Neem Oil For Plants: Natural Pest Control No Pesticides

neem oil for plants

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. However, every “grower” handles pests control differently.

  • In application method
  • “Chemical” used
  • Timing of control

It’s 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.

I like natural solutions like:

However, indoors there are few pest control options.

Buy Neem Oil Online Here

Neem used as an insecticide/pesticide looks like a great, SAFE, NATURAL solution for homeowners with pest problems.

Many plantscapers and nurseries use beneficial insects to help control:

  • Mealy bugs
  • Spider mites
  • Scale insects
  • Powdery mildew

We call this IPM or integrated pest management. Homeowners just don’t have those choices yet.

Are There Safe Natural Organic Pest Control Alternatives?

Back in the 1990’s, I started using Neem oil as a foliar spray on plants we grew commercially. Although, we never experienced major insect pest problems due to a regular pest management program. I wanted to get away from the toxic chemicals.

As more and more homeowners look to a more natural approach to control pest problems in the garden and landscape Neem Oil continues to gain a following and usage.

What About The Neem Oil Insecticide

The Neem oil spray comes from the oil extracted by “pressing” the seed of the Neem tree – Azadirachta indica. Native to eastern India and Burma, the use of neem products for health purposes and pest control in India  and Ayurvedic medicine dates back thousands of years.

Claims are that the bark and leaves have quite a few anti’s covered.

  • antispectic
  • antiviral
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antiulcer
  • antifungal

…to name a few.

Neem Oil For Plants Is It Safe?

You’ll find organic, natural, pure neem oil used in medication, cosmetics, and many consumer products for skin, hair, and acne. When combined with diatomaceous earth the two make a great combo to control beds bugs.

Therefore, any exposure while treating your plants does not pose a threat. But, I would always recommend wearing protective chemical clothing and a pesticide respirator when spraying plants. The EPA has no restrictions in place.

I’ve spoken to foliage, flower, orchid and bromeliad growers using neem oil spray as an insecticide in their “pest control” program. They are very pleased with the results. Not just from the safety aspect but the control.

They have found this natural pesticide to be effective not only as an insect repellent but also as a general purpose insecticide, miticide, and control of fungual disease. It also functions as an antifeedant which discourages insects feeding patterns. Insects would rather die than eat plants treated with neem. Penn State also suggests using neem oil for the control of Japanese beetle lawn grubs.

Neem extracts show incredible success with not only battling fungus disease problems but also many forms of root rot.

Neem biodegrades in a matter of weeks when exposed to the sunlight.

Tips On Using Neem As An Insecticide

  • Pure Neem will retains 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 like castile 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. Use a weaker solution for maintenance

So Now the Question… Where To Find Neem Insecticide?

I’ve bought Neem at LOWE’s, but I buy the Dyna Gro Neem Oil online.

Buy Neem Oil Online Here

Neem used as an insecticide/pesticide looks like a great, SAFE, NATURAL solution for homeowners with pest problems.