Fiddle leaf figs (Ficus lyrata) are some of the most popular houseplants, and it’s easy to see why! These graceful plants add lots of texture and color to your space and are low-maintenance. All you need is just a little bit of sunlight, water, and nutrient-rich soil, and your fiddle leaf fig will thrive.
That’s the good news; the bad news is that all this simplicity can make them an easy target for pests.
The plant can fall victim to pest attacks, including mealy bugs, scale insects, and mites that attack the plant’s roots, stems, and leaves. Neem oil provides a safe and natural way to combat these pests by suffocating them so they can’t move, breed, or damage your plant’s health or appearance.
Here are seven health benefits of Neem oil for your fiddle leaf plant!
1. Reduces Aphid Population
The fiddle leaf fig is prized for its large, glossy leaves. However, this plant is also susceptible to aphid infestations. Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can cause yellowing and distortion of leaves. They can also spread plant diseases.
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be used to control aphids on fiddle leaf figs. This oil comes from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), and it works by disrupting the hormones of insects, preventing them from reproducing. Neem oil is safe for humans and pets and will not harm beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings.
Applying neem oil to your fiddle leaf fig regularly can help reduce the aphid population and keep your plant healthy.
2. Fights Powdery Mildew
Neem oil is nature’s answer to powdery mildew on fiddle leaf figs. Neem oil works by suffocating the powdery mildew spores, preventing them from spreading and causing damage to the plant.
In addition, neem oil helps improve the plant’s overall health by boosting essential nutrients. When applied regularly, neem oil can help to keep powdery mildew at bay, allowing your fiddle leaf fig to flourish.
3. Treat Fungal Infections
Fiddle leaf figs can be susceptible to fungal infections, which can cause the leaves to become yellow or brown and eventually drop off. Neem oil is a natural fungicide used to treat these infections. The oil works by killing the fungus causing the infection while protecting against future outbreaks.
To use neem oil on a fiddle leaf fig, mix a small amount of the oil with water and apply it to the affected leaves. Monitor the plant closely for new infections and repeat the treatment as needed.
With regular treatment, a fiddle leaf fig can successfully fight off fungal infections and keep its beautiful foliage healthy and intact.
4. It Helps Repel Mosquitoes!
Fiddle Leaf Fig owners know all too well the damage that mosquitoes can cause. These pesky insects are not only a nuisance but can also transmit diseases such as the West Nile virus and Yellow fever.
In addition, their bites can cause inflammation and itching. Fortunately, neem oil is a natural way to help keep mosquitoes at bay.
Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree, and it has been used for centuries in Indian medicine. In recent years, it has gained popularity as an effective insect repellent.
When applied to the leaves of a Fiddle Leaf Fig, neem oil creates a barrier that deters mosquitoes from landing and feeding. In addition, the oil helps to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching. As a result, neem oil is a safe and effective way to help keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig free of mosquitoes.
5. Promotes Plant Growth Overall
Fiddle leaf figs are a beautiful, popular houseplant that originates from Africa. These plants are relatively easy to care for, but like all plants, they need the right balance of nutrients to stay healthy and thrive.
Neem oil is a natural substance that can be used to promote plant growth. It is made from the seeds of the neem tree and has been used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
Neem oil contains compounds beneficial for plants, including Nimbin and azadirachtin. These compounds help to increase photosynthesis, improve root health, and prevent fungal diseases.
Neem oil can be applied directly to the leaves of a fiddle leaf fig or diluted and used as a soil drench. When used as directed, neem oil is safe for humans and pets.
6. Controls Black Spot Disease
Black spot disease is a common problem for gardeners, especially those who grow Fiddle leaf figs and roses. The disease is caused by Diplocarpon rosae, resulting in black spots on the leaves of affected plants. These spots can eventually lead to leaf drop, and the plant may become less vigorous.
Black spot is most likely to occur in moist conditions, so it is important to water plants early in the day so that the leaves have a chance to dry off before nightfall.
Neem oil is a natural, plant-based oil that can be used to control black spot disease. When applied to the affected leaves, neem oil works by smothering the fungus and preventing it from spreading. In addition, neem oil helps to promote healing and prevent new infections from taking hold.
For best results, apply neem oil every 7-10 days until the disease is under control.
In addition, remove any dead leaves or other debris from around the base of the plant. This will help to prevent the fungus from spreading.
7. Protects Leaves From Sun Damage
Neem oil is now gaining popularity as a natural sunscreen due to its ability to protect leaves from sun damage. When applied to the leaves of plants, neem oil forms a protective barrier that helps to reflect harmful UV rays.
This can prevent leaves from becoming scorched or discolored, and it can also help to reduce the risk of sunburn.
When used regularly, neem oil can help to keep your Fiddle leaf figs healthy and looking their best.
How to Use Neem Oil on Fiddle Leaf Figs?
- Fill a clean spray bottle with water and add 20-40 drops of neem oil.
- Shake the bottle well to mix the water and oil.
- Spray the mixture onto the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig, being sure to COVER the entire surface area.
- Wipe the excess mixture off of the leaves with a soft cloth.
- Repeat this process every 1-2 weeks or as needed.
When used correctly, neem oil is safe for both humans and pets. However, it is essential to use it sparingly, as too much can cause leaf burn. If you notice any browning or wilting on your plant after applying neem oil, reduce the amount you are using or the frequency with which you are applying it.
What Type of Neem Oil Is the Best for Plants?
Cold-pressed neem oil is the market’s most popular type of neem oil. The oil is composed of a mixture of fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. It also contains various compounds shown to have pesticide properties, including limonoids, azadirachtin, and Nimbin.
It is made by pressing the fruits and seeds of the neem tree at a temperature below 120°F (49°C). This gentle process helps preserve the delicate compounds in the oil responsible for its pesticide properties. Cold-pressed neem oil is more expensive than other types of neem oil but is generally considered more effective.
Can Neem Oil Cause Any Irritation in Humans?
Neem oil is also a popular ingredient in hair and skin products because it can moisturize and protect against damage. Although neem oil is considered safe for most people, some may experience irritation when using products containing it.
The most common side effects include redness, itching, and burning. More severe reactions, such as rashes or swelling, may occur in rare cases. If you experience any irritation after using a product containing neem oil, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
Can Neem Oil Cause Any Irritation in Pets?
Pets are susceptible to the same pests that humans are. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks can bite and transmit diseases to animals just as they can to people. As a result, many pet owners turn to neem oil to protect their animals from insect-borne illnesses.
However, it is essential to exercise caution when using neem oil around pets.
The oil can irritate if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. In fact, even inhaling neem oil can lead to respiratory problems in some animals. As a result, it is best to use neem oil products with caution around pets.
If possible, consult a veterinarian before using any neem oil products on or around animals.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Neem Oil?
Neem oil is touted as being safe for both humans and animals. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using neem oil.
- It can have a strong smell, which some people find unpleasant.
- If neem oil is not diluted properly, it can irritate the skin.
- Finally, neem oil should not be used on stressed or damaged plants, as it can further damage the plant.
Despite these potential drawbacks, neem oil can be a helpful tool in both your home and garden. Just be sure to use it properly and take precautions to avoid any adverse effect
Neem oil is beneficial to many plants in many ways. You can also use it to help with human ailments and as a natural pesticide or insect repellent. Used with care, it can make your garden healthier while giving you peace of mind that harmful chemicals aren’t being used where they could potentially harm you, your family, or your pets.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.