Neem oil is an organic and biodegradable product, that is made by crushing the Neem seed, and is invaluable in the garden. It can be utilized throughout the year and acts as both a fungicide and an insecticide to add to pest control.
It is the most commonly used pesticide in the United States because it is inexpensive and safe to use around children and pets. Along with numerous neem oil uses around your house, you can use Neem oil for plants and neem oil for your garden.
Neem oil has seen usage for more than 5,000 years in India. It is a healing herb made from the Azadirachta Indica tree, also known as the Neem tree. The neem leaf makes up over 75 percent of the Ayurvedic medicinal remedies that are used in India to treat many illnesses.
The Azadirachta Indica is native to India and is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta. Along with being a great product for your skin, organic Neem oil has become a favorite neem product to use in your garden.
Neem oil is the key ingredient in many oil insecticides that acts as a repellent, antifeedant, and egg-laying deterrent to insects that are harmful to plants while leaving beneficial insects unharmed. The benefits of neem oil are numerous and provide a natural alternative to toxic pesticides, so we’re also going to how to make neem oil spray for plants.
How to Make Neem Oil Spray for Plants
Follow these steps on how to mix Neem oil for plants to use Neem oil as an insecticide and fungicide.
Mix the Neem oil with the warm water. Don’t use more Neem oil than is recommended; a higher concentration will not be more efficient. Fill a spray bottle or sprayer with the Neem oil and warm water mixture. Add a few drops of dish soap that are certified to be ecologically safe.
Spray each affected plant with the Neem oil solution. Be sure to cover all sides of the plant, including the stem and underside of the leaves. To keep the solution mixed while you work, be sure to shake the sprayer regularly.
You can also spray around the plant so the stem of the plant can absorb the Neem oil solution. Try not to spray your plants with Neem oil if the outside temperature exceeds 90F. Excess temperature can result in the leaves curling.
An ideal time to spray Neem oil is in the morning or evening. Get rid of any remaining solution when you have finished spraying your plants. Neem oil begins to break down after a couple of hours, resulting in a less efficient solution.
Repeat the process every week for five weeks to rid your garden of insects and to treat unwanted fungus.
Neem Oil for Plants
It can be a challenge to find a safe and non-toxic pesticide that will work for managing and eliminating unwanted pests in your garden while leaving beneficial insects unharmed.
Unlike many other natural chemicals available for taking care of insects in your garden, Neem oil insecticide is extremely effective at taking care of garden pests without leaving a toxic residue. It works in the same way as diatomaceous earth does but even is even more effective in repelling future infestations.
1. Kills Spider Mites
Nearly invisible, spider mites can do substantial damage to your plants. They kill the plants by piercing the leaf’s cells and draining their contents. Spider mites are resistant to a large spectrum of commercial chemical insecticides, making it difficult to rid your garden of the pesky pests.
However, Neem oil contains azadirachtin, a mite-toxic ingredient, that repels new infestations works great to get rid of spider mites and discourages existing ones from feeding. It also works to disrupt the hormones in the mites, leading to their inability to mature and reproduce. Using a Neem oil foliar spray can kill the spider mites and save your plants from being killed.
2. Get Rid of Aphids
The small, soft-bodied aphids use their long, slender mouths to pierce the stems, leaves, and other parts of the plants and suck out the plant’s fluids, leaving you with distorted and yellowing leaves, and stunted growth.
They also discharge a sticky substance known as honeydew, which is a black sooty mold that attracts ants. Control the aphids, as well as the ants that feed on the honeydew, with a Neem oil insecticide. (..)
3. Kill Whiteflies
Like the aphids, it can be difficult to rid your garden of pesky whiteflies and flies. They tend to gravitate toward warm-weather vegetable plants, including eggplant, tomatoes, okra, peppers, cabbage and sweet potatoes.
Spraying the affected plants with Neem oil insecticide will prevent the insects from developing into adults, killing off the population.
4. Control Japanese Beetles
Skeletonized leaves and total defoliation are telltale signs that you have an infestation of Japanese beetles. When you first see signs of infestation, spray the affected plants with a Neem oil insecticide. The Neem oil helps control the pests by reducing their ability to feed on the plants.
5. Control Lawn Grubs
Lawn grubs, which are the larval stage of the Japanese beetles, are very destructive for your lawn. When they are at this stage in development, they tunnel under your grass and nibble on its roots, leaving large brown or bare spots in their wake.
For best results, spray Neem oil on your lawn in the evening and reapply it after it rains. Spraying your yard with Neem oil will inhibit the growth of the lawn grubs and keep them away from grassroots. (..)
