Are you looking for a natural way to protect your plants from pests and diseases? Neem oil might be the answer you’re looking for.
This organic oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree and has been used for centuries as a natural pesticide and fungicide. However, using neem oil can be tricky, especially when it comes to determining how much to use per gallon of water.
Too much neem oil can harm your plants, while too little won’t be effective. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of neem oil applications and provide you with the right amount to use per gallon for each one.
So, let’s dive in and learn how to use neem oil effectively to protect your plants!
How Much Neem Oil To Use Per Gallon?
The amount of neem oil to use per gallon of water depends on the type of application you’re going for. Here are the three most popular applications of neem oil and the recommended amount to use per gallon:
1. Foliar Sprays: Foliar sprays are perhaps the most common application of neem oil. These sprays usually use clarified hydrophobic neem oil with a low Azadirachtin concentration of .5 or 1% percent. As a general rule, you will use between 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce or 3-6 teaspoons) per gallon of water. For young plants, you will want to use the smaller amount, as their dermal layer is still very tender and easily burned. Older plants will accept any amount in this range, although you should check to find out if your plant has any sensitivities to neem before using a larger amount.
2. Fungicide or Insecticide: When using Neem Oil Concentrate 70% as a fungicide or insecticide, mix 2 tbsp. per 1 gallon of water. Spray all plant surfaces including the undersides of leaves until completely wet.
3. Homemade Pesticide: Creating an effective neem pesticide can occur with just three simple ingredients: pure neem oil, water, and a few drops of dish soap. To mix, use one (1) ounce of neem oil for every gallon of water. Add in a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mix and stir.
Understanding Neem Oil And Its Benefits
Neem oil is a natural and plant-based extract that has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Asia. It is made from the seeds of the neem tree and has a wide range of benefits and uses for beauty, wellness, and gardening. Neem oil is safe to use on most plants and houseplants, including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and ornamentals.
One of the main benefits of neem oil is its effectiveness as an insecticide to get rid of bugs on plants. It can also be used as a fungicide to control bacterial and fungal diseases on plants, as well as a soil drench liquid to get rid of spores and larva in the soil. Neem oil extract effectively eliminates a wide range of pests, including aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, and scale insects. Additionally, neem oil helps control black spots, powdery mildew, and rust on plants.
When using neem oil for gardening purposes, it’s important to follow specific mixing instructions listed on the product label. Cold-pressed neem oil is highly concentrated and needs to be diluted for use. You will need either a one-quart spray bottle for small applications or a one-gallon pump sprayer for larger applications. A small amount of horticultural soap or plant-safe liquid soap should be added to the suspension as an emulsifier to help the water and oil mix.
The amount of neem oil to use per gallon of water depends on the type of application you’re going for. For foliar sprays, you will typically use between 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce or 3-6 teaspoons) per gallon of water. For fungicide or insecticide purposes using Neem Oil Concentrate 70%, mix 2 tbsp. per 1 gallon of water. And for homemade pesticide purposes, mix one (1) ounce of neem oil for every gallon of water.
In addition to its effectiveness as a pesticide and fungicide, neem oil also has other benefits in the garden. It can help improve soil quality by increasing microbial activity, which helps break down organic matter into nutrients that plants can use. Additionally, neem oil can act as a natural plant growth stimulant by promoting root development and increasing nutrient uptake.
Types Of Neem Oil Applications
There are several types of neem oil applications, each with its own recommended amount of neem oil per gallon of water.
The first type is foliar sprays, which are the most common application of neem oil. To make a foliar spray, use clarified hydrophobic neem oil with a low Azadirachtin concentration of .5 or 1% percent. As a general rule, you will use between 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce or 3-6 teaspoons) per gallon of water. For young plants, use the smaller amount as their dermal layer is still very tender and easily burned. Older plants can accept any amount in this range, although you should check to find out if your plant has any sensitivities to neem before using a larger amount.
The second type is using neem oil as a fungicide or insecticide. In this case, mix 2 tablespoons of Neem Oil Concentrate 70% per 1 gallon of water. Spray all plant surfaces including the undersides of leaves until completely wet.
The third type is a homemade pesticide made with pure neem oil, water, and a few drops of dish soap. To mix, use one (1) ounce of neem oil for every gallon of water. Add in a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mix and stir.
Finally, there is the drenching application, which uses a 1% neem oil solution from a raw extract mixed properly with an emulsifying soap in a gallon of water. The mixture is then poured directly into the soil to saturate the roots and absorb the neem oil. This method makes the neem oil a systemic pesticide as the roots take the azadirachtin into its system. The recommended amount for this application is 3 tablespoons of crude neem oil per gallon of water.
