How to Use Neem Oil on Houseplants?

If you’re a plant lover, you’ll want to read this! Houseplants not only do they add life and color to your home, but they also help purify the air. But did you know there’s a natural way to keep them healthy and free of pests? Neem oil is an all-natural product made from the neem tree that you can use to protect your plants from insects, fungus, and disease.

This article will show you how to use neem oil on houseplants to keep them healthy and free of pests. I’ll also share some tips on how to make your neem oil spray at home.

Neem Oil and Its Benefits to Plants

Neem oil is an all-natural insecticide that comes from the seeds of the neem tree. Neem oil is a safe and effective way to eliminate pesky pests on your plants. It works by suffocating the pests and disrupting their hormone systems, which prevents them from being able to reproduce.

It is also a great way to prevent fungal diseases from taking hold in your garden. You can purchase neem oil at most garden centers or online. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label when using neem oil, as it can harm your plant’s growth if misused.

Ways to Use Neem Oil in Your Plants

Neem oil is a powerful natural insecticide that you can use in many different ways. You can use it as a foliar spray, soil drench, or root dip. It’s essential to know how to use neem oil properly. Let’s have a look at each!

Foliar Spray

To make a neem oil foliar spray, mix the appropriate amount of neem oil with water in a clean spray bottle. Be sure to shake well before each use. You can also add a small amount of dish soap to help the mixture spread more evenly and stick to the leaves better.

Now that your neem oil spray is ready, it’s time to apply it to your plants! Start by spraying the undersides of the leaves, as this is where most pests like to hide. Be sure to get all sides of the leaves, including the top and bottom. Once spraying all the leaves, give the plant a final misting.

If you’re dealing with a terrible infestation, you may need to apply the neem oil spray every few days or even days until the pests are gone. However, check your plants regularly and reduce application if you notice any signs of stress, such as wilting leaves or discoloration.

As with any new treatment, it’s always a good idea to test the neem oil spray on a small section of your plant before applying it to the entire plant.

This will help you gauge how your plant reacts and ensure that you don’t accidentally damage it. If all goes well, enjoy your pest-free plants!

Soil Drench

To use neem oil as a soil drench, mix one tablespoon of neem oil with one gallon of water. Pour the mixture into a watering can and apply it to the base of your plants.

Be sure to saturate the soil, as this will help the neem oil work its way up the plant. You can apply neem oil every two weeks or as needed.

Root Dip

To use neem oil as a root dip, you will need to mix it with water in a ratio of one part neem oil to two parts water. You can either dip the roots of your plants into the mixture or apply it directly to the soil around the base of the plant. Leave the mixture on for around an hour before washing it off with clean water.

You should only use neem oil as a root dip on healthy houseplants and not suffer from pests or diseases. If you are using it to treat a plant already infested with pests, you will need to increase the ratio of neem oil to water.

For example, if treating a plant with aphids, you should mix one part neem oil with four parts water.

In addition to these three methods, you can add a few drops of oil to your houseplant watering can. This will help to prevent pests from even getting started in the first place.

Best Candidates for Neem Oil Treatment

Neem oil treatment can be used on various plants, but some are better candidates than others. When choosing a plant to treat with neem oil, consider its size, age, and vulnerability to pests and disease.

Younger plants are generally more resilient and can better withstand treatment, while older plants may be more delicate.

Larger plants will also require more neem oil to treat effectively. Perennial plants are also good candidates for neem oil treatment, as they need less frequent treatment than annuals.

Some of the best plants to treat with neem oil include roses, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and squash. These plants are vulnerable to several pests and diseases, making them ideal candidates for neem oil treatment.

Treating these plants with neem oil allows you to control pests and diseases without harming the plants themselves effectively.

Neem Oil is Effective Against Soft Body Insects

Neem oil is most effective against soft-bodied insects such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that you can find on various plants. They range from green to black and often have a waxy coating. Aphids are usually found in groups on the undersides of leaves or stems. Some species of aphids can also fly.

Aphids feed on plant sap, which can cause damage to the plant. They can also transmit diseases from one plant to another. Aphids are a significant pest to crops and gardens.


Whiteflies are tiny insects that usually lie on the undersides of leaves. They are often mistaken for white moths or aphids.

Whiteflies get their food from plant sap, which can cause leaves to be yellow and eventually die. In large infestations, whiteflies can weaken and even kill plants.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a type of arachnid related to spiders that can be found worldwide. These tiny pests are especially fond of warm, dry environments and are often found in greenhouses or gardens. While they may seem harmless at first glance, spider mites can do a lot of damage to plants.

