Pure Neem Oil For Plants – The ‘Healthy’ Pesticide

Choose Quantity View Cart

If you tend to buy healthy/organic/non-toxic versions of many household products, you may have seen ‘neem oil’ listed in the ingredients.

It’s used in formulations such as toothpaste and shampoo, or you may use a neem oil soap.

As a natural insecticide, fungicide and bactericide, people have been using neem for thousands of years.

And many of the benefits we get from using it ourselves translate to the garden, too.

To get those benefits, you want to find a pure neem oil that’s a cold pressed neem oil, organically produced.

So what is neem oil? It comes from the seeds of the neem tree, Azadirachta indica, now grown in over 70 countries all around the world.

For many years I avoided using neem oil for plants because I tend to stay away from anything that might be considered a pesticide, but I’ve been reading more about it over the past couple of years and my opinion has changed.

I started experimenting with it on my fruit trees last year, and now believe it’s one of those rare phenomenons that repels pests without causing too much trouble for the beneficial organisms in our organic gardens.

I successfully controlled aphids and mildew, and the really cool part is that the leaves I sprayed were noticeably healthier than the ones I didn’t, which proved to me that this is not like most pesticides that harm plants.

There’s even anecdotal evidence, mostly coming from organic orchardists who swear by a whole list of neem oil uses, that it’s actually helpful for the soil and arboreal food web.

That’s why I called it the ‘healthy’ pesticide.

I still wouldn’t spray it haphazardly around the garden, but if you experienced some pest damage last year, I believe cold pressed, pure neem oil is potentially one of the best options to improve your situation this year. Read on below to see why…

First, Does Pure Neem Oil Cause Any Problems?

Neem Tree
The neem tree, Azadirachta indica, is native to the Indian subcontinent including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

The great thing about neem seed oil is that it mainly affects plant-feeding insects that suck or chew on leaves, so beneficial insects including bees, butterflies and other pollinators that feed on nectar aren’t much affected.

Other beneficials such as ladybugs, earthworms and spiders aren’t affected either unless they’re sprayed directly with a fairly heavy dose.

Research shows that only repeated applications of very high concentrations of neem – far exceeding those you’ll be using – had a small impact on some bee populations.

Personally, I still wouldn’t advocate blanketing the whole garden with neem oil like I do with microbial inoculants and liquid fertilizers, but some advocates including well-known orchardist and author Michael Phillips do use it as part of a regular spray program, mixed with liquid fish and other biostimulants.

As for human safety, pure neem oil is not only 100% natural and non-toxic to humans and other mammals, but is actually used in many applications for our health – neem oil for skin, neem oil for hair, neem oil for dogs, and so on.

The residue from spraying your vegetables is non-toxic, but when ingested in larger amounts, neem oil can be irritating to eyes, skin and stomach, and negatively impact fertility, so as with most things we spray in our garden, don’t drink it or go splashing it all over your face.

Neem breaks down quickly without a lasting residue and has a low environmental impact. You can spray neem pretty much up to the day of harvest as it breaks down quickly and is non-toxic to humans.

The only thing to be careful of is not to spray too close to waterways because neem oil has been shown to be mildly toxic to aquatic organisms.

Neem Oil Pesticide – How It Works

Neem Seeds
Neem seeds.

Neem oil insecticide uses. Pure neem oil can kill soft-bodied insects and mites on contact, which is one reason why you want to spray it in the early morning or evening when the pollinators aren’t out as much, to avoid spraying them.

But that’s not the main method of action of how it controls pests.

First, neem oil repels insects and other animals directly when they encounter it on the leaves.

And when you spray it on the soil, the plant will take it up systemically, which will deter insects from feeding even more.

But for those insects who do still feed, the oil contains many different components that are not going to bode well for them, the most active and well-researched being a metabolite called azadirachtin.

When a plant-feeding insect feeds on a leaf that has been sprayed with pure neem oil, the azadirachtin interferes with the insect’s hormonal system, which inhibits their eating, mating and egg laying patterns. It also inhibits growth which prevents larvae from moulting and eggs from hatching.

Because azadirachtin acts on the hormonal system, insects don’t develop resistance in future generations, thereby making it a sustainable solution.

While azadirachtin is the most researched metabolite, I expect there are many others that are involved.

Neem oil fungicide uses. Organic compounds in the oil spark an immune response to prevent fungal diseases such as mildew, black spot, rust, rot, scab, leaf spot and blights.

