Can I use essential oils for plants?
Everyone knows that essential oils can be used for a variety of purposes. You can diffuse essential oils in your diffuser, put them in your bath for a soothing experience, add them to your daily cleaning routines, and more!
Are essential oils safe to use on plants? Since essential oils provide us with enormous benefits, you may wonder whether they can be used in the garden?
Here in this article, we are going to find out if you can harness the power of essential oils for your plants and, if you can, find out how you can use these oils to keep your living, growing garden friends abundant and healthy!
So to begin with, let’s discover the mini answer before we delve into the million-dollar question.
Is it possible to use essential oils on plants? Despite the fact that essential oils don’t provide any direct nutritional benefit, they are great insecticides, prevent fungus growth, keep vermin away, and stop slugs, snails, and other insects from invading your flower beds and veggie patches.
We are now clapping our hands and rejoice that our plants can receive the many benefits that essential oils provide, so let’s jump right in and start by finding out a little more.
The most common question you might have regarding essential oils and plants is whether or not you can use them on them.
Do essential oils have any nutritional benefit to my plants?
For centuries, essential oils have been used for beauty, relaxation, and many other purposes.
In addition to these uses, there is a common confusion over whether they can benefit your plants nutritionally.
Not a plant food
The plant kingdom uses essential oils for a variety of super purposes, but they do not have any nutritional value.
For example, while you can use essential oils to deter slugs and snails, these oils won’t help their growth as much as plant foods would.
In other words, using them around your sick tomato or eggplant crop won’t bring them back to life, nor will they have properties that will effectively ‘feed’ them.
Before we begin looking at some of the ways in which you can use essential oils to benefit your indoor and outdoor plants, you might be wondering whether or not essential oils could actually hurt them? Here is what you need to know!
Are essential oils harmful to plants?
It’s worth finding out if essential oils can harm your garden and sanctuary of indoor plants before you start using them.
When it comes to organic gardening, essential oils are essential. As we will see later, there are many different types of oils that can be used to kill weeds and keep away insects that may harm your plants, especially edible ones.
You never know what six legged invaders will show up to get a meal courtesy of your hard work! Essential oils are great for keeping those invaders out!
Essential oils aren’t harmful to your plants, so that’s good news. In this case, they will not:
- Reduce or damage growth
As essential oils are derived primarily from plant and flower extracts, unlike some pesticides, they will not harm either the plants themselves or the person administering the oils; this is different from the case with some pesticides, which are potentially harmful to humans and animals.
It’s also important to remember that not all essential oils are suitable for all types of plants or uses. In other words, if one is hoping that essential oils will enhance growth, or improve production, then it’s not for them.
You can choose from a wide variety of essential oils available, each with their own unique properties, that will act as a natural repellent to many of the pesky little insects that want to make your gardening work easier!
There’s nothing more deflating than discovering that every creepy-crawly is eating your herbs!
The following are some of the most common essential oils found in an essential oil kit:
Essential oils are effective against several different types of insects, including:
- Squash bugs
As well as biting and flying insects, they also work against roaches, chiggers, and ticks.
Further, essential oils can also provide a great insecticide for insects that love to munch on veggies and other plants, putting your crops at risk.
Which oils are most effective as pest repellents? Check it out and find out.
Essential oils prevent fungal growth
Michigan State University research has found that fungal growth, including unhealthy growth, is responsible for 85% of plant problems.
Untreated fungal growth can have a damaging effect on a plant’s overall production.
Plants are damaged by fungi poisoning or killing their cells and also by fungi blocking their stomata, which allow them to breathe.
Moreover, fungal growth affects plant growth because they consume nutrients from plants as they spread throughout the plant.
Not only can essential oils help with fungi growth, but they can also aid in killing them.
It is recommended that Tea Tree oil be used for this purpose.
You will need the following ingredients to make tea tree oil fungicide:
- 2 tbsp. tea tree oil
- 4 tbsp. baking soda
- 1 gallon of water
In a glass spray bottle, combine the tea tree oil and baking soda with water.
Using baking soda and tea tree oil will control mildew, while killing fungus
Stop slugs and snails from invading plants
Your veggie patch can easily become infested with slugs and snails, especially after a rainy day.
This has been a costly discovery for me! I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to discover those telltale munch holes on a wet morning as an amateur vegetable grower!
You can keep these small, unwanted creatures away from your garden and plants with essential oils.
I have experimented with different kinds of oils and have found that cedarwood oil, hyssop oil, and pine oil work the best.
Here’s how I made it. Apply 1 tablespoon cedarwood, hyssop, or pine oil. Additionally, you can use a combination of the three oils, depending on which ones you have. Then mix roughly one teaspoon of your chosen oil into a 32-ounce spray bottle filled with water. Slugs and snails tend to congregate around vegetables and plants that have been treated with this.
Rats, mice, and squirrels are harmful vermins that can destroy your crops if they are enticed by essential oils. The fragrance is the main reason for its effectiveness.
This fresh, clean scent of peppermint oil effectively disperses vermin, including mice and squirrels, who might have visited your garden for lunch!
Cotton wool balls soaked in peppermint will prevent some unwanted furry visitors from coming into contact with your potted plants and seeds.
It is also a good idea to hang them in plant pots where squirrels are likely to congregate, or near mouse holes and any other rodent burrows.
