How many times have you went to check on your plants and saw that the leaves have started to change color and little bite marks have appeared all over them?
I’ve taken the responsibility to find a cure for this problem once and for all by sharing with you my recipe on how to make neem oil spray for indoor plants.
Rest assured, this simple yet effective recipe will surely be the solution of your problems, and your plants will bloom and blossom without any interference.
What Is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is as a type of vegetable oil which is pressed from the fruits and seeds of an evergreen tree mostly found in the Indian subcontinent often called neem, nim tree or Indian lilac.
The oil itself has a very potent odor resembling that of peanut and garlic; also it varies in color which can be in the range of golden yellow, some shades of brown and even bright red.
The neem oil has all kinds of uses from skin care, traditional medicine and yes, pesticide.
It’s very useful when you want to recover a plant which has been infected by pests and the diseases they carry; also it acts as a shield for future insect attacks.
DIY Time! How to Make Neem Oil Spray
If you happen to find neem seeds or leaves and want to make the oil yourself, do know that the best neem oil spray for plants is made with cold-pressed oil and we will go over the process step by step.
1. Neem Oil Extraction from Leaves:
You will need a jar with a tight lid, fresh neem leaves, and coconut oil.
Wash the leaves and set them on a paper towel to dry.
Put the leaves in the jar without filling it to the brim. Then, pour the coconut oil so that it covers the leaves.
Keep the jar in room temperature and away from sunlight for two weeks.
After two weeks open the jar and sieve the oil. You will get fresh neem oil that is ready to be used!
2. Neem Oil Extraction from Seeds:
You will need about 500 grams of neem seeds, a blender or a pestle and mortar, a bowl of water.
Crush the seeds either using a blender or a pestle until you get it nicely grounded.
Put the crushed neem seeds in a bowl and pour water over them.
Once you stir, you will see the oil rising on the surface, keep stirring to get more oil.
Skim the oil off and put it in a container of your choice.
Depending on the way you make it DIY neem oil can vary in its purity. So, keep that in mind if you decide to make it yourself.
Make The Right Dose
Once you have your neem oil, whether you made it yourself or bought it from a store, in order to make your neem oil spray for plants, you will have to decide how much of it you want to make.
I typically make 20 liters at a time, but for domestic purposes 1 liter will be more than enough to prevent the insects from attacking your plants, depending on how many plants you have.
For 1 liter of neem oil spray, you will need:
- 5ml or one tablespoon of fresh cold-pressed neem oil.
- 1-2ml of insecticidal soap or detergent.
- 1l of warm water.
- Mix it all together and put it in a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle in order to get all the ingredients to mix up.
- Use the spray within 8 hours, because the neem oil starts to break down in the water after a while.
If you want to make a larger amount just multiply the amount of neem oil and insecticide with the amount of water.
1. How to use Neem Oil Spray?
Typically you spray the leaves with the oil on both sides and leave them to dry.
If the plant is already infected repeat the process in 2-3 days, but if you are using it as a preventative measure spray the plants every two or three weeks.
2. Is Neem Oil Safe for Plants?
Yes, it is, as I mentioned before it’s organic, so you don’t have to worry about the oil damaging your plants.
If anything, it will repair them and serve as protection against pests.
As for humans are concerned, neem oil isn’t that good for your health if you consume more than 20ml.
Studies suggest that pregnant women and children should stay away from it because it can damage the liver.
3. Neem Leaves or Neem Seeds?
This is a popular question which is frequently asked by people who want to make the neem oil themselves but can’t decide whether to use seeds or leaves.
It’s pretty simple, seeds produce a larger amount of pure oil opposed to the leaves which when you make the oil by covering them in coconut oil produce a larger amount of oil by itself, but the oil isn’t as pure as the one you get when you use seeds.
At the end of the day, the amount of oil the leaves give is compensated by its purity so either way, you get the neem oil just in a varied concentration.
Benefits Of Using Neem Oil
What separates neem oil from other pesticides you may ask?
- Well, for starters, it’s organic, meaning it doesn’t contain chemicals and isn’t harmful to plants.
- Second, when used as a pesticide, the way it works is that it clogs and disables the insect’s mouth-opening and breathing tube and quickly kills them when they try to eat your plant.
- Third, it acts as a safety precaution in order to stop the insects in their tracks. So, you won’t have to worry about seeing them ever.
- If you have some oil left, feel free to use it on your skin. It’s a great way to cure acne and wrinkles.
As I said, it’s all natural, and your flowers will be thankful because many commercial insecticides contain chemicals.
These, in high dosage, can have a negative effect or even kill the plants and we certainly don’t want that to happen.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but when you add a little neem oil in the mix that isn’t the case.
Those nasty little insects sure do have some courage nibbling on our plants.
But not for long because neem oil acts quickly and kills them if not instantly then in the course of 2-3 days.
Safety is the number one priority of any job, so think of the neem oil as a construction hat and the bugs as the debris.
There will be no injuries at work as far as the neem oil is concerned.
Related: Homemade Bug Spray for Veggies
1. DIY Neem Oil or Commercial?
In my opinion, it’s better to buy the neem oil mainly because the purity is richer than in the DIY oil, but I also understand the need for making your own oil.
Because, neem oil is pretty pricey, to say the least, however it will surely save you time and effort.
I have bought one on Amazon that works pretty good so far, and it’s not that pricey.
Have a look at Verdana cold pressed neem oil.
2. How to Apply Neem Oil to the Soil?
Simply pour the mixture from the spray bottle on the soil and drench it every 2-3 weeks.
Don’t over-do it because, like watering the plants too much, it can harm them.
This is also a good way to restore the plants if you are facing a “bug problem”, and also acts as protection for any future infestation.
3. What Type of Bugs Does Neem Oil Kill?
Neem oil kills and repels: aphids, whiteflies, snails, nematodes, cabbage worms, gnats, moths, cockroaches, termites, flies, mealy bugs, scale, and mosquitoes.
The way it does it is by repelling the insects from eating the plants with its bitter taste.
It is also blocking the action of the insect molting hormone called ecdysone (for all of you chemists out there who were wondering).
All in all, you will surely fix your problem of insect infestation by using this neem oil spray for plants.
Also, with frequent usage, you will ensure that the pests don’t come back again.
There are many different ways to protect your plants from insects.
I’ve found this one to be one of the best, and it’s a method that won’t damage your precious plants.
The spray is easy to make and ready to use the moment you make it.
The oil is organic, so it won’t do any harm.
And the most important- the bugs will wish they never bit a leaf of your flower in the first place.
Feel free to try the spray on any type of plant.
If you have already noticed that it’s infected, act quickly so the disease doesn’t spread to any of your other plants.
Best wishes and happy gardening.
Do you have problems with bugs? Feel free to contact me so I can offer some alternatives. Or share with us your thoughts in the comments below.