Neem oil might just be the green thumb’s best friend. Made from the seeds of the neem tree, this natural pesticide packs a punch against over 200 types of insect pests and various plant diseases. Let’s dive into what neem oil is all about and how you can use it to keep your garden thriving.

What is neem oil?

Neem oil is a natural pesticide made from oil that is pressed from the seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). It’s like a superhero, combating garden pests and diseases while also serving medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Plus, it’s eco-friendly!

How neem oil works

The secret weapon in neem oil is azadirachtin. It’s like kryptonite for pests. Neem oil disrupts pests’ feeding habits and their life cycles. But that’s not all – it’s also a great defence against fungal and bacterial diseases.

Is neem oil safe for you and your pets?

Here’s the good news: neem oil is safe for you, your pets, and your plants when used right. It’s organic and breaks down quickly. Just watch out for mild skin or eye irritation if you come into direct contact with it. It’s important to remember to wash your hands after using it. And don’t forget to rinse fruits and veggies sprayed with neem oil before munching on them.

Image: Better Homes & Gardens

How to use neem oil on plants

Neem oil comes in different forms, like sprays or powders. You can buy it ready-to-use or mix your own from concentrate. Then, it’s time to get spraying!

Dormant spray: When your plants are catching some Z’s during winter, neem oil steps in to tackle lurking pests and their eggs. Just wait for a calm, dry day with temperatures above 15 °C.

Foliar spray: Throughout the planting season, give your plant leaves a neem oil bath to fend off pests and diseases.

Soil drench: This one’s like giving your plants a health tonic. Mix neem oil with water and soak the soil. It’s like a stealth attack – insects won’t know what hit them!

How to use neem oil on your plants

Image: Dr Neem Oil

Neem oil for different plants

Houseplants: Those indoor buddies of yours are prone to pests like whitefly and spider mites. Spray neem oil on their leaves or give their soil a good drench to keep them happy.

Fruit trees: From apple to plum trees, neem oil is a guardian against aphids, caterpillars, and fungal foes. Apply it during dormancy and throughout the growing season.

Vegetables: Say goodbye to pesky aphids and fungal diseases on your veggies. Neem oil has got your back, whether it’s a leafy green or a juicy tomato.

Lawns: If your lawn’s looking under the weather, neem oil can perk it up. Spray it on those pesky grubs or diseased patches, and watch your grass thank you.

Garden plants: Ornamental plants deserve some love too. Identify the issue, whether it’s pests or diseases, and neem oil will come to the rescue.

Neem oil isn’t just another garden product – it’s a green solution to pest and disease problems. With its natural powers, it keeps your plants healthy without harming the environment. So, grab that bottle of neem oil and let your garden flourish!


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Feature image: Getty Images