And a quality, cold pressed neem oil will occasionally control some of these diseases when they’re already present.

It’s also been used as a seed treatment to successfully prevent phytopathogenic fungal diseases, but I’ve not used it for that myself.

A Brief Word On “Pests”

I’m using the word pest a lot in this article and I’d like to speak to that.

We call something a pest because it’s doing something we don’t like, but really, it’s just an animal or microorganism doing its job.

I may think about the tomato hornworm as a pest when it chows down on my tomato plants, but in reality, the reason it’s doing that is because my tomato plants aren’t optimally healthy.

As I’ve talked about before, insects and diseases don’t cause much problem when our plants are healthy, so when we see that they are causing problems, our first plan of action should be to improve plant health, not to reach for the pesticide, because that won’t solve the root cause of the problem.

The first thing I reach for is my favorite microbial inoculant and one of my favorite liquid organic fertilizers.

Both of these help boost plant health, sometimes enough to make the “pests” go away entirely, sometime just enough so they don’t cause as much of a problem, and sometimes it doesn’t seem to help much at all, because it may be that something else is going on.

So the other thing I do is think about what else could be contributing to the problem – improper watering, airflow, sun exposure, soil imbalances, etc. There’s always a reason, whether or not I can figure it out.

Traditionally, an organic pesticide is the last thing I reach for. Now, the cool thing about pure neem oil is that it actually seems to boost plant health too, whereas most pesticides harm plants, so I do reach for it sooner than I would with other pesticides.

But I still want to remember to also bring in some foliar nutrition and some beneficial microorganisms, to take more of a holistic approach to addressing the root cause of the problem.

So yes, I use the word “pests” because then we can all understand what I’m talking about, but really, they’re just insects and fungi that are trying to remove the unhealthy plants from my food supply.

I suppose we should be saying thanks to the pests, but we do love our tomatoes don’t we?

Okay, back to neem oil…

Other Pure Neem Oil Benefits

Neem oil is nutritious, so it actually acts as a foliar fertilizer.

But perhaps more important, the fatty acids are especially good for plants and some fungi.

A lot of research I’ve come across states that neem is good for soils, too, but they don’t usually say much more than that, so I can’t speak to it much. I think because most research is focused on using neem oil for plants as a pesticide that the soil benefits are considered secondary.

But I do know that a ‘neem cake’ is made from the organic residue after pure neem oil is pressed from the seeds, and that cake is used as a soil conditioner.

Do You Need Neem Oil For Plants?

Neem Oil Seeds

If your plants are generally healthy and you don’t have much in the way of insect or disease problems, I wouldn’t suggest neem oil.

Some proponents recommend it be used regularly, almost like a broad spectrum fertilizer, and maybe there’s something to that, but personally, I don’t want to kill insects unnecessarily, so I save this for plants that really need some extra help.

In that case, it’s my number one choice. It helps control nearly 200 species of insects, 15 of fungi and allegedly some bacteria and viruses.

It’s most effective for either eradicating or at least deterring insects feeding on leaves. Here is a list of some of the main insects it can help control:

ants
aphids
armyworms
bagworms
bed bugs
beetles
billbugs
black headed caterpillars
blister beetles
boll worms
boring insects (many types)
cabbage worms
cankerworms
caterpillars
Colorado potato beetles
corn ear worms
cotton stainers
cutworms
eriophyid mites
flea beetles
fruit flies
fruit sucking moths
fungus gnats
gall
gypsy moths
houseflies
Japanese beetles
lace bugs
leaf hoppers
leaf miners
leaf webbers
locusts
mealy bugs
Mexican bean beetles
midges
mites (not an insect)
moths and moth larvae
mushroom flies
mosquitoes
pod bug
pulse beetle
red palm weevil
root grubs
root weevil adults
sand flies
sawflies
scale
semi loopers
spider mites
spindle bugs
spotted beetles
squash bugs
tea mosquito
termites
thrips
white grubs
whiteflies

 

Some people have also had success controlling snails and slugs, but not always.

Finding A Quality Neem Oil

In terms of where to buy neem oil, be sure to seek out a product that is a cold pressed, 100% pure neem oil, preferably organic.

Pure neem oil for sale that was cold pressed contains much higher levels of active ingredients, which makes it more effective.

If possible, try to find the percentage of azadirachtin. This particular product varies between 1800-2200ppm. A higher ppm is achievable, but often by way of chemical extraction.

