I make money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. To learn more, click here.
When fighting severe insect pests in the yard or on indoor plants, neem oil is an efficient and natural solution. You can discover how to use it to control insects and find out a ton of information about it below. I’ll also teach you how to produce your own plant spray using my neem oil pesticide formula.
One of the most frustrating issues that indoor gardeners have to deal with is harmful insects. It may be really upsetting when it appears that no matter how careful we are, one of our prized houseplants will suffer a pest infestation.
Most gardeners struggle greatly outside in the garden as well. It can be so daunting to deal with large infestations that some individuals feel like giving up gardening altogether.
Using natural plant pest management doesn’t have to be so challenging; you just need the correct instruments. Neem oil pesticide, your new best buddy, is who I’d want to introduce you to.
Neem oil: is it bad for houseplants?
The majority of indoor plants can be used safely with neem oil, a multipurpose natural pest control treatment. This 100% cold-pressed neem oil, which is made from the seeds of the Indian neem tree, has a wide range of applications in the maintenance of indoor plants and is OMRI-listed for organic gardening. Our go-to natural remedy for controlling houseplant pests like mealybugs, thrips, aphids, and whiteflies is azadireachtin, which disrupts the hormones of insects, preventing them from maturing and eating.
Neem oil has natural anti-fungal qualities in addition to insecticide ones, therefore it can be used to successfully stop the spread of fungus, fungus, and powdery mildew. Because it leaves a lovely sheen on foliage, it is frequently sold as “leaf shine” – an extra bonus!
Simply mix 1.5 teaspoons with a quart of warm water to make a spray, then apply to both sides of foliage. During treatment, keep plants out of direct sunlight.
Although most plants can tolerate neem oil, certain plants might not. Before spraying an entire plant, test on a single leaf. Visit our blog to learn more about pest control.
Which plants should not be exposed to neem oil?
I started using neem oil in my garden a few years ago to get rid of spider mites and aphids, and I’ve grown to adore it. I’ve had great success using neem oil, which naturally repels insects, especially when it comes to keeping the pests away from my tomato plants.
But I recently discovered a hard lesson: Neem oil simply isn’t a favorite among all plants. Thus, the issue arises: Which plants should you avoid using neem oil on?
Herbs like basil, caraway, cilantro, dill, marjoram, oregano, parsley, or thyme shouldn’t be sprayed with neem oil. Neem oil should only be sprayed sparingly on plants with fragile or wispy leaves, such as spinach, arugula, lettuce, and peas, to avoid burning the foliage.
Be careful while mixing and applying neem oil, though, as even hardier plants with tougher foliage might be scorched (or even killed) if you don’t.
Neem oil is made to cover a plant’s leaves and any invasive insects lurking among them in an oily film that will suffocate some insects and harm many others by damaging their cells. Neem oil is an oil, though, so even on a moderate day, if you ignore good advise and spray at the wrong times, you risk literally cooking the leaves of your plants.
In light of this, let’s look at a list of plants that tolerate neem oil, those that are sensitive to neem oil, and those that don’t actually require neem oil because they already ward off many of the most pesky bugs.
How frequently can neem oil be used to houseplants?
The most popular way to use neem oil is as a spray. According to the instructions on the package, you should mix two to four tablespoons of neem oil concentrate with one gallon of water.
Some plants could be killed by neem oil, especially if the plants are young and the oil is used excessively. Before using it all over, test a tiny portion of the plant and let it 24 hours. To avoid leaf burning, use neem in the evening to outdoor plants and out of direct sunlight to interior plants. Spray the leaves well, making sure to reach the undersides as well. Apply again as necessary every seven to 14 days.
How should neem oil be used to indoor plants?
Neem Oil For Houseplants: Uses And Care
- Neem oil concentration, 1 teaspoon mild liquid soap, and 1 liter of lukewarm water should be combined.
- Shake up a spray bottle after adding all the contents.
- Before applying it to the entire plant, test it on one or two leaves to ensure there is no damage.
Can I use neem oil to water my plants?