It’s important to note that the total application rate of neem oil is 1-2 cups per 1000 square feet per year, which could be divided into small-dose, weekly sprayings or larger-dose, monthly sprayings. Always lean towards the lower end if your plants are small, like vegetables in spring. Additionally, it’s recommended to mix only the amount that you want to use immediately as the active ingredients in neem oil begin to decompose after being mixed with water.
How Much Neem Oil To Use For Foliar Spray
Foliar sprays are a popular way to apply neem oil to plants. To make a foliar spray, you will need a spray bottle, cold-pressed neem oil, liquid soap, and a gallon of water. The recommended amount of neem oil to use for a foliar spray is between 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce or 3-6 teaspoons) per gallon of water. However, for young plants, it is best to use the smaller amount as their dermal layer is still very tender and easily burned. Older plants can accept any amount in this range, although you should check to find out if your plant has any sensitivities to neem before using a larger amount.
To make a mild 0.5% basic neem oil spray, you will need 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of neem oil, 1 liter of warm water, and 1-2 ml (1/3 tsp) of mild liquid soap or another mild detergent. Mix the soap and water in a bottle or container and shake well to ensure the soap is completely dissolved. Then add in the neem oil and shake again. The most common concentration for regular and general garden use is 0.5-1%. You can still experiment with higher doses such as 2%, but be sure to add water if you increase the concentration.
For preventative measures, apply neem oil every two weeks. If you are trying to control an active pest infestation, spray your plants with neem oil once a week. It is crucial to shake the mixture often while applying it to keep the oil distributed throughout the mixture. Neem oil can be an effective and natural pesticide for your plants when used correctly.
How Much Neem Oil To Use For Soil Drench
When using neem oil for soil drench, the recommended amount is 1 teaspoon of 100% pure cold-pressed neem oil per quart of water or 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. This mixture is effective in combating soil-dwelling pests and fungus. It is important to only make as much as you need since the mixture will go bad after only a few days.
For larger applications such as trees and shrubs, pour 2 to 3 cups of the mixture at the base of the plant. If using for a larger plant, pour more quantity. It is also important not to water the same day of application and to water normally starting the next day. As a preventative remedy, repeat the application every 2 to 3 weeks.
It is important to note that neem oil should be used with caution and in moderation. Overuse can lead to phytotoxicity or harm to the plant, so it’s important to follow instructions carefully and not exceed recommended amounts. By using the appropriate amount of neem oil for soil drench, you can effectively control pests and fungus while keeping your plants healthy and safe.
How Much Neem Oil To Use For Seed Treatment
Seed treatment with neem oil is an effective way to protect your plants from pests and diseases. The recommended dosage for neem oil seed treatment is 10-20 ml/kg of seed. This means that for every kilogram of seed, you will use 10-20 milliliters of neem oil. It’s important to note that the exact amount of neem oil needed will depend on the specific seed you are treating and the severity of the pest or disease problem.
To apply neem oil as a seed treatment, mix the appropriate amount of neem oil with the seeds and stir well to ensure even coating. Allow the seeds to dry completely before planting. This will ensure that the neem oil adheres to the seed and provides maximum protection.
In addition to seed treatment, you can also use neem oil as a spray application for your plants. A 5% neem seed extract spray has been shown to be effective in keeping thrips incidence at a minimum level on respective days. When using neem oil as a spray application, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage on the label and to apply it during the morning or evening when there is no direct sunlight.
Safety Precautions When Using Neem Oil
While neem oil is generally considered safe to use, it’s important to take some precautions to avoid any potential adverse effects. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind when using neem oil:
1. Wear Protective Clothing: Always wear protective clothing, such as gloves and long-sleeved shirts, when handling neem oil. This will prevent any contact with your skin and minimize the risk of irritation.
2. Avoid Eye Contact: Neem oil can be an irritant to the eyes, so it’s important to avoid getting it in your eyes. If you do get neem oil in your eyes, flush them with cool water for at least 15 minutes.
3. Use Proper Dilution: Neem oil should always be diluted before use. Using undiluted neem oil can cause skin irritation and burning.
4. Use Neem Oil Sparingly: While neem oil is safe to use, it’s best to use it sparingly. Overuse can lead to a buildup of the oil in the soil, which can harm beneficial organisms and plant roots.
5. Apply at the Right Time: Apply neem oil either late in the evening (just before sunset) or very early in the morning to ensure it has time to dry on the plant before pollinators are active. Once dry, neem poses little to no risk to bees or other pollinating insects.
By following these safety precautions, you can safely use neem oil as an effective insecticide and fungicide in your garden without worrying about any potential harmful effects.