Commercial neem sprays often have chemicals added to them and often only include a neem oil extract with just the azadirachtin which greatly limits the effectiveness.

The Garden Safe neem oil and Bonide neem oil brands both have 30% “Other” ingredients and they don’t disclose what those are.

What you want is a pure, cold pressed neem oil, not an extraction, and free of additional harmful ingredients.

How Much Neem Oil Do You Need?

I just keep a 16oz size around my house because that’s plenty for my home garden.

That size will do about 1000 square feet of orchard for a whole growing season, and several times that size for a vegetable garden.

Store your neem oil in a cool, dark place. Room temperature is okay, or the refrigerator is a good place for it, too. It will last about two years if you do this.

How To Use Neem Oil For Plants

Pure Neem Oil Seeds

You can use neem oil throughout the growing season on all types of plants.

It’s best to start early in the season to prevent the main infection period of fungi, disrupt egg hatch of soft-bodied insects and target overwintering moths in the trunk and soil.

On plants that you know will have pest problems, you can spray for prevention every 1-2 weeks starting in late winter, and especially when the problem season approaches for that plant, and then for maintenance every 2-4 weeks after that.

If you have a specific pest to control, you can spray every 3 days for at least 2 weeks. This is approximately the length of one life cycle for many insects.

Here’s what orchardist Michael Phillips says about when to use neem oil: “I apply pure neem oil along with liquid fish at the week of quarter-inch green, pink, petal fall, and 7 to 10 days after that. This early season program addresses many orchard health fronts including the primary infection period of fungal diseases like scab and rust. I continue to use neem through the summer on a 10 to 14 day schedule, again coinciding with any other specific spray needs. A late August spray on the later varieties finishes up the use of neem oil for the season here in northern New Hampshire.”

If you want to know what he means by “quarter-inch green” and so on, here’s an example for a peach tree and apple tree.

Like unrefined coconut oil, pure neem oil becomes solid and thick at cooler temperatures, so if necessary, you can warm up the whole bottle by placing it in a pot of warm water, or you can just mix the neem directly with warm water before spraying. Don’t use hot water as heat destroys azadirachtin.

The oil and water will separate, so you’ll want to use an emulsifier to stabilize the mixture. Generally what’s used is liquid soap or detergent, which also has insecticidal properties. I use a non-toxic Castile soap such as Dr Bronner’s.

Total application rate of neem oil is 1-2 cups per 1000 square feet per year, which could be divided into small-dose, weekly sprayings or larger-dose, monthly sprayings. For example, if you spray 6 times this year, that’s about 3-6 Tbsp of neem oil per 1000 square feet each time.

To apply, mix 1.5 Tbsp of neem oil with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap per gallon of water and shake like crazy before and during application. This makes for a 1:170 ratio of neem oil to water. If you’re using a standalone sprayer and plan to spray, for example, 3 gallons of water, that’s about 4.5 Tbsp of neem oil (1.5*3). For soil and trunk applications in early spring and late fall when there are no leaves on your trees and shrubs, you can double the dilution to 3 Tbsp of neem oil per gallon of water, but let’s stick with 1.5 for this example.

The way I do it is to mix the neem oil in a jar first with warm water and soap. Fill a jar with about 7 times (I’ll explain why 7 in a minute) as much warm water as the neem oil (nearly 2 cups of warm water for our 1.5 Tbsp of neem in this example) and add 1/2 teaspoon of non-toxic liquid soap for each 1.5 Tbsp of neem oil (1.5 teaspoons in this example).

Then slowly pour in the neem oil while vigorously mixing the liquid. This is similar to how a good salad dressing is made – the oil needs to be added slowly and mixed really well in order to emulsify it. Alternatively, using a blender to mix this all together can work, but then your blender smells like neem, which isn’t very nice.

The reason I use this seemingly random number of 7 times as much warm water as neem oil is because I often use a hose-end sprayer, and if I set that sprayer to spray 10 Tbsp of neem oil per gallon of water, and I’ve already mixed that neem oil with 7 parts water, that brings the actual ratio back down to about 1.5 Tbsp per gallon of water (if that gets used up too fast for you, bring it down to 5 Tbsp per gallon of water). If you’re instead using a standalone sprayer like a backpack sprayer, it doesn’t matter how much warm water you mix it with at first.

Even better, use less water and instead add some liquid fish and/or liquid seaweed fertilizer and spray them at the same time. I always try to combine products when possible since I’m out there spraying anyway, and fish and seaweed are the best matches for pure neem oil.