The dreadful fungus gnat, ahh! These little, flies-like pests enjoy laying their eggs in the moist soil of houseplants, where the larvae may occasionally eat the roots of your plant.
Due to their dual life cycle as a flying insect and a soil-dwelling larva, fungus gnats can be difficult to eradicate. Additionally, it is ideal to treat every plant at once.
Neem oil is a soil drench that I prefer to use in conjunction with yellow sticky traps that can catch adult gnats. Neem oil diluted in water can be used to water your plant to help get rid of soil larvae without hurting it.
Only water your plants again after the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry to assist tackle the problem. Gnats are drawn to moist soil.
Can neem oil overuse harm plants?
My very favorite natural insecticide is neem oil. When used appropriately, neem oil, which is made from neem trees (Azadirachta indica), kills a range of garden pests while also decomposing swiftly and causing no harm to plants.
But what occurs if it isn’t used correctly? Is it possible to give plants too much neem oil?
Neem oil can harm plants if it is applied too regularly because it leaves a thin film of oil on the leaves, obstructing the leafy pores necessary for photosynthesis, transpiration, and oxygen release. Using neem oil at the wrong time of day might also result in burns on the foliage.
I’ve used neem oil successfully for a long time, and what I’ve discovered is that you need to pay special attention to balance and timing if you want to utilize neem oil successfully.
Nothing will happen if you apply too seldom and with too little frequency. You’ll soon see a drop in plant health, if not outright plant rot, as whatever insect you’re combating will probably continue to infest your plant.
Apply too much and too frequently, and you’ll see a loss in plant health as well. This is either because the plant’s biological processes are disrupted or because oil-coated foliage burns when exposed to strong sunlight and hotter daytime temperatures.
Let’s examine what can happen if you use too much neem oil and what you can do to make sure that your neem oil treatments affect bugs, not plants, in order to prevent these issues.
I’d like to make sure we’re all on the same page before we go into them in more detail by sharing with you my three favorite neem oil products:
Do you apply neem oil to leaves or the ground?
Neem oil should always be sprayed across the tops and bottoms of leaves when treating a plant for insects, whether as a curative or preventative approach. This is because insects prefer to congregate on the underside of leaves. In case any animals have found their way to the stems or soil, you should also lightly treat those surfaces.
We have no control over the accessibility features of the third-party content used to display this advertisement.
Neem oil should only be applied to healthy plants. Your vegetation may be battling with water, sunshine, or nutrient imbalance if it is yellowing, browning, droopy, or otherwise seems wrong. Neem oil may exacerbate the issue.
Finally, avoid spraying neem oil on plants that are placed near a window that is lit up. To prevent leaf burn, Halleck advises against using horticultural oils on plants when they are directly exposed to the sun.
Move your plant into a darker area, such as the bathroom, before spraying, and wait two to three days before relocating it to a more sunny location. This should give the neem oil adequate time to degrade.
Neem oil can harm your plants’ leaves if used excessively, so always read the bottle’s directions before using it to spray.
When should neem oil not be used?
Both as a prophylactic measure and as pest control for an existing infestation, neem oil is effective. Neem oil should be used in the morning or evening. Neem oil shouldn’t be used in the middle of the day because it might burn plants when combined with sunshine.
Neem oil is able to burn plants.
A naturally occurring pesticide called neem is derived from the neem tree’s seeds (Azadirachta indica). Neem trees are indigenous to the tropical jungles of Sri Lanka, India, and Burma. It has been utilized for many hundreds of years as a natural pesticide within the tree’s native habitat. Neem products are now fairly simple to get at most garden centers because to rising demand for organic and less-toxic pesticide alternatives. It might now be the first bottle many gardeners pick up when they encounter a pest problem. Neem can be a useful component in an integrated pest management strategy, provided you know how it works and only use it as directed on the label.
Products made with neem often contain one of two active components. Neem seed oil contains an ingredient called azadirachtin, which is primarily responsible for both killing and repelling insects. Neem oil is transformed into clarified hydrophobic neem oil once the azadirachtin is removed. Azadiractin, which prevents insects from growing and reproducing, is exclusively found in commercial items. The main component of ready-to-use neem oil sprays that may be purchased at a garden center is clarified hydrophobic neem oil.
