Benefits and Uses of Neem Oil for Plants

If you are searching for a safe and effective way to eliminate diseases and insects in your garden, AGRIKULTURE TODAY recommends Neem oil. It’s an organic and effective solution for your most difficult-to-manage problems.

Neem oil is a naturally occurring product of the neem tree. It has been used as a natural pesticide for centuries. The oil is extracted from the leaves and seeds of the Neem tree. People have used the neem plant for its medicinal properties for hundreds of years.

With all the benefits, Neem oil is most well-known for its use as a safe and efficient insecticide. Let’s look at some of the benefits and uses of neem oil within the gardens.

It’s Organic 

Neem oil is natural and biodegradable. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that neem oil has zero adverse consequences, making it safe for the U.S. population and the environment.

In order to extract the oil, the neem seeds are crushed and mixed with water. Neem oil could contain various active chemicals based on how the oil is processed. Some products are created by cold pressing neem seeds or after further processing oil from neem.

Available in a Range of Formulations

Neem oil is available in a range of concentrations and formulas which means you can choose the most suitable one for your requirements. It may be combined with insecticide soap to increase the power in killing pests.

Neem products are available in various types, including:

  • Dust
  • Granules
  • Wettable powders
  • Emulsifiable Concentrates

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Easy to Apply 

Whatever concentration of neem oil you choose to use, all you have to do is mix it with water, then spray it onto the leaves of your plants. Follow the directions on the label to ensure you are mixing the correct proportions of water and oil.

Great Foliar Spray

Neem oil is known to kill insects in a variety of stages. You can use it for dormant-season applications to eliminate winter pests and eggs. You can also use it as a foliar spray to stop and repel insects. It is effective against various insects, such as leaf rollers, caterpillars, eggs of other caterpillars that remain on plant leaves throughout the winter months, aphids that cause leaf curling subsequent spring, and various mites that linger on plant leaves and scale insects.

You can also apply neem oil for foliar sprays throughout the season of growth to manage common pests like aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.

Doesn’t Affect Water Quality

Since neem oil is non-toxic and biodegradable, it won’t pollute groundwater or create toxic runoff into streams or other lakes. 

Safe For Use 

Synthetic pesticides build up within the surrounding environment and leave a toxic residue that could harm or cause death to animals and pets within the vicinity. Neem oil, on the contrary, is non-toxic and biodegradable. It’s safe for birds and pets. It is rapidly degraded during rain or under UV rays.

Doesn’t Cause “Death Zones” 

Neem oil insecticide does not cause an unnatural zone around trees, plants, or other shrubs, unlike synthetic insecticides. It only targets leaf-sucking or chewing insects. Synthetic pesticides move away from the areas that are sprayed to form “death zones” that can be fatal to beneficial insects and other creatures.

Does Not Harm Butterflies, Bees, and Ladybugs

Chemical pesticides impede bees’ capacity to take in food, which ultimately results in their deaths. Neem oil, when utilized in small amounts, won’t cause harm to large or medium-sized honey bees or hives, which means you can keep your plants and pollinators alive.

Because neem oil is only effective against insects that bite leaves, insecticides made from neem oil are safe for ladybugs, butterflies, and a variety of other beneficial insects and pollinators.

Manage Insects At Any Stage of Development

Neem oil kills bugs at all development stages, whether an egg, larvae, or adult. If insects come in contact with neem oil, it prevents them from developing into the next growth phase by altering the hormones that regulate development. The active chemical present in the oil neem (Azadirachtin), azadirachtin eliminates insects in various ways, such as:

  • In the form of an antifeedant
  • A hormone disruptor
  • By Smothering

Effectively Manages More Than 200 Insect Species

Neem oil is a potent pesticide that eliminates more than 200 insect species, such as white flies, aphids, mites, scale, leafhoppers, caterpillars, mealybugs, and thrips.

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Do Not Harm Earthworms 

Earthworms are beneficial for the soil of your garden. When they dig their way through the soil, they form pathways that allow air and water to reach the plant’s roots. They also release excrement known as casts which contain soil nutrients that include nitrogen, potassium, and Phosphorus. After earthworms die, their bodies decay and aid in fertilizing the soil.

