Neem oil for plants makes one of my least favorite subjects to discuss – plant pests – at least bearable.
It’s not from the fact plant bugs bother me, it’s a part of growing. Every “grower” just handles it different.
- In application method
- “Chemical” used
- Timing of control
It’s really a matter of preference. My preference… after spraying crops for years is to use the best product for the job with the least amount of damage… to the environment and people.
Basically safe chemicals or natural solutions either chemical or beneficial insects. Indoors there are few choices.
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Many plantscapers and nurseries use beneficial insects to help control mealy bugs – mites and scale. This is called IPM or integrated pest management.
Homeowners just don’t have that choice yet.
Are There Safe Natural Organic Pest Control Alternatives?
While doing some research on pest and their control for our Dracaena eBook (shameful plug there). I checked out a product that has been used for a while and slowly gained a following and usage.
What About The Neem Oil Insecticide
From the Azadiracta indica Juss tree – the Neem Tree, oil is pressed from the seed to be exact.
It’s native to eastern India and Burma and has been used for medicinal purposes and pest control in India for thousands of years.
Claims are that the bark and leaves have quite a few anti’s covered.
…to name a few.
Is Neem Pesticide Safe?
Well organic neem oil products are used in medication and consumed by humans. So any exposure while treating your plants does not pose a treat. But, I would always wear a protection chemical clothing and a pesticide respirator when spraying plants. There are no restrictions put in place by the EPA.
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I’ve spoke to growers who use neem oil insecticide in their “pest control” program. They are delighted with it. Not just from the safety aspect… but the control.
They have found the the natural pesticide to be effective as a repellant – insecticide – miticide and fungicide. It also functions as an antifeedant which discourages insects feeding patterns.
Insects would rather die than eat plants treated with neem.
Extracts from the tree have shown incredible success with not only battling fungus problems but also many forms of root rot.
Neem biodegrades in a matter of weeks when exposed to the sunlight.
Tips on using as an Insecticide
- Pure Neem will retain its potency much longer if stored at about 40 degrees F in low light
- Don’t mix any more than you need
- Add water and a little soap before you spray
- Use a garden sprayer to completely cover the plant including the undersides of the leaves and potting media
- Mix 1 oz in 1 gallon of water. A weaker solution may be used for maintenance
So Now the Question… Where To Find Neem Insecticide?
I’ve bought some at LOWE’s, and you can also get it from Amazon here.
For larger quantities of Neem it is distributed by:
South West Plantscape Products
Check South West for Pricing on 100% PURE NEEM
Neem used as an insecticide / pesticide looks like one of those products that is SAFE, NATURAL and a great solution for the homeowner with any type of pest problems.