What’s Neem Oil?
A naturally occurring insecticide, neem oil is obtained from the seeds of the Indian neem tree. The oil is sold either in its pure form or blended with other ingredients to create insecticide spray.
How Does Neem Oil Work?
In spite of some misconceptions, neem oil is not poisonous, but does have a chemical reaction with the insects that eat it, which eventually results in their death.
The way it kills bugs is by messing with their brains and hormones, stopping them from eating and reproducing, and eventually killing them off. It also smothers the pests, which makes them dead faster.
Apart from killing them, neem oil also repels them, and it has a slight residual effect that keeps them away longer than other organic techniques.
Neem Oil Uses For Plants
While neem oil will kill a significant portion of insects immediately, it may take several days, weeks, or even months for the rest to disappear.
What’s even better is that only those insects that eat plants are killed, so good bugs won’t be harmed! That is big, especially if you plan on spraying it on plants you want to keep outside or if you want to use it in your garden.
Just be sure to not spray anywhere near beneficial insects when you use it outdoors, because it could still smother them when it makes contact.
Since pest infestations are common during the long winter months, I primarily use neem oil for houseplants, since resistant to infestations during these months.
With this product, I have managed to eradicate all of the houseplant pests I have ever encountered, and I also keep them bug free over the long haul!
Neem Oil Insecticide Precautions
You should consider the smell of neem oil before using it, especially if you have never used it before. Many people don’t like the smell of neem oil.
While the smell dissipates once it dries, it can be overwhelming if you are spraying it on so many houseplants at once inside.
Be sure to test any spray, including neem oil, on just one or two leaves before spraying it on your plants to ensure it won’t harm the leaves.
For testing, douse a leaf or two, let it sit for 24 hours, then spray the entire plant. If the leaves are not damaged, then the spray can be applied to the entire plant.
In addition, it is important to remember that all pesticides, even organic ones, should be used with caution. It is always best to follow the instructions on the container and not swallow, inhale or spray it directly onto beneficial insects.
How To Use Neem Oil On Houseplants
There are a lot of details below, and I’ll give you tons of tips for using it. But I wanted to give you a quick overview of the steps here so you know where to start.
Blend 1 and a half teaspoons of neem oil concentrate with one teaspoon mild liquid soap and one liter of tepid water.
All of the ingredients should be combined in a spray bottle, and shaken well before using.
If you want to use it on the whole plant, test the product on a leaf or two first to ensure that there is no damage.
Apply neem oil to the plant, getting into every nook and cranny, as well as the tops and bottoms of the leaves.
Make sure the leaves are dry before placing the plant in direct sunlight.
If you continue to see bugs, repeat the process every few weeks until they disappear.
Tips For Applying Neem Oil
In the event that you see bugs on your plants, you should begin treatment right away. Neem oil insecticide should be sprayed throughout the plant, getting under all the leaves and thoroughly wetting every part.
My houseplants are always brought to the bathtub or sink when I use the product indoors so I can spray the oil without worrying about getting it all over the carpet or woodwork.
Although I’ve never experienced staining or anything like that, you have to make sure the plant is completely saturated, so it won’t be messy.
Usually, I’ll use insecticidal soap, followed by Neem oil, if there’s a heavy infestation (do spot tests on your plants before treating them).
My recipe for DIY insecticidal soap is 1 tsp of mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water, which kills most bugs on contact. I then rinse off as many bugs as possible before spraying the plant with neem oil.
This insecticide can be used as a soil drench to kill irritating fungus gnat infestations, absorbing everything from the soil to the plant, working as a systemic pesticide.
Neem Oil Insecticide Dosage
Using neem oil for pest control can be easier than using other all-natural options since it leaves a residual effect. This will help keep pests at bay.
In my previous post, I talked about this not killing all the bugs immediately, but that it requires time to get into their system and really mess with their brains and hormones.
You could wait until the infestation is obvious before spraying the plant again, since the infestation might clear up entirely after you apply neem oil the first time.
When you have infestations that keep coming back, you can spray it every few weeks until no bugs are visible. Then spray it every month as a repellent to prevent them from returning.
How To Make Neem Oil Spray For Plants
You can purchase pre-made sprays based on neem oil or make your own using a pure organic plant concentrate (and that’s what I do).
I use the type of neem oil concentrate I buy, so I follow the recipe for the kind I buy. Please check the label to make sure you don’t need to follow any special instructions.
My Neem Oil Insecticide Recipe
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure organic neem oil concentrate
- 1 teaspoon mild liquid soap
- 1 liter tepid water
Oil cannot mix with water on its own, so the soap makes it easier for it to mix with water. In addition, soap can kill plant pests, so you should notice a difference with this DIY neem oil spray immediately.
All of the ingredients should be mixed in a spray bottle and shaken well. Your DIY bug spray is ready for use right away. Every time you use it, shake it well.
Where To Buy Neem Oil For Plants
Neem oil is available for purchase from any garden pest control product retailer, or you can order it online.
Before buying, make sure to always read the label. Just because a product is called Neem oil, does not necessarily mean it is free of other harmful chemicals.
While you will probably have to pay more for a concentrate than a pre-mixed spray, it will last you for a very long time!
Plus, you’ll control the amount in your own spray, and your DIY mix may work just as well as a store-bought one.
It’s also available for cosmetic use, so make sure you specifically search for “neem oil for plants” when you shop online.
Using neem oil for bugs on plants indoors is one of the best natural methods I’ve ever used. If you’ve never used it, I would urge you to. It’s by far one of the most effective natural methods I’ve ever used.