For those of you using my hose end sprayer, I add 4 Tbsp of neem oil to the sprayer along with 1/2 Tbsp of liquid soap, and then fill it up the rest of the way with warm water (and perhaps 1/2 cup of fish or seaweed). Shake very well. Set to setting 10 and spray.

I don’t mix this with microbial inoculants because I don’t think the microbes would like the oil, so I come through with my EM or compost tea a few days later or whenever I get to it.

Use your neem and water mixture within 8 hours because it will break down afterwards. Then clean your sprayer immediately to keep it from clogging up with oil.

When you spray the leaves, make sure that you also spray the undersides because insects like to hide there.

It’s always useful to spray the soil too because insects lay their eggs in the ground, and because the fatty acids in the oil are beneficial for the soil food web.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate effects. Remember that neem oil concentrate primarily works not by contact, but by disturbing the hormonal systems of insects, so it can take some time.

If you have any questions about neem oil, let me know down below.

Free $25 Bonus When You Buy Today

When you buy this neem oil, you get enrolled into my online course on controlling plant predators.

The course includes 12 videos totaling about 60 minutes where I show you how to make various homemade organic pesticides and a couple of purchasable options.

Important Info

I go into more detail about ordering on the main page, but here are a few quick things I’d like to mention:

  • If you have a question about this product, leave it in the comment section at the bottom of of this page and I'll try to respond within a few hours.
  • Shipping is $15 if your order is less than $50, $20 if your order is $50-$100, and $25 if your order is more than $100 (AK and HI add $10)
  • Dry fertilizers and compost tea brewers ship for free, separately with USPS instead of UPS, so they will arrive on their own maybe a day or 2 apart from my other products.
  • I ship in the U.S. only. Products ordered by 2pm will ship same day. After that they ship next day. Weekend orders ship Monday.
  • All of my products have a 1 year 100% money-back guarantee.
  • With every order, I send $1 to Organics 4 Orphans and other similar organizations. O4O is working with the world’s poor to help them grow organic, highly nutritious, highly medicinal food for themselves, and then use the surplus food to generate income for themselves as well as feeding the orphans in their communities. My hope this year is to send $1500US, which is enough to start projects in 25 new communities!

Neem Oil For Sale – Order Now!

Choose Quantity View Cart
Business Seals In summary, this neem oil:

  • Helps control nearly 200 species of insects and 15 of fungi, without causing much harm to beneficials such as bees, butterflies and earthworms, but I still suggest it be used sensibly only on plants that need it.
  • Also seems to act as a biostimulant, encouraging a healthier soil food web. It is especially advocated by organic orchardists such as Michael Phillips as part of a regular spray program.
  • Is 100% pure and cold pressed, which makes it much more effective than the cheaper products that are just extracts of neem.

As a free bonus when you order today, I’ll also enrol you in my online course on controlling plant predators.

Just click ‘Add To Cart’ up above!

61 Comments

  1. Judy Ward on February 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Phil~~any advice on how to keep deer away from gardens? An 11-ft. fence is not an option. Thanks!

    • jim bednar on February 8, 2015 at 4:04 am

      I have been hanging nylon stockings with dog hair around the property. Will let you know how it does.

      • Judy Ward on February 9, 2015 at 5:53 am

        Thank-you, Jim….will be very interesting to see your results!

    • Terry on February 8, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Judy,For the last 5-6 years I’ve been using one raw egg mixed in one gallon of water and spraying anything deer like to eat. Repeat after rain. We have a pretty bad nightly issue if I skip it after one rainfall. They avoid the smell like the plague!Hope that helpsTerry

      • Judy Ward on February 9, 2015 at 5:54 am

        Much appreciated Terry, and thanks for posting!

    • mensamom on February 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      For the last few years I have been using Milorganite fertilizer around the perimeter of my garden and flower beds. It is a fertilizer for golf courses and NOT good for your garden itself but it creates a boundary around it. I found mine at the local feed & seed store but have seen it at Lowe’s too. The deer were coming into my rural yard and eating my tulips to the ground before they had a chance to bloom. Can you say angry? Since broadcasting the Milorganite around my flower beds all of my tulips and other flowers have not been eaten for lunch. Remember, just sprinkle it AROUND the garden, NOT IN IT. Good luck!

      • Judy Ward on February 9, 2015 at 5:56 am

        Have never heard of this one~very kind of you to offer this advice, Mensamom~thank-you!

