Neem Oil on Succulents | + how to use it
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Regardless of whether you grow succulents or perennials, when you start growing your plants your end goal is for them to become big and healthy.
However, many times, pests start eating away at your plants before they have time to start growing properly!
The good news is that you can get rid of pests on your cacti and succulents using neem oil. Neem oil is a natural pesticide that won’t damage these hardy plants but will keep them pest-free.
What Is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is obtained from the seeds and leaves of the Indian Neem (Azadirachta) tree. This oil can be extracted from most parts of the plant, but the seeds contain the highest concentration of insecticide.
Neem oil isn’t a new invention. In fact, it’s been around for hundreds of years as a natural antifungal agent and pesticide!
You’ve probably come across neem oil before in products without realizing it. For example, cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoos, and soaps are all common household items that may contain neem.
The reason why neem is such a handy substance is that it contains azadirachtin. Azadirachtin is a substance that’s toxic to pests, helping kill them in just a few days.
At the same time, it’s non-toxic to humans and animals. That means you can use neem oil on your plants without worrying about little babies (or furry babies) ingesting the substance.
If you want to use safe, non-toxic pesticides in your garden or home, neem oil is worth putting in your gardening shed.
Neem Oil vs. Pests
Okay, so you know that neem is a natural pesticide. But how does it work exactly?
Well, when you apply neem oil to the external parts of the plant (such as the leaves and stems), the plant absorbs the oil. The oil then seeps into the rest of the plant and spreads throughout its internal system.
Once the product enters the vascular system of the plants, the pests that feed on it start to ingest the oil. Since the oil is toxic to these pets, they’ll die and start to fall off your succulents.
Neem oil is used in the fight against tons of different household pests. A few pests you can get rid of using neem oil include:
- Greenhouse whitefly
- Spider mites
Due to its fungicidal properties, the oil can also be used in the event that your plants deal with problems such as grey mold, rust, or leaf spot.
Why Keeping Pests off Your Plants Is So Important
We know that plants (and especially indoor plants such as succulents) need our attention in order to grow to their full height. That means having a healthy mix of location, sunlight, water, and temperature.
The problem is that pests can climb on your plants and start eating away at the leaves. Suddenly, instead of being able to focus on growing healthily, your plants have to fight off the pests and heal themselves!
In terms of what pests eat away at succulents and cacti, there are a lot more than you might think. A few common pests include:
- Meal bugs
In most cases, these creepy crawlers get into your home through the ventilation systems or by waltzing in open doors and windows.
Once they’re in the home, they immediately get to work destroying your succulents!
How to Use Neem Oil on Plants
So, how do you use neem oil on plants, anyway?
As a matter of fact, it couldn’t be easier! All you have to do is prepare a quick solution:
- Start by pouring about a liter of warm water into a spray bottle.
- Next, add a couple of drops of liquid dish soap to the bottle.
- Then, add a few drops of neem oil. You don’t want to add more than 5ml of oil, as too much oil can damage your plants.
- Shake the solution so that it’s thoroughly mixed, and spritz it on your plants to kill off pests.
You can use your new pesticide on your plants once a month or even more frequently if you need to!
Pro Tip: You can only use the solution for up to 8 hours after you make it because after that amount of time has passed, it loses its pesticide properties. We recommend preparing only the amount of solution you need to spritz your plants at a time. That way, you avoid waste.
If you want to have healthy, beautifully growing plants in your home, you need to make sure they’re well protected from pests. One of the most effective methods for getting rid of creepy crawlies and unwanted critters is neem oil.
Now that you know that you can use neem oil on succulents and plants in general, will you try it for yourself? Who knows, it may become your new natural go-to!
Can You Use Neem Oil on a String of Hearts?
Yes! Neem oil is perfect for getting rid of pests on your plants, including a string of hearts. The oil can actually be used for indoor plants as well as for outdoor plants
Can You Use Neem Oil for Cactus?
Neem oil is appropriate for use on cacti and doesn’t harm bees or ladybugs who pollinate these plants. Instead, you can use the oil on your cactus plants to get rid of mites and other pests.
Can I Spray Neem Oil on the Cactus?
You can spray neem oil on your cactus plants as long as you use the right measurements. Adding too much Neem is where you can run into problems, as it can burn or even kill the plants.
Can Neem Oil Burn Succulents?
If neem oil isn’t used correctly, it can burn the leaves of your plants. For plants with delicate leaves, use half the dose of neem oil to avoid damaging the leaves.