There are tons of products on the market today that are ideal for killing bugs and eliminating molds that can damage your house plants. However, the majority of them involve harsh and dangerous chemicals. So, why not try something a little more natural?
You can spritz neem oil onto indoor plants using warm water, half a teaspoon of neem oil, and a few drops of dish soap. By covering the entire plant and soil, you can effectively kill tons of common houseplant pests and a variety of fungi that tend to destroy indoor plants.
If you are interested in trying neem oil on your indoor plants, this article is perfect for you. Here we will discuss the benefits of this product along with all the steps you should take to get the job done right.
Why Use Neem Oil on Indoor Plants
Before we get into all the ways you can use neem oil on your indoor plants, let’s take a quick second to talk about why you would want to do this in the first place.
Neem oil is beneficial to plants and highly effective at killing harmful insects and wiping out fungal disease. Not only does neem oil act as a strong and natural pesticide and fungicide, but it also prevents the issues from coming back.
If you are struggling with any of the harmful insects listed below, neem oil could be the best solution for your pest infestation.
- A variety of mites
- Fruit flies
- Fire ants
- Scale insects
- Japanese beetle bugs
- Fungus gnats
- Tomato hornworms
Below is a list of various fungal diseases neem oil can effectively destroy and prevent if added to your potted indoor plants.
- Powdery mildew
- Leaf spot
- Tip blight
What Is Neem Oil?
It appears that neem oil is very efficient and effective when it comes to keeping house plants happy and healthy, but what exactly is it?
Pure neem oil is a natural pesticide that comes from Azadirachta indica or the neem tree. The oil is extracted from these seeds through a pressing process, providing us with potent, natural chemicals that are ideal for safely eliminating plant pests and disease.
How Do You Use Neem Oil on Indoor Plants?
There are many ways you can use neem oil on indoor plants. You can dip a q-tip into a container and gently wipe the leaves, or you can completely wash your plant, from leaf to stem. But the most popular and easiest way is to put some in a spray bottle and gently mist your plants.
7 Steps for Using Neem Oil on Indoor Plants
The stage is set. You now know all you need to know about neem oil and how it plays such a beneficial role in houseplant health, so without further ado, here are seven steps for using neem oil that really work.
Step 1: Prep Your Plants
Rid all of your plants of dust and debris before spraying the neem oil on them. This will ensure you get proper coverage for the best results.
You should always wear gloves and protective eye gear when using neem spray and ensure you are applying it at the perfect time of day.
Never spray neem oil on your house plant while it is exposed to direct sunlight. Either remove the plant from sunlight at the time of application or only spray it early in the morning or later at night.
It would be frustrating and a waste of time if the solution evaporates away before it has a chance to be effective.
Step 2: Mix Your Solution
If you choose to make your own solution rather than buying one, you’ll want to mix it up beforehand and ensure it is properly prepped.
One of the most popular mixes for neem oil solutions is ½ tsp of 100% neem oil, warm water, and a few drops of Dawn dish soap mixed into a 16-ounce spray bottle.
Step 3: Test the Mixture
Before spraying the entire plant with the natural pesticide solution, try spraying just a little bit of the mixture onto a small portion of the foliage.
Then, wait for 24 hours to ensure your plant isn’t going to have a negative reaction to the mixture.
Step 4: Spray the Entire Plant
If nothing happens to the test spot, it is time to cover the entire plant with your mixture.
Spray a consistent and generous amount of the solution to all areas of your plant, soil, and around the pot.
Spraying the pot itself can help keep any outside bugs from crawling up the container, never having the chance to get to the foliage inside.
Step 5: Soak the Soil
Soaking the soil with neem oil solution can protect the roots of your plants by killing any larvae that may have taken up residency there.
While using the solution you made to wipe down your plants is a good way to mix it into the soil, you can also add a tiny bit of neem oil to your watering can, using a very diluted mix frequently.
Step 6: Allow Time to Dry
Neem oil needs time to dry before you should expose the plant to sunlight or any added watering. You want the solution to create a protective yet light barrier on the plant to ensure it will be effective.
If you wash the solution away too soon or allow the sunlight to help it evaporate away, you might not get the outcome you were hoping for.
Another reason you want to keep your plant out of the sun while treating it with neem oil spray is to prevent it from burning.
Some people believe that neem oil solution can burn plant leaves, a thought that isn’t backed up by scientific evidence. However, spraying the solution on your leaves while the hot sun beams are directly in contact with the plant can lead to scorching.
Step 7: Keep an Eye on Your Plant and Reapply As Needed
Once you apply the mixture, don’t assume the problem will disappear permanently. More often than not, the plant will require repeated applications.
It is recommended you use the solution at least once a week for up to a month to ensure all of the insect, larvae, eggs, and mildew have been wiped out.
Once the infestation is under control, you can use the solution every 3-4 weeks as maintenance.
Would You Rather Wipe Down the Leaves?
If you are simply being proactive or have small plants that you would much rather wipe down the leaves than spot spray, you can use this method rather than a bottle.
Most people that prefer wiping down their plants with neem oil will use cotton balls, paint brushes, or a small sponge.
Needless to say, this method will take quite a bit of time, but it is also much more thorough than the spray bottle.
Summing Things Up
Neem oil is a great way to go when you want to eliminate fungal takeovers or insect infestations in your home safely and naturally.
By using the methods and steps listed above, you can rest assured your indoor plants will be breathing a sigh of relief after a few easy treatments.
Do you still have questions regarding the use of neem oil on indoor plants? Well, we have the answers.
Can You Use Neem Oil on All Plants?
While neem oil is safe to use on most plants, there are a few you should never spray with this solution. These include basil, parsley, peas, spinach, cilantro, chives, lettuce, etc.
Most herbs and leafy vegetables should be left out of the spray lineup.
You should also avoid adding the oil to plants with furry leaves or spikes since these are not flat surfaces and won’t get good coverage.
Can You Use Too Much Neem Oil?
A nice, healthy dose of neem oil covering an entire plant is the best way to get the most benefits. However, if you overdo it by not diluting the oil enough or spraying too often, you can suffocate your plants.
Is Neem Oil Safe?
Yes, you can feel comfortable using this natural product on houseplants and around pets and children. However, neem oil should never be ingested.