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If you're looking for an all-natural way to keep your indoor plants healthy, look no further than neem oil! The neem tree is native to India and has been used for centuries as a natural insecticide. The oil from the leaves and seeds of the tree is what gives Neem oil its Insecticidal properties.
Not only is it effective at preventing pests on your plants, but it's also straightforward to make your neem oil spray at home.
In this post, we'll discuss what Neem oil is, how to use it, and its benefits. We'll also provide tips on getting the most out of this valuable resource. So if you're interested in learning more about neem oil for plants, keep reading!
What is neem oil, and why is it suitable for plants?
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil that comes from the neem tree. A native of India, the neem tree has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and is now gaining popularity as an effective plant-based pesticide.
Neem oil is extracted from the tree's seeds and leaves and contains many toxic compounds to pests; it's effective against many problems, such as:
It can also control fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot.
It contains high levels of vitamin E and fatty acids, which can help to improve plant growth and promote healthy leaves and flowers.
Neem oil has a potent smell that can be off-putting for some people, like earthy garlic. but don't worry; the smell does disappear quickly after applying it to your plants.
To get the best product, you need to get cold-pressed neem oil and preferably organic, and I get mine from Amazon.
How does Neem oil work?
The active ingredient in Neem is Azadiractin, and this disrupts the life cycle of insects that feed on plants. The oil interferes with their ability to lay eggs and makes the bugs not feel hungry, so they don't munch on our plants and then die. As a result, once the pests have been affected by the Azadirachtin, they cannot cause significant damage to plants.
Neem oil is also effective against fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot. The oil prevents the fungus from infecting new cells and quickly kills existing infections.
Neem oil is made of many components. Azadirachtin is the most active. It reduces insect feeding and acts as a repellent. It also interferes with insect hormone systems, making it harder for insects to grow and lay eggs. Azadirachtin can also repel and reduce the feeding of nematodes. Other components of neem oil kill insects by hindering their ability to feed. However, the exact role of every component is not known.National Pesticide Information Center
How to make a DIY neem oil spray for indoor plants
Making your neem oil spray is a great way to save money and control the ingredients used on your plants.
To make a DIY neem oil spray, you will need the following:
- 1 litre of warm water
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) of soap. I use Dr Bronner's unscented Castile liquid soap
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) of neem oil. I use Naissance Organic Cold Pressed Neem oil
- A spray bottle – this is similar to the one I use
- Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and apply them to your plants as needed.
- Be sure to shake the mixture well before each use.
- For best results, apply the neem oil spray early in the morning or evening, when the sun is not as intense, or remove it from under a grow light for a few hours for the plant to absorb the oil.
- Make sure to get all sides of the plant, including the top and bottom of the leaves. Even though they're small, pests can get into surprisingly tight spaces.
How to use the neem oil spray on indoor plants
First, make sure your plant is well-watered. Then, shake your DIY Neem Oil Spray bottle and mist the leaves gently, rather than saturating, making sure to get both the top and bottom. You can also use a cotton swab to apply it to hard-to-reach areas. Be sure to avoid the flowers, as the oil can damage them.
Can you use Neem oil on any plant?
Neem oil is a fantastic way to protect your houseplants from insects, but it's crucial to remember that some plants may be sensitive to the oil. Cover a small area with oil and wait 24 hours to test if your plant will react badly. If there is leaf damage or discolouration, don't spray the whole plant.
You don't want to kill the plant you are trying to save.
Also, It is important to note that neem oil should not be used on plants that are in flower, as it can cause them to drop their blooms.
Is neem oil safe for pets and people to be around?
Some of these compounds, such as Azadirachtin, are effective against many pests, making neem oil an attractive option for organic pest control. However, if ingested in large quantities, neem oil can also be toxic to animals and humans, so it must be used carefully.
While diluted neem oil sprays are generally considered safe for pets and people, it's always a good idea to err on caution and keep pets and children away from areas where the spray has been applied.
Also, Azadirachtin is moderately poisonous to fish and other aquatic creatures. But, only insects that eat the treated plant will die; bees and other pollinators are not at risk.
Q: Which plants don't like Neem oil?
A: Neem oil may not be the best choice for all types of plants. Some plants, such as those in the daisy family and certain species of roses, are sensitive to neem oil, and the spray should be used cautiously on these plants.
Additionally, some plant varieties may experience discolouration or leaf damage if they come into contact with neem oil. If you need clarification on using neem oil on a particular plant, do a spot test on a leaf to see how your plant reacts.
Q: How often do I need to reapply the Neem Oil Spray?
A: The frequency of applications will depend on several factors, including the type of plant and the severity of the pest or disease problem.
In most cases, if you have an infestation, the spray should be repeated every few days until the problem is resolved as the neem toxicity breaks down by microbes and sunlight, so the effects will only last 1-3 days.
Q: How long does it take for Neem oil to work?
A: The time it takes for Neem oil to take effect will vary depending on several factors, including the severity and nature of your particular pest or disease issue.
Generally speaking, you should start to see results within a few days of applying the spray, although more severe problems may require several rounds of treatment before you see improvement.
Whether dealing with pests and diseases or just wanting to keep your plants healthy and vibrant, DIY neem oil spray is a great option.
Regular applications, such as twice per month, can help prevent problems from occurring in the first place or control existing issues. So if you love having plants in your home but struggle to keep them alive, give DIY neem oil spray a try! You won't regret it.
So there you have it! We hope that this post has inspired you to give Neem oil a try – the benefits are many, and it's a natural, non-toxic way to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. So if you have any pesky bugs or diseases bothering your indoor plants, give Neem oil a try!
– Thanks for reading!