You can treat some insect and fungus-related diseases with neem oil. It suffocates insects by covering their bodies in oil, which closes off their breathing holes. Against young insects, it works best. Insects that are fully grown adults are usually not destroyed; they are allowed to feed and procreate. Neem oil application timing hence requires careful monitoring of insect lifecycles.
Do not anticipate quick effects, even when neem is administered to insect larvae. Reapplication may be required to completely control bug populations since it can take some time to take effect. Common pests managed by neem pesticide products include aphids, beetle larvae, caterpillars, lacebugs, leaf hoppers, leafminers, mealy bugs, thrips, and whiteflies. Ensure that you can identify insects with certainty and use neem oil only if the pest is mentioned on the packaging. Both pests and beneficial insects can be harmed by neem.
Neem oil can also be used to treat certain fungi-related problems, like powdery mildew. It functions by stopping fungus spores from growing and penetrating leaf tissue. Neem can help prevent the spread of the disease to healthy tissue, but it won’t “treat” a plant that has already contracted a fungal disease.
Products containing neem oil frequently bear labels for a number of different crops, including herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and decorative plants. Neem oil can harm plants by burning their foliage, regardless of the type of plant being treated. Use with caution on recently transplanted plants or other stressed plants. Neem oil must be applied entirely to plants for the pesticide to work, although it is a good idea to test the substance on a small area first. The entire plant can be treated if there are no harmful signs there.
Disclaimer: This page primarily serves educational reasons when specific brand or trade names are used. The University of New Hampshire neither recommends one product over another with a similar composition nor makes any claims about the effectiveness or caliber of any product. It is the user’s responsibility to only use pesticides in accordance with the label’s instructions and the law. Depending on the registration status in the State of New Hampshire and other variables, the product’s availability may change.
Neem oil can be applied straight to plant leaves.
The best natural remedy for severe pest infestations is neem oil. Neem oil should be sprayed on the entire plant—leaves, stems, and soil—once per week until no longer showing signs of pests. You don’t need to wipe it away. Be careful because some neem oil is concentrated and needs to be diluted. We have pre-diluted and prepared to use our Super Neem Oil.
Do plants need to be rinsed of neem oil?
I frequently use neem oil, a potent yet secure natural insecticide, on my garden. It will interfere with the biological and hormonal processes of garden pests, covering them in a thin layer of oil, preventing them from reproducing normally, and ultimately killing them.
However, neem oil is an oily substance that will attach to the leaves, flowers, and fruit of your preferred garden plants after application, giving them a brief gloss.
I wasn’t sure if this was acceptable when I was a new gardener. Could I consume vegetables that had been neem oil sprayed? Is it necessary to first wash the plants with water?
Neem oil doesn’t need to be rinsed off of plants after application; however, fruit that is picked within a week after application needs to be thoroughly washed in soapy water. Neem oil will dry in a few hours, however after the initial application, its insecticidal properties will entirely degrade in 2–5 days.
When applying neem oil to your plants, exercise caution. Neem oil can harm or even kill otherwise healthy plants if applied improperly or prior to the arrival of unfavorable weather conditions, leaving behind charred, decomposing plant matter.
Neem oil, on the other hand, is a fantastic natural insecticide that, when used correctly, will get rid of the toughest insect pests while enabling you to keep growing nutritious, organic vegetables in your garden.
Neem oil’s shelf life in plants is how long?
Neem oil’s half-life after being sprayed on your garden plants is between one and two and a half days, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.
This indicates that every 24 to 60 hours, the neem oil solution’s efficacy drops by 50%. Neem oil is therefore 50% less effective than when it was originally sprayed after being on your plants for 1-2,5 days. It loses 25% of its effectiveness after 2 to 5 days. And at 4–10 days, it has probably lost the majority, if not the all, of its early efficacy.
Neem oil needs to be administered every 4 to 7 days if you have an insect problem in your garden because of this.
Neem oil is a fantastic natural substance, but it degrades quickly, and in my experience, one application rarely suffices to get rid of any pest issues you may be facing.