Three Easy Neem Oil Uses

Posted by

What Is Neem Oil?

Neem oil comes from the Azadirachta indica tree (more commonly known as the neem tree). It is an organic pesticide contained within the seeds of this tree. It has been used by many people for hundreds of years, and it is thought to have originated in both India and Burma. Neem oil is commonly used, being a part of more than one hundred pesticide products. It encourages pests to stop feeding, thereby acting as a repellent.

It is not toxic to birds, mammals, bees, and plants; however, it may be slightly toxic to some fish and aquatic animals.

Below, you will be able to find some useful recipes that you can use to create various homemade repellents.

Foliar Spray

Neem oil spray can be used in your garden to deal with unwanted foliage and pests. Some plants can be killed by neem oil. To ensure you know which plants you would like to spray with neem oil, cover a small area and wait for 24 hours. Then, check to see if the area you have sprayed (i.e. a leaf) has any damage. If there is none, the plant should not be harmed by the neem oil. If there is, it is likely that the plant will be killed by neem oil.


Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon neem oil
  • 1 litre warm water
  • 1-2 tablespoons natural liquid soap (or similar mild detergent)

Step 1: Mix soap and water in a bottle, and shake well to ensure the soap fully dissolves.

Step 2: Add the neem oil to the mix and shake well.

The result should be minimum 1 litre of neem oil spray.


Do not apply in direct sunlight. This is to ensure there is no additional damage to the plant you have sprayed with the neem oil. It also allows the oil to seep directly into the plant. Do not apply in weather that is too hot or cold. Do not apply to plants that are too dry or overwatered.

Use the spray once a week to ensure pests and fungal issues are killed and kept at bay. Make sure leaves are fully coated before application, especially where the problem is at its worst.

Plant protector

Neem oil plant protector can best be used as a soil drench. This allows the oil to specifically target insects by travelling through a plant’s tissue and vascular system. During feeding, the plant protector encourages insects to stop feeding, or to reduce the amount they feed on. This, in turn, prevents larvae from maturing, and stops insects from mating.


Gather the following ingredients:

  • Approx. 4 litres water
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 2 tablespoons neem oil

Step 1: Fill a bucket with water. 

Step 2: Add dish soap to the water and stir, to ensure the soap is dissolved and distributed well.

Step 3: Add the neem oil into the mixture, and mix thoroughly.

Step 4: Pour 2-3 cups of the mixture at the base of the plant. If you are applying to a tree or a shrub, add more of the mixture.

Step 5: Do not water the plant on the same day as application. You may water it from the following day.

Step 6: Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks as a preventative measure.


Ensure you apply the mixture evenly. This includes covering the undersides of its leaves, and its stems. If you are applying the mixture to indoor plants, ensure that you take it outside, on a non-windy day, before doing so. If you apply the mixture indoors, it may stain your walls and flooring.

If you stain delicate plants, you may damage them, so take care not to do so before you apply the mixture. Always dispose of any excess mixture after use, as it is most effective when prepared immediately before use.


Neem oil fungicide is similar to plant protector, except that instead of killing pests, it specifically targets unwanted fungi, as well as mildew and plant rust.


Gather the following ingredients:

  • Approx. 4 litres water
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary oil
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 2 tablespoons neem oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1: Fill a garden sprayer with warm water.

Step 2: Add dish soap to the sprayer and gently stir.

Step 3: Add rosemary oil, peppermint oil, neem oil, and olive oil to the mix.

Step 4: Close and shake well to ensure the oils and water are well mixed.

Step 5: Spray the mixture on the top and bottom of the leaves, shaking well between sprays.


Much like the foliar spray, neem oil fungicide must not be applied in weather that is too hot. This is to ensure the plant is not left with burns which then damage it. If rain is expected, do not apply to plants then, as it may be washed away. Spray on both sides of the leaves to ensure complete coverage of the fungicide.

To control a fungal infection, you must spray the plant every 7 days, until the colour of the leaves returns to normal. To prevent problems, soak the plants with the spray every 14 days. Take care to avoid spraying on days where the temperature is expected to pass 27 degrees celsius.