    • Richard Beasley on July 3, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      We use an electric fence it keeps deer and bear away. You will need at least two wire runs one 2 1/2 ft high and one 41/2 feet high. One shock is all it takes, but each animal need a dose of v so it may take a little bit to get them all aware.Millorganate organic fertilizer may work, but don’t count on it. (Artificial Dead Dog)Chick wire lying rased by 5 inches and flush with the ground but its a weed trap as well, not effective for besrs. They get use to everything but pain is always remembered. Rabbits will also damage the garden this requires a sold beefier. Get the most volts you can.

  2. Linda on February 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

    I used neem for my dwarf trees – however, probably I won’t next year for the same reason that I can’t use BT on them. They are in a field of native plants and those plants are hosts to caterpillars that are needed to become pollinators and to feed birds. I can see more purpose in using it on squash and cukes and even brassicas and eggplants where the evolutionary relationship between plants and insects does not exist. The mildew and pests on those plants would warrant its use. Surround has been the best things for controlling flea beetles and caterpillars on the fruit trees, eggplants and potatoes and when using it on the fruit trees not much of it falls on the surrounding plants as it is heavy and drops straight down with little overspray on a still afternoon.

    • Phil on February 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Yes, I agree that selective use is important with something like this.

    • rheinbach on February 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Can you please tell me what trees you have and how you take care of them. I have a three year old dwarf orchard, that is niot doing well. Peaches, apples, pears,, plums , apricots., nectarines. The apples all had coddling moths, despite bagging them. I thin all my fruit. I use stone meal, EM, dr. earth.Also can you tell me what plants for butterflies and beneficial insects you have, i have hysdops, foxglove, tansy, yarrow, dill, fennel.

      • Linda on February 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm

        I have peach, apricot, plum, cherry, apple pear,quince, mulberry, persimmon.. I use the sprays that Michael Phillips recommends but not BT and probably not neem this next year. I have over 30 species of native plants on my half acre. Check Prairie Moon for a catalog or the website for flowering plants that you can use. Many reseed and fill in so you don’t have to plant all of your area at once. Really good ones: Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset), Pycnanthemum (mints), Agastache, Scrophularia marilandica, Asclepius (milkweeds) incarnata does not grow by rhizomes so is not aggressive but reseeds, helianthus (sunflower family) – growing the great gray stripe and teddy bears gives winter seeds to the birds, Solidago (goldenrod) monorails, bicolor – neither are aggressive but are great for attracting bees especially native ones. If you don’t have native plants near the trees then BT might be your best choice for the coddling moth. If you don’t have the Holistic Orchard by Phillips, you should get it.

  3. Terry on February 8, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Phil,I’ve been using neem oil for 4-5 years in my own IPM program, alternated biweekly with plant essential oils. For those I use Rosemary, mint, thyme, cilantro, alone or in combo. I use neem oil from Neemresource.com. It’s the most concentrated I’ve been able to find, and works best for me at 1 tbsp per gallon. I emulsify it first with 1/2 tsp ProTekt, then mix with warm water. Shoot for 85F water temp. High temps will destroy the azidirachtin, as you said. It will clump in cold water. Compost tea or other mixes can be used as a base as well as water. I always spray just before sunset to avoid burning the leaves. Light also destroys the goodies we are after. If mixed ahead of time, a few hours at most, keep out of the light. Other than what drips off the plant I do not use this as a soil drench. It can be a bit hard on the micro herd. Neem cake is better in the soil.I use this inside and out on plants and have been quite pest free since. My plants all love it. It’s called leaf shine in India for a reason. I only saw one tomato hornworm last summer, about an inch long. He didn’t live long enough to do any damage. I think the neem gave him a belly ache. Grasshoppers are not as affected as some pests it seems, but they don’t like eating it and it reduces their damage a lot. We had a bad infestation last summer and I saw a lot in the garden but they seemed to be mostly passing through.I also use neem cake from the same source, mixed into the soil. Great stuff for many reasons, fertilizer, soil conditioner, pesticide. Worms love it! I mix neem cake, kelp meal, and EWC. Best top dress I’ve ever used.Thanks,Terry

    • Phil on February 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Terry. All great info. I’ve used the Neem Resource neem oil before and it is excellent as well.