6. Get Rid of Slugs
If you are having trouble with slugs devouring your lettuce and other leafy crops, Neem oil can help you rid your garden of these pests. Slugs love the damp, clay soil and can often be found hiding in your hedges.
Spraying your plants with Neem oil or using a soil drench, interferes with the breeding patterns of slugs, resulting in a dwindling population over a period.
7. Get Rid of Harmful Nematodes
Nematodes, or eelworms, live in the soil of your garden, and feed on the roots of your plants, causing a reduction in the plant’s ability to uptake water and nutrients they need to survive certain stresses like drought.
To help get rid of these harmful insects, you can mix Neem oil with the fertilizer you place in your garden. You can also use a Neem oil soil drench to soak the ground around your garden. (..) To improve your garden soil use coffee grounds for composting and as a fertilizer.
8. Kill Cabbage Worms
Cabbage worms are small green caterpillars that will decimate your cabbage plants if they are left untreated. They tend to leave piles of frass behind, burrow into the center of the cabbages, leaving large holes in the leaves.
Spraying the leaves of your cabbage with a Neem oil insecticide will kill the cabbage worms after they’ve ingested the leaves you’ve treated with Neem.
9. Eliminate Codling Moths
Codling moths like to eat apples, walnuts, pears, crab apples, quinces, and stone fruit like peaches and plums.
To get rid of the codling moths spray your trees with Neem oil at the beginning of the season, continuing every week until you notice a reduction in the grub activity.
10. Control Scale
A scale insect infestation can be devastating for your garden plants and trees. They suck the sap from the leaves of the plant, causing them to turn yellow and die. Spraying the affected areas with Neem oil will suffocate the scale insects, causing them to die.
11. Controlling Various Types of Adelgid
Adelgids are aphid-like pests that have been responsible for killing entire forests of Canadian and Carolina hemlocks. They feed on the sap of the trees, slowing their growth and eventually killing them off. Newly hatched nymph stage of the adelgids is extremely vulnerable to Neem oil.
Spraying the affected areas between September and October can help reduce the impact on beneficial insects while killing of the adelgids. To achieve the best control, use a compression sprayer when applying the Neem oil.
12. Killing Sawflies
Sawflies love to eat old foliage, devouring the needles found on conifer trees. If you have a large infestation of the pests, your entire tree can end up being defoliated and eventually die. Neem oil is an excellent natural and biodegradable solution for killing unwanted sawflies.
13. Managing Lace Bugs
If you notice yellow or white stippling on the leaves of your flowers, or the leaves are curling, you may have an infestation of lace bugs. These tiny garden pests use their sharp mouths to pierce the foliage of your plants to suck out the juices found in the leaves.
To rid your garden of lace bugs, spray a Neem oil insecticide on the undersides of the leaves, where these pests feed and reproduce.
14. Controlling Chinch Bugs
Like most damaging insects, chinch bugs are chewing insects. Like, lace bugs, chinch bugs use their slender beaks to suck the juices out of the grass, leaving behind yellowish/brown patch in your grass. They have become resistant to most pesticides on the market, but can still be taken care of with Neem oil. You can spray the affected areas with a Neem oil spray several times a week. (..)
15. Managing Crickets
You will usually find crickets in your garden late in the summer when your plants and weeds begin to die.
Crickets typically feed on the tender shoots, young stems, and leaves of vegetable plants, and occasionally the fabric on your patio furniture.
You can purchase Neem oil dust and sprinkle it around your garden to help keep crickets from eating your plants.
16. Controlling Earwigs
While earwigs may look fearsome, due to the pair of pincers located at their tail end, they are harmless. However, they can do some damage to the plants in your garden.
They tend to chew irregular, ragged holes in the leaves, flowers, and fruit of your plants. To safely treat the earwigs, spray the foliage and flowers with a mixture of Neem oil and insecticidal soap.
17. Manage Flea Beetles
Although they are small, flea beetles can be incredibly destructive to your plants. They will attack a broad range of vegetation, leaving tiny holes scattered throughout your garden. To get rid of these pesky insects, spray Neem oil insecticide over the plants in your garden in the springtime when the adult flea beetles emerge and begin feeding on your plants.
18. Eliminate Squash Bugs and Stink Bugs
Squash and stink bugs love to feed on vegetables and fruits in the squash family. To get rid of stink bugs and keep them from devouring your watermelons, summer squash, and cucumbers, spray these plants with Neem oil, to minimize their feeding and efficiently reduce the damage to your garden.
