at home
- Spray Bottle
- 1-3 spoons neem oil, pressed at home
- One gallon of water
- 1-2 spoons of mild detergent
- Increase the quantity evenly as required
Which plants can you treat with neem oil?
Neem oil generally works well on all plant types, from houseplants to herbs to flowering plants to vegetables. However, before applying neem oil to your plants for the first time, it's advisable to test it out on a single leaf. Check for any signs of stress on your plants after hours of using the mixture. It's generally better to avoid the usage of neem oil on baby plants or transplants as they're in the tender stage of growing.
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How to prepare neem oil spray for your plants at home - step by step instructions
As they taught us back in science class - oil and water don't mix. Or at least, not easily. Similarly, you can't simply mix all the ingredients and spray them in your garden. The neem oil mixture needs to fully emulsify before it's ready to be sprayed on your plants. Here's how to prepare your homemade neem oil from scratch.
Step 1: Mix up the soap and water
Neem oil needs an emulsifying agent to effectively mix with water, like mild dish soap. Add 1-2 spoons of dish soap to 1 gallon of warm water in your garden sprayer and mix it thoroughly.
Step 2: Top it with the neem oil
After combining the detergent with water, add 1-2 spoons of neem oil to the mixture and stir it thoroughly. You can either purchase neem oil from a supermarket or extract the oil from neem leaves and seeds.
Step 3: Spray It
Once mixed properly, add the prepared solution to a garden sprayer. Spray the solution on all plant surfaces until the leaves are wet and dripping. Use gloves to avoid any contact.
Step 4: Reapply To Avoid Plant Diseases and Pests
Reapply the neem oil mixture regularly, approximately after every seven-fourteen days. This will keep all the pests and diseases at bay.
- Apply the mixture in the early morning or late evening. All the beneficial insects are usually inactive during these times.
- Strong neem can cause the tissues of the leaves to get sunburned. Ensure that neem oil is properly mixed with water.
- Keep the batches of your mixture small, prepare it on the day you wish to use it or else the mixture will start separating with time.
- You can add essential oils to your mixture, as certain pests are repellent to the smell of essential oils such as mint, lemon, etc.
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