Until the twentieth century, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides were the “green revolution’s” favorite product. Because of their pest-killing efficacy, they became a go-to product for all plant operations. As a result, they were used in everything from small backyard gardens to big agricultural fields.
However, we’ve learned about the dangers and drawbacks of using synthetic pesticides over time. Many of these have a chemical structure that causes considerable harm to natural ecosystems.
One key example is DDT, found in many pesticides and is now classified as a carcinogen. Neem oil has risen to the forefront as a natural alternative for combating plant pests. Neem has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
In our guide, you can learn more about pure neem oil for plants, a natural alternative. However, you’ll see you shouldn’t use it neat by the end, but you will find how to dilute neem oil for plants and make your own neem oil spray rather than purchasing neem oil-based products. (Read Neem Oil For Bed Bugs)
How Much Neem Oil Do You Mix With Water For Plants?
Before looking at how does neem work, it is good to have a bit of an understanding of where you find it besides using it in organic methods of pest control.
The oil squeezed from the leaves and seeds of the neem tree is a potent organic solution. It effectively controls illness and pests in your lawn or garden, such as spider mites and aphids.
Azadirachta indica is the scientific name for the neem tree, which is native to India and South Asia. The sacredness of the neem tree has grown in this region. That’s because it’s one of India’s critical elements in Ayurvedic treatment.
You’ll find neem in a variety of household goods, including:
- Toothpaste & Soaps
- Cosmetics and dog shampoos
Caterpillars, nematodes, locusts, aphids, Japanese beetles, and mites are just a few of the familiar garden creatures that neem oil repels.
Besides this, you can use neem oil to control upcoming pest infestation to kill ants, cockroaches, flies, termites, mosquitoes, and bedbugs in the home. As strong as it is, it hasn’t been shown to harm animals, birds, bees, butterflies, or ladybugs in organic gardening.
Making your own neem oil spray helps to have the quantities right. Here is how you can make your own neem oil spray for plant use.
This way, you can control the quality of the components, the concentration levels, and the cost.
Making neem oil is significantly less expensive than buying pre-made neem oil sprays, which you can find are weaker than what you can make yourself and thus less effective.
Get A Good Base
Begin with high-quality neem oil or leaf extract by searching for cold-pressed neem oil or raw neem oil extract. It must be cold-pressed as heat-derived oils have the Azadirachtin destroyed in production and leave your neem oil mix ineffective.
Emulsify Your Mix
Oil and water don’t mix, and you’ll find this out when you buy neem oil. Because neem oil doesn’t readily mix with water, you need an emulsifier. So when you make your own neem, reach for a mild liquid soap.
If you use insecticidal soap, this can add more benefit to your DIY neem oil spray.
Mix 5 mL neem oil, 2 mL mild liquid soap, and 1 L water to make one liter of general-purpose neem oil spray.
First, dissolve the soap in the water, then carefully whisk in the neem oil.
Fill a spray bottle halfway with the mixture and spray on your affected plant.
While it has all the same insecticidal properties as a commercial product, it lacks the preservatives; thus, you need to use it within 8 hours, as the compounds begin to break down at that point.
Another pointer is that if you are pregnant, or anyone in the family is, stay away from the neem spray or consult your doctor. (Read Best Time To Spray For Dandelions)
What Is The Mixing Ratio For Neem Oil?
For oil, neem has many functions for your garden. It works as a bactericide, a fungicide, and kills plant-parasitic nematodes. Above all, it is also compatible with beneficial nematodes.
Organic neem oil kills soft-bodied insects such as:
- Aphids, Mealybugs, and thrips
- Spider mites and Whiteflies
Some insects’ larvae are killed by neem oil pesticides. It also fights plant diseases like powdery mildew, black spot, rust, and anthracnose.
Spray neem oil first, then release beneficial insects as an effective pest control approach in your organic garden.
Chemical pesticides hinder a bee’s ability to acquire food, eventually killing it. Pollinators have declined in recent decades due to their use. Small doses won’t hurt medium or big colonies of bees, and organic gardeners benefit from keeping such pollinators and plants alive.
Neem oil sprays are safe to use around:
- Other beneficial insects
Can You Put Neem Oil Directly On Plants?
Neem oil, produced from Neem fruits, is one of the best natural chemicals for making your own natural pesticide and fungicide spray for plants.
This is the only insecticide you’ll need for an organic home vegetable crop. But, to do so, you’ll need to understand how neem oil works.
Neem oil is used in the vegetable garden as a pesticide and disease preventative against insects and fungus. Rose plants can also benefit from a neem oil treatment to keep insects and black spots at bay.
Neem Oil Natural Insecticide
Azadirachtin is a chemical found in neem seeds. Azadirachtin affects insects in different ways. For example, some insects lose their ability to feed after coming into touch with Azadirachtin. On the other hand, others are unable to lay eggs or reproduce. In both cases, they cannot survive and grow, resulting in a steady reduction in the infestation.
Using neem oil, you can control small soft-bodied insects such as Spider mites, Aphids, Whiteflies, Cabbage worms, Mealybugs, Fungus Gnats, Moths, Nematodes, Scales, Flea Beetles, Squash bugs, Stink Bugs, and Caterpillars have all been killed by the ‘Azadirachtin’ present in neem oil.