Although conventional chemical pesticides may cause harm to earthworms, Neem oil can have the opposite impact by encouraging earthworms to be active.

Effective Against Nematodes

Nematodes can be challenging to control and highly damaging to the plants. Neem oil has been proven effective in controlling root-knot nematodes – among the worst varieties. It is effective in preventing larvae from developing.

Control Lawn Grubs 

Lawn Grubs are the larval phase of Japanese beetles. They are extremely damaging on your lawn. Grubs tunnel through lawns and nibble on grass roots. You will see huge brown or barren spots in areas of intense activity in grubs.

Neem oil is also used to manage Japanese beetles by stopping the eggs from hatching and turning into destructive larvae. Also, it inhibits the growth of grubs and wards off the grass root. For the best results, spray your lawn with neem oils at night and apply the following rainfall again.

Neem Cakes are Beneficial Fertilizers and Insecticides

A neem cake is created out of organic manure, a byproduct of cold-pressed neem kernel and neem fruit. They function as an insecticide and fertilizer by enriching the soil by increasing the amount of nitrogen. As discussed, they also aid in controlling white ants, nematodes, and grubs.

Safe To Use Indoors 

Neem oil is safe indoors to protect plants from diseases and pests. Simply spray the plant leaves to kill insects without fearing harm to your children or pets at home.

Safe to Use in Greenhouses

The greenhouse conditions make the perfect habitat for mites, aphids, scale bugs, and whiteflies. Do not give these pests the chance to take over your garden! Neem oil is used to keep the insects away from ruining your plants.

Neem Oil Bactericide

Neem oil is a powerful weapon against fire blight. It is a bacteria-related disease that causes plant leaves to turn brown and appear burnt. To avoid fire blight, spray them with neem oil when they are dormant. 

Neem Oil Fungicide

Neem oil can be used to stop or kill the fungus in plants. Utilize the oil to treat powdery mildew as well as other common fungal infections, such as black spot, scab, rust, leaf spot, anthracnose, and blight. 

To stop fungi from growing, spray the plants for 7 to 14 days until the fungus is gone, and then repeat the spraying every two weeks in order to stop it from recurring.

Protects Fruit Trees 

Whether you have an orchard or just a handful of orchards in your yard, you can manage the pests with neem oil. Worms frequently infect apple trees. The two most prevalent are moth and mealworm. The worms infest the apple and render them inedible to eat.

To ensure that the fruit tree and berry bushes are insect-free, spray your trees and plants early when they bloom and again after the petals fall, and then every two weeks to keep them free of insects.

Berries are frequently affected by powdery mildew and other fungal infections, which can be treated using Neem oil, including fire blight and verticillium wilt.

Protects Vegetables 

Neem oil serves as a pesticide and also an insecticide. It is effective against arthropod pests that eat your food, like tomato hornworms, corn earworms, aphids, and whiteflies. Furthermore, it also fights the common fungi that thrive on vegetable plants, including mildews, rusts, leaf spots, wilts, and brown stems.

Spray your vegetables with neem oil in the evening and then again at dawn. Spraying during these times can help ensure that you don’t cause any damage to beneficial insects, like bees, which aid in pollinating vegetable plants.

Protects Nut Trees 

The fall webworms, similar to the tent caterpillar, are the most frequent insects for pecan and walnut trees. Webworms build silky nests inside the crotches on tree branches. They can destroy the host tree’s leaves, fruits, and nuts. To eliminate caterpillars and worms from trees, the neem oil needs to get into contact with the pests as you apply it.

Use All Through the Season

Pesticides aren’t permitted in certain phases of plant growth. However, the neem oil can be used throughout the season up to the day you harvest. This means that your plants will never be without protection.

Keeps Mosquitoes Away

Neem oil you spray your plants with to shield them from insects, viruses, and fungus will also help keep your garden free of mosquitoes. 

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