Is Neem Oil Safe To Use On Succulents

The good news is that you can use neem oil on the majority of succulents without risk.

Neem can become a succulent’s best friend if you adhere to a few straightforward guidelines and keep an eye on how your plant responds.

Common Mistakes with Succulents

The majority of the horror stories you’ll come across online stem from a few simple errors.

The following are a few of the more typical ones:

  • NEVER spray commercially available, pre-mixed neem on succulents. Neem oil starts deteriorating as soon as it is combined with water, so by the time you receive the product, it has probably severely deteriorated. Furthermore, you have no control over the ingredients in sprays that weren’t made by you.
  • NEVER mist plants in direct sunlight. The majority of succulent plants may get severe leaf burns if their leaves become moist while being exposed to the noon sun, because Neem oil degrades when exposed to UV radiation.
  • Before submitting a complete application, ALWAYS test. One cannot emphasize this enough, especially with regard to succulents. Never spray the entire plant with your neem spray; instead, apply a little amount to a single leaf or piece of stem and wait 24 hours to see if there is a negative reaction. You should adopt an alternative approach if the plant exhibits any signs of distress because this indicates an allergy or oversensitivity to neem.
  • On delicate plants, NEVER use raw neem oil as a foliar spray. Azadirachtin can result in serious burns and is much more harmful than beneficial. Instead, save the raw Neem for soil soaks and just use the clarified Neem for sprays.
  • Neem should NEVER be used with other liquids, even isopropyl alcohol. Additionally to occasionally causing a reaction, many of the web advice are detrimental to your plants. The only ingredient for neem oil that is thought to be secure when used as an emulsifier is insecticidal soap.

Neem Foliar Spray

Clarified hydrophobic neem oil is used in neem foliar sprays, the most popular type of neem therapy.

Azadirachtin has been mostly eliminated from this variety of neem, with only.5 to 3 percent Azadirachtin left.

When dealing with delicate plants, always aim for 1 percent or less until the infestation doesn’t show indications of abating after two weeks of treatment.

Emulsify 1 teaspoon of liquid Dawn dish soap, insecticidal soap, or pure castile soap should be added to 1 quart of water before gently blending.

Avoid spraying the flowers or the exposed roots, but make sure to catch the undersides of the leaves as well as any joints or crevasses.

For a total of 14 days or until the infestation has disappeared, repeat the treatment every other day.

In order to protect beneficial insects and reduce your danger of becoming sunburned, it would be best if you only sprayed at dark or morning.

In 45 to 1 hour, the neem will vanish completely, leaving no trace left.

Special Fungicidal Recipe

This mixture will work on many succulents to control external fungal diseases, but you will need to test each item separately for potential sensitivities.

If the infection hasn’t progressed too far, remove any dead leaves and clip away any clearly affected leaves; if it has, you might need to leave those leaves alone.

Next, add two teaspoons each of clarified Neem oil and either olive or almond oil, as well as one teaspoon each of rosemary and peppermint oils.

Neem oil—does it harm succulents?

Absolutely! For the majority of plants, neem oil works well as a pest deterrent. Its organic nature means that using it has no impact on the environment. The fact that it reduces egg production has advantageous uses as well.

In contrast to subjecting the plant to repeated chemical treatments from other pesticides, it produces a quick and effective recovery.

It also deals with common garden pests that cause problems for homes, such as Japanese beetles, snails, caterpillars, and even mosquitoes.

Neem oil can be used on cacti and succulents.

Although they are tough and able to withstand extreme weather, succulents are nevertheless susceptible to damage from pest infestation, and using neem oil effectively can help prevent such occurrences.

When applied to succulents, neem oil functions as a repellent and a way to stop pests by stopping the hormone that allows insects to feed. The oil’s active component Azadirachtin is responsible for this. For best results, use neem oil twice weekly as a foliar spray or soil drench.

Neem oil, which is derived from the neem plant, can protect your succulent plants from pests without having any negative effects.

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.

Is it OK to use neem oil to cacti?

Even if there are additional pests that may harm your succulents, the majority of infestations will be caused by one of these four bugs.


