What Are The Uses For Neem Oil?

Last Updated
uses for neem oil
uses for neem oil

Neem oil is a natural oil extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, which is native to India and other parts of South Asia. The uses for neem oil are well known to medicine and agriculture for centuries. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties. In gardening, neem oil is commonly used as a natural pesticide to control pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. It is also used as a fungicide to control diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot.

This page contains affiliate links for items discussed. If you take action after clicking a link, I may earn some money, which will (probably) go to the cat food fund. Thank you!

What are some benefits of using neem oil for perennials planted in the garden?

The uses for neem oil provide several benefits for perennials planted in the garden:

  1. Insect control: Neem oil has insecticidal properties and can help control a variety of pests that can damage your plants, including aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs.
  2. Fungal control: Neem oil is also effective against fungal diseases that can affect perennials, such as powdery mildew and black spot
black spot on a plant can use neem oil image scot nelson flickr
Black Spot, Image by Scot Nelson, flickr

3. Natural and safe: Neem oil is a natural and safe option for controlling pests and diseases in your garden, as it does not contain harsh chemicals that can harm beneficial insects, animals, or the environment.

4. Promotes plant health: Neem oil can improve the overall health of your perennials by promoting healthy growth and increasing their resistance to pests and diseases.

5. Easy to use: Neem oil is easy to apply and can be sprayed directly onto your perennials or added to the soil to help control pests and diseases.

Is regular use of neem oil for flowers in the garden a good idea?

The uses for neem oil can be a good idea for flowers in the garden, as it can help prevent and control various pest and fungal issues.

aphids can be defeated using neem oil image scot nelson flickr
This is a job for Neem Oil! Aphids on a Hibiscus.
Image, Scot Nelson, flickr

However, it’s important to follow the instructions on the neem oil product carefully and not overapply it, as this can potentially harm beneficial insects and other non-target organisms. It’s also a good idea to spot test a small area before applying it to the entire plant, as some plants may be sensitive to neem oil.

How should it be used on my garden plants and flowers?

To administer neem oil to plants, you can dilute the neem oil in water and apply it using a spray bottle or a garden sprayer. The recommended dilution ratio varies depending on the intended use and the concentration of the neem oil, so be sure to read the instructions carefully before use.

Can I use it on my vegetable garden?

Yes, the uses for neem oil include vegetable and fruit gardens. It is a natural and safe alternative to chemical pesticides and can help control a variety of pests that can damage vegetable crops, including aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.

Additionally, it’s recommended to stop using neem oil on fruits and vegetables at least two weeks before harvest to ensure that no residue remains on the produce.

neem oil is safe for vegetable gardens image dianna ott flickr
A salad bar in the making! Image,
Dianna Ott, flickr

Finally, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and apply it correctly to avoid any harm to the plants or to beneficial insects.

How should neem oil be used on my fruit and vegetable garden?

For vegetable or fruit plants, it is recommended to apply the neem oil in the evening when bees and other pollinators are less active. Be sure to apply the neem oil directly to the plant and avoid getting it on any part of the vegetable or fruit that you plan to eat. It’s also important to note that neem oil should not be used on plants intended for consumption within 7 days of application.

Is neem oil safe for humans and pets?

Neem oil is generally considered safe for people and pets when used as directed.

Neem oil is considered safe to use around pets image eric sonstroem flickr
Dogs being dogs in the backyard!
Image by Eric Sonstroem, flickr

However, it is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully and avoid getting neem oil in your eyes or mouth. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. It is also recommended to keep pets and children away from treated areas until the neem oil has dried.

Will wildlife be deterred by neem oil in my garden?

baby bear backyard image by tiflex2 flickr
If you have baby bears in your backyard, please take a photo! Image by Tiflex2, flickr

Neem oil is not known to harm wildlife, but it is possible that some animals may be deterred by the scent of neem oil. However, this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall wildlife in your garden. It is always a good idea to apply neem oil in the evening when bees and other pollinators are less active to avoid any potential harm to them.

What insects does it inhibit?

Neem oil has been found to be effective against a wide range of insect pests, including aphids, mites, scale insects, whiteflies, mealybugs, and caterpillars. It has also been shown to have antifungal properties that can help prevent and control diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot on roses.

Additionally, neem oil has been used as a natural insect repellent to deter pests like mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches.

Are there any plants NOT to use neem oil on?

Yes, uses for neem oil on some plants may be sensitive and could have adverse reactions when treated with it. Some examples include ferns, some orchids, and some Japanese maples.

some orchids might not handle neem oil well image peter miller flickr
Some orchids may not handle Neem Oil well.
Image Peter Miller, flickr

It is always best to test neem oil on a small area of the plant first and wait a few days to observe any adverse reactions before treating the entire plant. Additionally, it is important to follow the instructions on the neem oil product label for the best results and to avoid any potential harm to the plant.

Do you spray neem oil on soil or leaves?

Neem oil is typically sprayed onto the leaves of the plant and the surrounding soil, as it works as a contact and systemic pesticide. The oil should be applied evenly to the foliage and stems of the plant, making sure to cover both the top and bottom of the leaves. It’s important to follow the instructions on the neem oil product label for specific application rates and methods.

Does it hurt beneficial insects like bees or lady bugs?

Neem oil is generally considered safe for beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs when applied properly. However, it is still best to avoid spraying neem oil directly on bees and other pollinators to prevent any potential harm.

bee in garden on a swamp milk weed be carful to not spray bees or animals directly with neem oil
Summer garden bed, image by author

Additionally, neem oil can harm some beneficial insects like predatory mites, so it is important to use it selectively and only when necessary.

How long does it take for neem oil to work?

In general, neem oil takes a few days to a week to start working on pests. It can last up to two weeks after application, but its potency decreases over time. It is recommended to apply neem oil every 7-14 days, depending on the severity of the infestation, until the problem is resolved.

The effectiveness of neem oil depends on various factors such as the type and severity of the infestation, the frequency of application, and the concentration of the neem oil solution.

Is neem oil organic?

Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and is considered a natural and organic pesticide.

While neem oil is a natural product, not all preparations are necessarily certified organic.

However, not all neem oil products are certified organic. It is important to read the label and make sure the product is certified organic if that is a priority for you. Additionally, some neem oil products may contain additional ingredients that are not organic, so it is important to read the label carefully before use.

How does neem oil actually work? What does it do?

Neem oil is a natural pesticide derived from the seeds of the neem tree. It works by disrupting the insect’s hormonal balance and inhibiting their ability to feed and reproduce, leading to their eventual demise. Neem oil also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it useful for controlling plant diseases as well. When applied to plants, neem oil coats the insects and fungi, suffocating them and preventing them from spreading. It is also absorbed by the plant tissue, providing residual protection against future infestations.

Wrapping It Up

Neem oil is available in convenient spray bottles at your nearby nursery or general hardware store. I always have a bottle of it around, and have found it a terrific insect/aphid repellant that is chemical free, and it’s not expensive.

Have you had good or bad experience with Neem oil? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo of author

Author

After years of denying it, Donald finally admits one passion in life is gardening. More specifically: growing seeds, plants, flowers and edibles and helping them to be the best possible. Neighbors call him a Green Thumb. He lives in Western Washington with his wife of 24+ years and three cats.

Leave a Comment