Do you spray neem oil on the soil or leaves, is an inquiry to think about as neem is a versatile oil that can be used on leaves and soil.Spray Neem Oil On Soil

Neem oil works well against the majority of plant pests, fungal and bacterial diseases as well as an effective fertilizer. Find out the best way to spray this oil using this comprehensive guide.

Do You Spray Neem Oil on the Soil or the Leaves of The Plant?

You spray neem oil on the plant’s soil and leaves, depending on what is needed. When sprayed on the leaves, it is used as a fungicide and insecticide. On the contrary, spraying on the soil kills root bugs and acts as an organic fertilizer.

– Spraying on The Leaves

Neem oil, as a foliar spray over the leaves and stems, is used primarily as an insecticide. Since this oil can potentially kill over 200 varieties of houseplant bugs, it is sprayed over the infested leaves once or twice each week.

A few weeks of consistent application are enough to eliminate infestations caused by spider mites, aphids, scales, and even mealybugs. This is because it would be the right way to get all the pests that have sheltered on the leaves for so long and may also be absorbing the plant’s sap.Neem Oil on the Leaves

In addition, this oil is also sprayed over leaves in case of fungal infections that do not involve the roots. The most common example of such an infection is powdery mildew, in which white spots develop all over the leaves.

Again, spray this oil only once per week consistently until the white spots disappear. Other fungal infections of houseplants are treated in a similar fashion using this fantastic and helpful oil.

– When to Spray on the Soil

Sometimes, the pests attacking a plant reside near its roots under the soil, and in such a case, neem oil soil drench is needed to tackle them and bring them under control. The most common underground bugs you will encounter in the soil are grubs. Grubs can only be killed when the soil is prayed directly with a potent neem oil and water mixture.

When applied to the soil, this oil is taken up by the plant’s roots and distributed within the leaves and stems. As a result, the plant can fight pests and fungal diseases from within that may be been absorbing the nutrients found in the soil and the roots. Neem oil spray on the soil also doubles as an effective nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

How to Spray Neem Oil on the Soil?

Spray neem oil on the soil using a wide-nozzle spray bottle, add two to three cups of oil and water mixture that can be used on the base of each plant. It’s essential to dilute neem oil with water before use; otherwise, it will burn or irritate the plant.Neem Oil Soil Drench

– Make a Soil Drench Spray

Only three ingredients are needed to make a soil spray: authentic neem oil, liquid dishwashing soap, and filtered water. The first step is to emulsify water so that it mixes well with the oil. Emulsification serves to break water tension and make a uniform mixture.

Buy 100 percent all-natural blonde neem oil that has been cold-pressed from an authentic seller. You only need to buy a little of it even though it is reasonably priced, and you can now add one tablespoon of oil is required per gallon of water. Mix these things when the water is lukewarm or moderately warm, and you will have the right solution ready.

The last ingredient is one tablespoon of any liquid dishwashing soap, which helps the spray stick to the plant for longer. This mixture is to be stored in a cool and dark place; otherwise, it will go wrong. It is economical to make only as much as needed and use it as soon as possible.

– Choose Your Plants Well

Most plants tolerate being sprayed with neem quite well and respond favorably to it. Others might suffer burns from the oil heating up or develop toxicity to its constituents.Neem Oil Sprays

For instance, herbs such as dill, cilantro, thyme, and oregano should never be sprayed with a DIY neem insecticide, because they already have a pungent smell, and it may weaken them. If a plant is already undergoing stress, such as a recent transplantation, it will be more sensitive to this oil.

If you like to keep carnivorous plants for ornamental purposes, then know they cannot tolerate soap. Either eliminate dishwashing soap from your neem oil solution or use something else for these plants. Moreover, you should also know that the same goes for plants that have thin leaves because they get burned quickly by neem oil sprays.

– Do Patch Testing

If you are still determining whether your plant can tolerate neem compounds, then it’s better to do a patch test first. It is always better than taking a risk and spraying the whole plant for pest control.

Hence, you can now try to apply only a tiny amount on one or two leaves and wait at least 24 hours. You will find out whether the plant can tolerate the organic neem oil or not.

– Spray Over the Soil

When applying neem oil insecticide over the soil, a lot more quantity can be used as compared to foliar sprays. You can pour two to three cups around the base of each plant or tree.

This drench is ideally applied once every two weeks and not more than that. Repeat the drenching spray after two weeks and continue to do so until the symptoms subside, and you will see the pests start to eliminate as the plant thrives again.