19. Controlling Tent Caterpillars
Tent Caterpillars live throughout Canada and the United States and can quickly defoliate a vast number of deciduous shrubs and trees in a relatively short period. To rid your garden of these harmful insects, spray the foliage with Neem oil.
20. Controlling Mealybugs
The mealybug is an unarmored scale insect that is typically found in warmer climates and is a familiar problem in house plants and greenhouses. They destroy the plants by inserting their stylets into the plant and draining them of sap.
A small amount of this insect won’t cause significant damage to your plants. However, larger numbers can cause the plant to weaken as the leaves turn yellow and begin to curl. Spraying the affected plants with Neem oil will disrupt their growth and development and decrease their ability to feed.
21. Repel Mosquitos
While mosquitos don’t damage your plants, they can be extremely pesky when you are trying to garden. Spraying Neem oil in your garden can help to keep mosquitos from entering your garden. You can also apply pure Neem oil to your skin to keep them from feeding on you while you are tending your plants.
Neem Oil for Garden
Neem oil extract is an effective, safe, and environmentally friendly fungicide that can be sprayed on just about anything that you might find in your garden and yard to kill the fungus that is deadly to plants.
It is non-toxic, making it a great solution for taking care of fungus that grows on vegetable plants, where it can quickly spread.
22. Controlling Black Spot Disease
One of the most common ailments of rose bushes is black spot disease. If it goes unchecked, it can create a lot of damage to your rose bushes. The Diplocarpon Rosae, a fungus that kills the leaves and leaves your rose bushes in a weakened state and unprepared to survive the winter, causes it. To treat this disease, prune your plants, getting rid of infected leaves and stems, then spray the entire plant with Neem oil foliar spray. Make sure you get both the tops and bottoms of the leaves and the stem.
To treat this disease, prune your plants, getting rid of infected leaves and stems, then spray the entire plant with Neem oil foliar spray. Make sure you get both the tops and bottoms of the leaves and the stem.
23. Eliminating Anthracnose
A fungal disease, anthracnose can defoliate an entire tree. If defoliation repeatedly occurs or the branches die back because of the fungus, it can cause significant damage. The infection begins with small yellow, purple, or brown spots, darkening as they age. The spots will eventually cover the entire leaf, making them look scorched, before dropping prematurely. To control the fungus, destroy the infected leaves and prune the dead wood. Apply 70 percent Neem oil to the area every seven to fourteen days until the fungus is no longer present.
The spots will eventually cover the entire leaf, making them look scorched, before dropping prematurely. To control the fungus, destroy the infected leaves and prune the dead wood. Apply 70 percent Neem oil to the area every seven to fourteen days until the fungus is no longer present.
24. Controlling Rust on Plants
The plants in your garden can succumb to more than 5,000 known species of rust. Rust on your plants is easily identifiable as rusty-yellow and bright orange spots on the leaves and stems of the plant. These spots are filled with a massive amount of viable spores and contribute to the decline of infected plants. To control the spread of rust, you need to pick up infected foliage that has fallen from the plant. Spray Neem oil on the affected plants every week until you eradicate the infestation.
To control the spread of rust, you need to pick up infected foliage that has fallen from the plant. Spray Neem oil on the affected plants every week until you eradicate the infestation.
25. Controlling Plant Mildew
The powdery mildew that forms on plants like cucumbers, zucchinis, and peonies can be effectively treated using Neem oil. A parasitic fungus, the powdery mildew attaches itself to the plants and moves down into the roots to feed on the plant’s cells.
When the fungus moves into the plant’s cells, it causes damage to the foliage, resulting in yellow, curling leaves, or an accumulation of black or brown spots. To kill the fungus, liberally spray the plant with Neem oil, making sure you treat all the plant’s surfaces.
When the mildew moves into the plant’s cells, it damages the foliage. You’ll see yellow, curling leaves, or an accumulation of black or brown spots. To kill the fungus, liberally spray the plant with Neem oil, making sure you treat all the plant’s surfaces.
26. Addressing Gray Mold or Botrytis Blight
Caused by the fungus Botrytis species, gray mold can infect vegetables, flowers, soft fruits, shrubs, and trees. It starts off infecting delicate plant tissues, such as overripe fruit and old flowers, and can quickly spread to healthy plants. Spraying the plants with Neem oil can help prevent this type of mold from forming. (..)
Treating Plant Diseases with Neem Oil
Many diseases that affect plants can be hard to get rid of, even with the harshest of chemicals. Neem oil has been proven to be safe and efficient in treating many diseases in plants. Spraying your plants with Neem oil can help to control the disfiguring diseases that are common in plants.
