If you’ve gardened yourself, or spend time in garden shops, you’ve probably at least heard mention of Neem Oil. Even if you have heard of it, what do you really know about it? Maybe that it helps get rid of bugs?
Let’s dive a bit deeper and learn all about this useful gardening tool, which shouldn’t be overlooked in a pinch!
Neem Oil comes from an Indian tree, called Azadirachta Indica (coincidence?). More simply, this tree is frequently called the Indian Lilac, Nimtree and finally, the Neem Tree. These large trees can be commonly seen reaching 40-60 feet, and sometimes even up to 130 feet or more.
Other than shade, these jungly trees also produce a smooth (or technically, "glabrous") fruit that resembles an olive. The fruits can be anywhere from 0.5-1.0 inch in length when ripe. Much like olives, from their flesh we can extract useful oils through the application of pressure. This tree has been used for centuries in India, and later shared with the rest of the world as it’s a quick-growing and strong wood, among other uses like Neem Oil production.
In the garden or around the house, Neem Oil works great to keep bugs away. It can be safely applied as a foliar spray to repel insects and keep them away, hindering them in their ability to feed and multiply by interfering with their hormone systems. After all, you don’t want any insects to be feasting on the fruits of your labor!
Please be advised that care should be taken when working with Neem Oil, however, as it’s a pesticide and can make you sick if ingested. Do not mess around with your health! If you accidentally consume any, seek medical attention immediately. Likely, you won’t find yourself inclined to taste this pungent oil. It smells like a strong peanut oil, with overtones of raw, stinging garlic.
Use care when applying to your plants, and dilute your mixture by following the directions exactly as specified on your bottle. Extract strengths can vary between manufacturers and products. You’ll want to apply to the top and bottom of leaves, making sure to cover the whole plant and soaking visible bugs and eggs you may find. This comprehensive coverage will also ensure maximum absorption so your plant can help in repelling insects on its own!
It’s never fun to find bugs, but we’re big fans of quickly busting out the Neem Oil when the situation calls for it here at Trim Buddies. One, good round of spraying usually does the trick. To learn more about each product we carry, start here and let us know if you have any questions!