When using neem oil mixture as prevention against pests and fungal infections, spray every three weeks instead of two. The mixture stays in the soil for about two weeks and keeps doing its work slowly. To protect the beneficial insects from coming in contact with the mixture, spray either early at dawn or late at dusk.

What happens if too much neem oil is used on the leaves of a plant, can be a worrying notion because ashen too much of this oil is used on the plant leaves, it will clog up the plant’s pores. It has been reported that oil reduces a plant’s respiration by a significant amount. A thick coat of oil gets heated when light falls over it and burns the foliage.

Neem oil stays in the soil for approximately three to 14 days, depending on soil conditions. If the soil is well-aerated and has adequate access to water and light, the oil will break down faster within four to five days. In dry compacted soil, it stays in the soil for much longer.

How to Spray Neem Oil on the Leaves of a Plant?

Spray neem oil on the leaves of a plant by using a pump sprayer with a moderate-sized nozzle. Emulsify the oil separately in little water with soap or silica powder. Then add this emulsified water in one gallon of water and spray in mist form over the leaves.

Moreover, you should also remember that neem oil is safe for humans unless someone is allergic to its constituents. Do a patch test on your elbow first to ensure you are not allergic before using it, and you no longer have to worry is neem oil safe for humans.

– Collect All the Right Ingredients

The prime ingredient is to obtain premium-quality and cold-pressed neem oil from an authentic source. Only one tablespoon is needed for about a gallon of solution, so you do not need to buy much of it.

In such a case, you should use a slightly warm one gallon of filtered water and collect it in a bucket. You are also going to need one tablespoon of liquid soap to increase the surface tension of this solution, and this will help to emulsify the solution well.

Any liquid soap can be used, but mostly, we go for any liquid dishwashing. To control houseplant pests, substitute dishwashing soap with a solid insecticidal soap. You may also opt to use som essential oils and aloe vera powder are additional ingredients that are not essential but make the spray potent.

– Emulsify the Oil First

Pure neem oil cannot be put on plants because it blocks pores and slows their respiration. It cannot be diluted directly with water either since it is a clarified hydrophobic substance. Unless adequately emulsified before mixing with water, it will form less effective globs and potentially harm the plants.

To emulsify neem, an emulsifying agent like silica or soap is needed. In case you aim to use silica as the emulsifying agent, it also increases the plant’s tolerance against environmental stresses.

An anti-insecticide soap emulsifies the water and makes the pest-killing solution more potent. Remember that even if emulsified water gets mixed with oil at the time, it will separate over a few days. Shake the mixture well each time before using it.

– Mix Everything Together

The most crucial step is to mix all these ingredients into an effective neem solution. Purchase a pump sprayer and fill it with one gallon of water as a starting point. The latter can also depend on the number and size of trees that need spraying, which is why you can scale up and down.Neem Oil Mixed for Plants

If you want to add aloe vera to the mixture, use one-quarter of a teaspoon at this point. Emulsify the oil separately in a container by mixing one tablespoon with one tablespoon of soap or pre-mixed silica powder. Add one cup of warm but not hot water to this container and shake with the lid covered.

Open the cap to see if you can no longer see individual oil droplets floating in the water. This is a sign that your oil emulsification has been successful. Pour the contents of the emulsifying container into the pump sprayer filled with water. Lastly, put the cap on and shake as well as you can for about two minutes.

– Spraying Instructions

The last step is to apply neem oil to outdoor or indoor plants. Personal protection comes first, so don your thickest rubber gloves and eye goggle. Neem has certain active ingredients that might trigger an allergic response in specific individuals.

Don’t spray on seedlings or leaves of plants less than two months old. They are not strong enough to resist getting burned. If it is time to water the plant, do so first and then proceed with the spray.

The right time to control insects through a foliar spray is after the sun. Firstly, the beneficial insects are not harmed during this time, and the risk of sunburn is also averted.  Lastly, only spray so much that a bit of leaf shine can be seen. There is no need thoroughly drench the plant with the oil solution.


If you are someone who has always wanted to use neem oil but needs clarification about how to, then this article is for you:

  • It is possible to spray most plants’ leaves and soil with neem oil solution.
  • The best spray solution is made by emulsifying one tablespoon of oil with one tablespoon of soap. Then add this emulsified oil in one gallon of water to be used as a spray.
  • Spraying on the soil helps eliminate fungus gnats and grubs-type insects.

Use neem oil soil or leaf sprays instead of exposing your houseplants to potent pesticides, as it is much safer.

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