27. Managing Fire Blight
A bacterial disease, fire blight causes sudden shriveling, wilting, and blackening for the shoots, blossoms, and fruit of individual trees. It first occurs when the plants are in bloom and spread through the bloom-bearing stem, turning it black. The disease lay dormant in the winter, and begin actively growing during the spring. To eliminate this bacterial disease, spray your trees with Neem oil in the winter when they are dormant.
28. Fixing Verticillium Wilt
Plants that suffer from verticillium wilt have leaves that wilt, curl, and become discolored, resulting in it eventually dying. Symptoms first appear in the fall and spring when temperatures are mild.
Unfortunately, this plant disease is incurable, and it is best to remove any plants that have the disease. Use a Neem oil soil drench to kill the disease before it can spread to newly planted trees and shrubs.
How Does Neem Oil Work?
Neem oil is a great natural way to repel insects in your garden. It doesn’t rely on synthetic chemicals to kill the bugs. Its active ingredient, azadirachtin, causes the insects who feed on the plants to lose their natural instincts. Losing their instincts results in the bugs eating less over time.
When sprayed on plants, Neem oil can halt the development of the insects. When chewing and leaf-sucking insects eat leaves treated with Neem oil, the active ingredient, azadirachtin, gets into their system, disruption their regulatory hormones, which prevent them from transforming into their next stage of development. (..)
How is Neem Oil Made?
Manufacturers create Neem oil by crushing the Neem oil seeds from the Neem trees. Warm water, or a solvent, is then added to the oil to complete the process. There are different active chemicals within the Neem oil depending on the method used.
Cold-pressed Neem oil seed is used to make some products on the market; others go through further processing of the Neem oil. (..)
Does Neem Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Neem oil is a non-toxic chemical that is safe to use and has no known side effects.
Is Neem Oil Safe for Pets and Wildlife?
Unlike synthetic pesticides, Neem oil won’t build-up in the environment. No buildup means that it won’t leave toxic residues behind that can be harmful, and sometimes fatal for your pets and other wildlife in the area.
Neem oil comes from the Neem tree, which is an evergreen tree variety, known as Azadirachta Indica, that is native to India. As an organic product, it is biodegradable and has been found to have not had any unreasonable adverse effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (..)
Are There Different Neem Oil Products?
There are a variety of concentrations and formulas of Neem oil insecticides on the market that you can use to get rid of insects and fungus from your garden. To help boost its Neem oil’s ability to kill pests, you can mix it with an insecticidal soap.
Is Neem Oil Harmful to Bees
With a dwindling bee population, many commercial and private gardeners are worried about using products that could potentially harm bees, decreasing the population further.
Neem oil can cause damage to bees, wasps and yellow jackets if used on plants during the day when bees are active. It is best utilized in the mornings or evenings when bee activity is minimal.
Where Can You Buy Neem Oil
You can purchase Neem oil insecticides, like Bonide Neem oil and Karanja Neem oil from any home improvement store, like Home Depot, grocery store, like Walmart, or your local nursery.
Pure Neem oil, like Southern AG or Dyna-Gro Neem oil, can be found online at numerous retail stores like Amazon and eBay.
Neem Oil Spray Recipes
Organic Neem Oil Soap Spray
- Two teaspoons Neem oil
- One teaspoon castile soap
- 1-quart warm water
Homemade Neem Oil Insect Spray
- One teaspoon Neem oil
- 1/3 teaspoon insecticidal soap
- 1-quart warm water
Neem Oil Spray for Fungal Disease
- 1 gallon of warm water
- 1-ounce pure Neem oil
- 1-2 teaspoons liquid soap
Neem Oil Soil Drench Recipe
- 1 teaspoon Neem Oil
- 1-quart warm water
If you love to garden, but hate dealing with the insects and damaging fungus and disease that can damage your plants, you may want to consider using a Neem oil spray, an organic pest control product that will help repel unwanted bugs and kill common fungal problems in your garden.
Neem oil is a safe, non-toxic chemical that makes it a great product for keeping your plants healthy and insect free.
In this article, we went over using neem oil for plants, using neem oil for your garden, and how to make neem oil spray for plants. For even more Neem oil uses, and the benefits of neem oil soap check out our article, “39 Fascinating Uses and Benefits of Neem Oil.”
If you found this article helpful and learned new ways to use Neem oil in the garden, please share with any friends and family that could benefit from this information.