Helps in pollination
Plants use essential oils to boost pollination and increase flower, fruit, and vegetable production, unless they are self-pollinating. It is quite magical how essential oils help pollinate.
There is an irresistible attraction to some essential oils like that makes them irresistible to pollinators.
- Neroli, (which is made from orange blossom)
All of these flowers will attract bees and butterflies to your garden, helping you speed up pollination.
12 Best essential oils for pest repellent
Keeping insects out of your garden is made possible by essential oil because the chemicals interfere with their neurotransmitters, which humans and other vertebrates do not have.
For any type of gardening, insects and pests can pose a huge problem. If you want to grow your own veggies or simply create a beautiful rise bed, this is for you!
The essential oils in essential oils can act as an effective repellent for many types of insects, including fleas, flies, and mosquitoes.
As a result, essential oils are excellent, safe pest repellents. Let’s look at a few of the most widely known oils and how they can keep your veggie patch and flowers pest-free!
Garlic oil is very pungent and works well as a repellent for a number of pests, including mosquitoes and cats.
It is the derived oil of lemongrass that is known for its pest and insect repellent properties, Citronella, which is derived from lemongrass oil. It has a very pungent and sharp smell, which helps to keep pests such as gnats, ants, ticks, and flies at bay.
Eucalyptus oil has a strong smell, similar to Citronella, that makes mosquitoes have a difficult time finding food, since it interferes with their ability to locate it. In addition to repelling midges, sandflies, and ticks, Eucalyptus oil also repels a variety of other irritating insects
Experts say that cajeput essential oils are very effective in getting rid of skin ticks, such as scabies and other fungal skin infections, so it makes sense that they will also be effective in repelling garden mites. You can use this oil to repel a variety of flying and crawling pests without harming your plants.
It repels ants, lice, spiders, and fleas, and it has a pleasant smell. In addition to protecting your pet from fleas, you can also use it to kill fleas on the lawn. To prevent rats and squirrels from eating your vegetables, soak a cotton ball with peppermint oil and dangle it around the perimeter of your garden.
Fly, tick, snail, and slug repellent, pine oil contains volatile oils. A natural repellent that is good for the garden and won’t harm your children or pets
The essential oil of rosemary repels mosquitoes and cats naturally. Make sure that your garden does not become a cat’s bathroom by using the following technique. Make a rosemary garden by spraying strips of cloth with rosemary oil water and hanging them along the perimeter. Together with the mosquitoes, cats are afraid of the smell of rosemary. After rain or every week, re-wet cloth strips.
Tea Tree Oil is a useful method for removing ant trails. Spread it on any noticeable ant trails and remove them. The reason for this is that they don’t like the smell. In addition to working inside your home, this also works outside! Additionally, it works well for preventing pesky flies in garbage cans. Tea tree can be applied in a spray water bottle once or twice a week if your crops or plants are afflicted with fungal infections. Tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle are combined with two tablespoons of tea tree oil. You should spray early in the morning and not as often during dry, hot weather to avoid burning the leaves.
When allowed to grow in nature, lavender works wonders at repelling insects! The creepy crawlies don’t bother this plant very much! Insecticidal properties of lavender are excellent all-around. You should always spray from a glass bottle for any essential purpose. Distilled water and witch hazel are combined equal parts, then 20 drops of lavender are added for each 100 milliliters. The spray works best on insects with soft bodies.
Clove essential oils are excellent for repelling pests and serving as anti-fungals, just like many of the other essential oils. Due to the fact that clove oil breaks down rapidly, and because it has very low levels of toxins, it is very safe to use for organic gardening. There are many natural pest control products that use clove oil.
One of the best things about neem oil for a gardener is that it is very effective at getting rid of insects and other types of garden pests. Pest-infested plants usually have a hard, waxy exterior that makes them hard to remove, and allows the pests to remain inside the plant. The infected plant parts may need to be cut to prevent the infestation from spreading. The essential oils, especially Neem oil, help in dehydrating the waxy layers that inevitably cause the insecticides to dehydrate, which leads to the eradication of the infestation.
It is a mixture of cloves, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. If mixing your own use, follow these steps:
- 40 drops of clove bud essential oil
- 35 drops lemon essential oil
- 20 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil.
Pour water almost to the top into a standard size glass spray bottle, and then add Thieves Oil to the water to color it.
In looking at the individual essential oils, we can see that they can be an incredibly powerful companion to a gardener! When it comes to being organic, this is especially important.
As well as eliminating flying pests and other creepy crawlies, essential oils can also combat plant diseases and prevent fungus from growing.
Is there anything I should know about using essential oils on my plants?
Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated, which means you shouldn’t use them on plants and vegetables if they’re undiluted.
Using a spray bottle, dilute always with water as directed. While plastic spray bottles are ideal for a one-off spray, glass spray bottles will ensure that your mixes stay in the best possible condition for months to come.
The light, and especially the sun, can harm essential oils, so make sure you store any mixes in a cool, dark place.
In addition, the weather and type of plant may affect the appropriateness of using essential oils for certain plants and temperatures. This is why it is crucial to pay attention to these when using essential oils on plants.
It’s time to wrap things up! I hope this has provided a lot of information on how to use your essential oils in your garden and vegetable patch!
Essential oils are perfect for helping you to get rid of many insects, rodents, and squirrels from your garden, and are also great for keeping your space fungal-free.