Direction for Neem Oil as an Insecticide on Plants
Making And Using Neem Garden Spray
When making your own neem insect spray you can adjust the concentration to the purpose and situation.
There are no hard and fast rules, only guidelines.
Some insects are more persistent than others. For those you may want a stronger solution.
Regular spraying for prevention is different than fighting a severe infestation. A preventive spray can be more diluted.
For a neem garden spray 0.5% to 1% is a good general-purpose solution. Depending on the purpose you may want to increase that to up to 2%.
Use your own observations and common sense. Keep in mind that neem oil insecticide does not kill insects instantly. Wait for at least a week to judge the effects.
Neem Oil Amounts For Insect Spray
For 1 liter or 1 quart of a 0.5 % dilution of neem plant spray you need:
5 ml (1 tsp) neem oil (use pure, cold pressed oil)
1-2 ml (1/3 tsp) insecticidal soap or other detergent
1 liter (1 quart) warm water
Just multiply these amounts if you want to make a bigger batch.
If you want to make a more concentrated batch multiply both the amount of neem oil and the amount of soap used.
For 4 gallons of a 1% solution of neem spray you need:
6.5 oz neem oil
5 tsps insecticidal soap
4 gallons of water
If you have trouble dissolving the oil, use more detergent.
Use a high quality, organic, cold pressed oil such as Naked Neem.
Use warm water if possible. If making a large batch, first make a premix in a small amount of warm water, then add that to the rest of the water into the big container.
Mix the warm water with the soap first!
Then slowly add the oil while stirring vigorously.
Fill the mix into your sprayer.
(Or fill the premix into your sprayer, which should already contain the rest of the water. Mix well.)
Keep shaking or otherwise agitating the mix while spraying.
Use the mixture within eight hours.
Spray the neem insecticide solution on all the leaves, especially the undersides where insects like to hide. If you have plenty drench the soil around the roots as well. It does not hurt, neem oil is actually good for your soil.
Use your neem insect spray as quickly as possible, definitely within eight hours. Once mixed with water the neem oil starts breaking down. Always make a fresh batch for spraying, and only prepare the amount you need.
How often should you use neem garden spray? The suggestions below are general guidelines. Keep a close eye on things and fine tune as needed. If you are worried about sensitive plants, spray just a little bit in a small area, wait for a day or two, and see what happens. If you use insecticidal soap you should not have any problems.
Neem plant spray as a preventative measure: Spray once a fortnight using a 0.5 % solution. This should prevent any insect problems in the first place.
Neem insect spray to fight an infestation: When spraying the first time, thoroughly drench all leaves and the soil around the plant. Then spray once a week until the problem disappears. If it rains you may need to respray sooner. If you are dealing with a less sensitive insect species you may need to increase the concentration of the neem spray. See how you go.
- maryann stanger