You’ll also find neem oil effective against Japanese beetles, Mosquitoes, Grubs, Slugs, Snails, and Crickets. All in all, they reckon over 400 bug species don’t like neem oil.
Here are a few pointers on using the insecticide in your garden.
- The undersides of the leaves are home to several bugs. Using the insect control spray, thoroughly moisten both sides of the leaves.
- The spray of neem oil should be used in the morning or evening. When the temperature rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, avoid spraying the plants in the afternoon.
- To kill an insect, the oil must have an opportunity to come into touch with it. Therefore, spraying should be avoided if rain is forecast soon.
- After 40 minutes of combining the water and soap, don’t store the neem oil mixture because its potency will be reduced. Instead, throw away the remaining oil spray mixture when you’re done spraying.
- Before storing the spray bottle or sprayer, make sure it’s clean. When the neem oil residue dries, it might jam the nozzle.
- Begin with the recipe listed above. After a few applications, if no improvement is shown, boost the neem oil dosage to 1.5 times.
Pesticide: Apply the neem Oil spray insecticide spray every seven days until the bugs are gone to control an infestation. Remember that neem oil is a natural, organic substance. Getting rid of the pests entirely takes time. Therefore, patience is required, and application should be repeated every seven days.
Preventative spray: As a preventative measure against attacks from pests on your plants, make your neem oil insecticide spray neem oil insecticide to your plants. Soak the plants with neem oil liquid soap mixture spray at every 14 days interval. Avoid the high-temperature days of summer. (Read Our Fungus Gnats Hydrogen Peroxide Guide)
Neem oil’s key ingredient, ‘Azadirachtin,’ is an excellent insect repellent, and here you can see how it deals with fungus?
Neem Oil As Fungicide
Neem oil has powerful antifungal properties. Powdery mildew, blight, rust, Scab, and black spots are just a few of the fungal problems it can aid within the yard. In addition, Neem oil can protect plants against fungal diseases for the entire season if sprayed as a preventative step before they become sick.
Make Organic Neem Oil Fungicide Spray
To make the Neem oil Fungicide spray, you need:
- 1 Gallon Water
- 1 teaspoon Rosemary oil and Peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons Neem oil (use good quality neem oil)
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil or almond oil
- Garden Sprayer
- Measuring Spoon
How to make Neem Oil Fungicide Foliar Spray:
- Fill your backpack sprayer with warm water.
- Add liquid dish soap to the sprayer and mix the soap.
- Measure and add a few drops of rosemary oil, peppermint oil, neem oil, and olive oils to your mixture.
- Close the tank and shake the mixture until the oil is well combined.
- Spray the mixture on the top and bottom of the leaves.
- Shake the bottle between the sprays.
Essential oils, like peppermint and neem scents, are unpleasant to pests and thus deter them. Less is more with essential oils! Add a few drops to the mixture above for added protection. 10-20 drops per gallon of water is fine.
Others include lavender, orange, tea tree, and eucalyptus. We enjoy this tiny mix-pack of organic EOs for the home and garden.
How to Apply Neem Oil Fungicide on Plants
Here are some pointers for using neem oil on your garden plants as a fungicide to deal with a range of fungal diseases:
- To avoid scorching the leaves, apply on a cool, cloudy day and not direct sunlight.
- If rain is expected soon, don’t start applying neem oil spray.
- Use neem oil spray on both sides of the leaves to get complete coverage.
To treat an existing problem, remove heavily diseased leaves from the plant as soon as possible and throw them away. Then, apply the neem Oil spray every seven days to manage a fungal infection until the color of the leaves returns to normal.
As a preventative spray: Spray the plants with neem oil spray every 14 days to prevent fungal diseases, including black spots, powdery mildew, and rust. Avoid days expected to exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so the neem oil work as intended.
You may wonder if you can use neem oil as a soil drench?
Neem oil is a systemic pesticide, and neem oil kill sucking or piercing bugs when used as a soil drench.
Neem oil is drawn in by the plant roots and enters the plant’s vascular system when diluted Neem oil is placed at the base of the plant.
Azadirachtin enters the body of sucking or piercing insects such as aphids, mealybugs, and squash bugs that bite into the plant’s tissue or leaves. Neem benefits plants this way as it reacts to the beetle’s feeding, reproductive, and growth hormones, finally killing it.
How to make neem oil soil drench from neem trees.
The ingredients for neem oil soil drench are the same as pesticide spray but in a larger quantity.
1 Gallon Neem Oil Soil Drench recipe:
- 2 tablespoons Neem oil
- One teaspoon liquid dish soap
- 1 Gallon Warm Water
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden stirrer
- To the gallon of warm water in the bucket, add dish soap. To dissolve and spread the soap, stir it in a circular motion.
- In the soapy water, add the neem oil. Make a thorough mix.
- Pour 2 to 3 cups of this mixture at the plant’s base, depending on the size of the plant. Pour more if you’re going to use it on a shrub or tree.
- Watering should not be done on the same day as the application. Water is usually available the next day.
- Add neem oil measure every 2 to 3 weeks or as needed.