Spider mites feed from plants, and their feeding turns the leave yellow or brown. In addition, spider mite webs can block sunlight from reaching the leaves, further stunting plant growth. If left unchecked, spider mites can kill a plant outright.

Reason Why Neem Oil Is Effective for Soft Insects

One of the reasons neem oil is effective against soft-body insects is because it contains azadirachtin. Azadirachtin is a substance that acts as an insecticide, antifeedant, and growth regulator.

When insects ingest or come into contact with azadirachtin, they cannot properly digest their food.

This substance also interferes with the insect’s molting process, preventing them from maturing and reproducing. Azadirachtin is found in all parts of the neem tree, but it is most concentrated in the seeds.

In addition to azadirachtin, neem oil contains other effective compounds against insects, such as triterpenes and limonoids. Triterpenes are compounds that can disrupt the insect’s exoskeleton, while limonoids act as an insecticide and growth regulators.

Neem oil is also known to be an effective repellent against many types of insects, including mosquitoes.

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Neem Oil can Deal With Fungal Diseases

Neem oil is effective against many fungi, including powdery mildew, black spot, downy mildew, and rust.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can affect several plants. The fungus grows on the plant’s surface, causing a white or gray powdery growth. Powdery mildew can cause leaves to be yellow and drop off, reducing the yield of fruits and vegetables.

Black Spot

Black spot fungal disease is one of the gardeners’ most common problems. The black spots disease is caused by a type of fungi called Diplocarpon rosae. These fungi invade the plant through its leaves and eventually will kill the plant if left unchecked.

Downey Mildew

Downey mildew is a fungus that can infect plants and humans. It’s essential to be aware of the symptoms of mildew so that you can treat it effectively.

Mildew typically appears as white, fuzzy patches on plant leaves or stems. It can also occur as powdery spots on leaves or fruit.


Rust is a fungal disease that affects many plants, especially crops. The fungus causes the plant to produce small, orange-brown bumps on the leaves and stem.

These pustules eventually rupture and release spores that spread the disease to other plants. Rust can weaken the plant and reduce its yield. In severe cases, rust can kill the plant.

In case of such fungal disease, neem oil can be used as a preventative measure by spraying it on your plants before they become infected or as a treatment once the fungi have already taken hold. Neem oil works by disrupting the fungal cells and preventing them from reproducing.

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Potential Side Effects of Neem Oil

When using neem oil on houseplants, it is essential to know the potential side effects. While neem oil is generally considered safe for most plants, there are a few exceptions. Some plants may experience leaf burning or wilting if they come directly in contact with neem oil.

Avoid using neem oil on plants in bloom, as it can cause them to drop their flowers. Lastly, neem oil can harm beneficial insects such as bees and ladybugs, so it is vital to use it with caution around these helpful critters.

Overall, neem oil is a safe and effective way to protect your houseplants from pests, but it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects before using it.

Read How to Get Rid of Thrips on Houseplants

Best Time to Apply Neem Oil

You can apply neem oil to plants at any time of the year, but it is most effective when used in the spring and summer months. When used as a preventative measure, neem oil can keep your plants healthy and free of pests all season.

For best results, apply neem oil early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler. This will help to prevent the oil from burning your plants.

When used as a treatment for existing pests, neem oil should be applied every seven to ten days until the problem is resolved.

Be sure to pay close attention to the instructions on the neem oil product you are using, as some products may require different application methods or frequencies.

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Tips to Get the Most Out of Neem Oil

To get the most out of neem oil when applying to plants, here are some tips:

  • Make sure to apply neem oil only during the cooler hours of the day or evening
  • Applying it during hot hours will cause the oil to evaporate quickly and will not be as effective
  • It is best to apply neem oil to the leaves of the plant rather than the stems or roots
  • Be sure to coat the leaves thoroughly, but do not saturate them to the point of dripping
  • If you use a spray bottle, shake it well before each use. This will help to distribute the oil evenly
  • Always read the label of the neem oil product you are using to make sure you are following the directions correctly

By following these tips, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of neem oil when applying it to your plants. This natural product can provide many benefits to your plants, so use it correctly for the best results.

How to Use Neem Oil on Houseplants
How to Use Neem Oil on Houseplants

Bottom Line

Neem oil is a powerful tool in the fight against garden pests, but it’s important to remember that it should be used as a last resort. Try other pest control methods first, such as physical removal or traps. Only use neem oil when necessary, and always follow the instructions on the label.

Now that you know how to use neem oil on houseplants, you can keep your plants healthy and pest-free all season long!

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