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Neem Oil - All Natural Garden Protector

Neem Oil - All Natural Garden Protector


Neem Oil - All Natural Pest Control!


Neem oil is a vegetable oil, which is harvested from the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), and is native to India, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Africa.  It is used as a natural insecticide and pesticide in gardening, as well as a product used in the cosmetic and natural health industry. This makes neem oil one of the safest options for keeping pesky bugs at bay in your garden and in your houseplants! Many families and organic gardeners will opt for neem oil instead of the chemical alternatives on the market because it is safe for people, pets and local wildlife.  Neem oil’s main ingredient interferes with insects’ normal life cycle because it is similar to insect hormones, so it acts as a deterrent to growth and reproduction. Neem oil is also a fungicide and can improve the quality of soil for agricultural uses. It is also harmless to invertebrates, meaning it won’t harm your beneficial bugs like earthworms!  Just a caution for use, neem oil can negatively affect your favourite pollinators, bees, so only use as needed! Or, simply avoid spraying your flowering plants while flowers are present on the plant to avoid harming your local bee population.


Neem is such an effective insecticide in part because it affects insects at many different stages in their life cycles. And also because it affects more than 300 different insect species. Each species is affected differently and to varying degrees.  Neem oil will disrupt the life cycle of the insect by inhibiting the development of eggs, larval stages or pupae.  It repels adults and larval stage insects as well as poisoning those that come in contact with the neem oil. 

The general consensus is that neem is a preferable alternative to insecticides like pyrethrum, which kills/harms insects on contact. Unlike pyrethrum, neem does not kill insects on contact. Rather, it has to be ingested in order to have a toxic effect  This means that it can be sprayed onto the foliage of plants to kill or deter many insects that suck sap or nibble leaves. Aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale, a range of other beetles and bugs are amongst the insect infestations that can be tackled in this way. 


To use your neem oil concentrated solution, you’re going to want to make yourself a spray bottle for easy application.  The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 Tbsp of pure neem oil.
  • 3-4 cups of warm water (depending on the size of your spray bottle)
  • 1 tsp of liquid soap (natural and neutral in pH)
  • 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (optional)

Add the ingredients to a 1L spray bottle and apply directly to affected areas of the plant.  Do not apply on a rainy day, as it will need time to work effectively before it is rinsed off. Re-apply after heavy rainfall.  Spray at dusk or dawn for best results (and to help minimize any damage to local pollinators). If you are concerned about the bees being effected, try to avoid spraying colourful flowering plants. 

How To Use Neem as a Fungicide

  • Add 2 tablespoons of 100% cold pressed neem oil to a gallon of water.
  • And 2 tablespoons of olive oil or almond oil.
  • Add 5 drops of rosemary oil.
  • And 5 drops of peppermint oil.
  • Stir well, and add the mix to a sprayer.
  • Spray the mix on affected plants, or as a preventative on nearby plants to which the disease might spread. 

Apply on  a cool, cloudy day without rain if possible.  Re-apply after rainfall. 


Benefits of Neem Oil

  • It's safe: use neem oil as an all natural insecticide as it is not harmful to people, plants, pets or local wildlife.  It will not harm earthworms or beneficial nematodes and other invertibrates. It only protects the immediate area that has been treated, so you are not damaging local eco-systems or waterways.  
  • It's affordable: One bottle will last you a long time, as you only need one Tbsp per application!  Don't forget to reapply after it rains!
  • It's effective: a simple solution to a complicated problem.  It really works for hundreds of species of insects and will kill all stages of the insect, meaning they won't just come back in a few days!  

Come on down to the garden centre and purchase yours today!

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