Is It Safe To Use Neem Oil On Hibiscus Plants and Bushes?

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Hibiscus plants are cherished for their looks but aren’t always the easiest to care for. Several insect pests love infesting these plants; the usual solutions aren’t always an option.

In particular, Hibiscus plants are highly sensitive to several chemical insecticides, including chlorpyrifos, lannate, and malathion.

Neem oil safe for HibiscusPin

The wrong insecticide can cause severe burns to your plant and may not even be all that effective.

In the realm of natural solutions, organic neem oil for hibiscus plants is one of the most reliable miticides, insecticides, and fungicides for gardeners.

Neem oil is the product we recommend. But even this natural ingredient can cause problems with some indoor plants, so is it safe to use Neem oil on hibiscus?

Organic Neem OIl Spray for Plants

Neem Oil is our FAVORITE natural organic insecticide. Control aphids, mealybugs, plant scale, Japanese Beetles and more. It can also be used as a soil drench.

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Can I Use Neem Oil On Hibiscus

Is neem oil safe for hibiscus plants?

While there is a chance your particular plant may be oversensitive, if you’re looking for a natural way to protect your hibiscus plants from bugs eating hibiscus leaves like aphids and hibiscus diseases, consider using neem oil.

Here’s how to use neem oil on hibiscus and a few tips on safety around this beloved garden ornamental.

Related: How To Get Rid of Mealybugs on Hibiscus

The Three Types of Neem

100% percent cold-pressed raw neem oil comes straight from the tree and contains the active ingredient Azadirachtin, a powerful insecticide.

This version of neem works when ingested, mimicking the natural hormones of the target plant pest.

The Neem pesticide oil can eliminate the Hibiscus pests, such as ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites, and scales while leaving no harmful residues.

This leads to loss of appetite, interrupting the growth cycles of nymphs, and infertility in adults.

Raw neem is generally too powerful for topical application and is best used as a soil soak.

The byproducts of creating neem oil hibiscus are known as neem cakes.

These solids are often used as fertilizer and contain a 4-1-2 NPK ratio, fatty acids, and several micronutrients.

Using neem cakes can be as simple as breaking one up and mixing it with soil or a gallon of water as directed on the package.

Related: More on Neem Cakes and Their Use

The third type of neem results from removing the Azadirachtin, known as clarified hydrophobic neem oil.

This form of oil contains only trace amounts of Azadirachtin, ranging from .5 to 3% percent.

This form of neem is most often used in foliar sprays due to its gentleness.

It affects insects directly by clogging their airways and causing them to suffocate.

While less effective overall, it works more quickly and dissipates within 45 minutes to 1 hour, leaving behind no residue.

How to Use Neem Oil Spray for Hibiscus Plants

Neem oil spray is a great option for a natural foliar application and leaf shine.

Making the spray is simple and requires only three ingredients.

Gently mix 1/3 teaspoon of liquid soap (Dawn) or pure castile soap into a quart of warm water.

This creates an emulsion, breaking the surface tension in the water and allowing it to mix with oil.

Next, add one teaspoon of clarified hydrophobic neem oil and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Be sure to test a small part of your plant 24 hours before making a full application to ensure your hibiscus isn’t allergic or sensitive to the treatment. This is because this spray can harm the Hibiscus flowers, leaves, and flower buds.

Spray every part of the plant thoroughly using this insecticidal soap, paying special attention to crevasses and the undersides of leaves where infestations, eggs, and larvae are most likely to occur.

Repeat this process every other day for 14 days or until any infestation in the plant surfaces is gone.

You can also apply the foliar hibiscus bug spray once every two weeks as a preventative.

Treating Your Hibiscus with a Neem Soil Soak

The recipe for a neem soil soak or drench is almost identical to a foliar spray, except it uses 100% percent cold-pressed raw neem oil instead of the clarified neem.

Pour 2 to 3 cups of the soil soak onto the soil around the plant, being careful not to get any on the plant itself.

Soil soaks are far more effective, as the plant absorbs some of the neem and becomes a systemic insecticide.

Any insect that bites into or pierces the plant will ingest the neem oil, destroying the infestation literally from the inside.

Soil soaks also have the added benefit of helping to treat root rot, kill grubs, and help protect against fungal and microbial infections.

The oil remains in your hibiscus for up to 22 days and may be applied every three weeks as a preventative.

Pour 2 to 3 cups of the soil soak onto the soil around the plant, being careful not to get any on the plant itself.

Soil soaks are far more effective, as the plant absorbs some of the neem and becomes a systemic insecticide.

Any insect that bites into or pierces the plant will ingest the neem oil, destroying the infestation literally from the inside.

Soil soaks also have the added benefit of helping to treat root rot, kill grubs, and help protect against fungal and microbial infections.

The oil remains in your hibiscus for up to 22 days and may be applied every three weeks as a preventative.

Organic Neem OIl Spray for Plants

Neem Oil is our FAVORITE natural organic insecticide. Control aphids, mealybugs, plant scale, Japanese Beetles and more. It can also be used as a soil drench.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Hibiscus Treatment Tips

The application of neem oil on hibiscus can be particularly beneficial during the growing season when pests are most active.

Always test a small area 24 hours before using neem on the entire plant to ensure the plant will tolerate it.

Treat outdoor garden plants at dusk or dawn to prevent exposure to beneficial insects like bees, ladybugs, and butterflies. Avoid spraying flower buds if possible.

Avoid spraying near beehives or water features containing aquatic life, as neem is slightly toxic to fish, and droplets may be carried on the wind.

Always follow any product label instructions on the package, as the oil may vary slightly between companies.

Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using neem oil for aphids on hibiscus to maximize its effectiveness while safeguarding your garden.

When using clarified neem, aim for a lower Azadirachtin content unless dealing with a particularly bad infestation, as higher percentages increase the risk of a plant reaction.

Also, apply with caution when using edible plants like vegetables because it can be an irritant to some people.

Make sure to use neem oil as a preventive measure biweekly.

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