The fluffy, white insects known as mealybugs are typically found in big numbers. Although you might mistake them for a spiderweb up close, they have a distinct, cottony texture.

They adore living in cracks and other secret, safe places. Check the areas of your succulents where the leaves meet the stem; this is a preferred location.

Fortunately, mealybug infestations are fairly simple to manage. You can just unpot the succulent and thoroughly rinse it out with a strong stream of water if the infestation isn’t too bad. That ought to be sufficient to remove all of the mealybugs.

You should repot the plant in new soil because certain species lay their eggs in the soil. If you’re unsure whether your soil is contaminated, you can bake it at 200 degrees for a couple of hours to eliminate any hidden pathogens.

Apply rubbing alcohol to the affected areas of the plant if water is ineffective or you don’t want to repot the plant. The insects will be instantly killed by regular 70% isopropyl alcohol, but your succulent won’t be affected at all. Try spraying the plant liberally with alcohol after filling a spray bottle with it.


On the plant’s surface, scales take the form of rounded or oval bumps. They are very little, measuring no more than one centimeter or so, and are always dark in color.

It should be immediately clear why these insects are called scales since they are protected by a hard, smooth shell. When they reach the adult stage, they choose a location (typically along the stem) and stay there for the rest of their lives. They are fairly resistant to chemical treatments and almost impervious to predators.

However, they usually spread very slowly. If you notice a few of them on your plant, you may remove them quite quickly by scraping them off with a blade or your fingernail. If there are numerous, you should use a potent insecticide.

The solution is neem oil. Neem oil is frequently marketed as an extract and needs to be diluted before usage, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Additionally, keep in mind that if the oil is on the plant and under strong, direct sunshine, it could result in sunburns because it is an oil.

Neem oil should therefore be used at night. That also lessens the chance of accidentally catching helpful bugs, most of which are active during the day.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are extremely hardy because they can overwinter in the soil and reproduce swiftly. They flourish in the same hot, dry environments that succulents do, unlike the majority of pests.

The tangled, wispy cobwebs that spider mites build around themselves to ward off predators make them very easy to recognize. They come in a variety of hues, including brown, black, and red, and many of them are so tiny you would need a magnifying glass to see them. Look for webs on the undersides of leaves, where they almost always congregate.

Although they pierce leaves to get the juices, the damage is done gradually. For a plant to actually be in danger, spider mites would need to completely cover it. To identify spider mites, look for random spots of yellow, brown, or gray scarring on leaves.

Washing away their protective web covering with vigorous water is the first step in getting rid of them. Apply neem oil next as you would for scaling. Treatment with isopropyl alcohol is also effective. An additional choice is to use insecticidal soap, which you can either purchase or manufacture by combining a few drops of dishwashing detergent with a quart of water. Use a spray bottle to liberally apply the solution.

Fungus Gnats

In reality, fungus gnats are merely a nuisance and not even a pest. However, they are very common and should be mentioned.

They resemble fruit flies in every way, more or less. perhaps a little smaller When you brush by them, they will occasionally take off in a swarm when they are resting on the leaves of your plants.

The adult gnats you see flying around have a relatively brief lifespan and barely consume any food. They lay their eggs in wet ground. The eggs develop into larvae that primarily consume decaying matter but may eat new, sensitive roots if given the chance.

Although fungus gnats are not very harmful to your succulents and cacti, they are a sign that your plant is overly damp. Give the plant extra time to dry out in between waterings or switch out the soil with one that is looser and faster draining.

It is quite simple to get rid of fungus gnats. The soil will eventually die if you thoroughly dry it up (without any water for around two weeks). The eggs and larvae will shrivel up, and the adults will eventually pass away. If you place a fan to blow over the plant, the adults won’t be able to return and deposit eggs because they are extremely slow flyers.

Water your plant with an alcohol or insecticidal soap solution and fully wet the soil for a quicker fix.

That is the quick-and-dirty method for removing bugs from your cactus and succulents. Do you have any questions concerning any other pests? Do you require more information? Tell us in the comments section below!

What can you use as a pest repellent on succulents?

When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.

After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.

If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.

Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:

Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs. &nbsp

Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents. &nbsp

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine. &nbsp

If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.

Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.

So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.