  4. mensamom on February 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Phil, thanks for the info on neem oil (I had no idea). You didn’t mention squash bugs in your list of insects which makes me wonder if that’s because squash bugs aren’t softbodied. Their eggs are hard to squish too. Will neem oil help this? I’m inundated with squash bugs every year. They’ll kill the plant and move on to the tomatoes and peppers if I let it go for very long. Any help with these dastardly demons would be greatly appreciated.

    • Phil on February 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Neem can help with squash bugs with multiple applications. It’s definitely worth a try.

      • mensamom on February 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        Thanks Phil! It’s worth a try, they laugh at insecticidal soap.

    • Linda on February 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I would use Surround starting early and keeping it up all season. For the squash vine borer I use BT on the stems.

      • mensamom on February 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        Thanks Linda! I have tried BT on the squash plants but didn’t have much luck with it. Do I need to spray every day?

        • Linda on February 10, 2015 at 6:18 pm

          You need to spray only the stems as that is where the moth lays its eggs that will bore into the stems . I believe it breaks down in the sun so I do it once a week and after a rain. I had no losses due to borers last year and far less squash bugs and cucumber striped beetles since using surround.

  5. Karen Saville on February 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks so much for this article, Phil. I’m going to try it this spring on a Norkent apple tree infested with Oyster Shell Scale when the babies are starting to hatch.

    • Phil on February 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Karen, spray the trunk and branches early this spring before they even start to hatch and then again on a regular schedule, including hatch. I think you’ll be happy. Let me know how it goes.

  6. Chris on February 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Great info on neem oil! I will be trying it! Can you address the issue of moles? They are everywhere in our yard and garden! I’ve tried castor oil pellets but that doesn’t do much! Thanks!

    • Linda on February 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Aren’t moles insect eating creatures? Are they a garden pest? The tomato hornworm mentioned above is the larvae for the hawk or sphinx moth and is a magnificent creature so unless there is a big problem, I would leave them. They are also hosts for the beneficial parasitic wasps. Keep a volunteer tomato plant to move them to. And esp do not harm them when they have been parasitized.

      • Chris on February 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm

        Moles mainly eat earthworms, grubs etc but burrow underground to do so. They leave tons of unsightly mounds of soil piled up all over a lawn or garden..uprooting plants etc.Like deer, rabbits, squirrels, they are a pest in gardens!

        • Chris on February 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm

          Anything helpful on the moles Phil? Thanks!

          • Phil on February 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm

            I’ll write a blog post on this for Saturday Chris.



          • Phil on February 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm


  7. Eddie Dvorsky on February 11, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I cannot remember where I read this but it’s been working for over two years now.Maybe only for SO Carolina ha ha.!!! Purchase some 80lb monofilament fishing line and string it between trees or posts reasonable tight and your finished. Deer will not cross what they touch and cannot see. They may run through it and break it but likely will not feed.Ihave lines strung all over and only one was broken in over two years.Worth a try!! Cheap too !

    • Phil on February 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Good solution!

  8. Jules on February 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Phil, I am using the fermented leaves of neem tree. How do you look at it? For insect control, i found it satisfying though.

    • Phil on February 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Yes, that’s a great approach!

    • Anne Studley on July 5, 2015 at 1:27 am

      What are your proportions, Jules? And would the leaves need to be fermented? I have powdered neem leaves and wonder if I could use that, plus the concentration if applicable.

      • Jules on July 10, 2015 at 11:29 am

        I am sorry Anne for very late reply. I am using 1 kilo of fresh neem leaves and soak them in 5 liters of water. Soak them overnight, strain and use them as spray. When soaked for a longer period of time, say one week, I have to ferment them with 1 kilo of molasses (1 kilo neem: 1 Kilo molasses:5 liters water) to eliminate that very strong odor. Have tried using pulverized, dried neem leaves by just converting the equivalent amount of 1 kilo fresh neem leaves into pulverized, dried neem leaves. Still it is working.

        • Anne Studley on July 11, 2015 at 4:10 am

          Oh my gosh, that’s a lot – too expensive for me! How much of a garden can you cover with that? And how long does it last? Thanks for the recipe, though.

  9. Max B Holbrook on February 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I have used an egg mixture – 4 eggs in half gallon of water. Put the eggs in a blender first and blend, mix with water shake well, use a hose end sprayer, go to work!

  10. payday2222 on February 15, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    In your opinion, will the neem oil you advertise handle my nemesis the dreaded LEAF-FOOTED BUG (leptoglossus phyllopus-coreidae)? They are a Goliath in my small fruit tree orchard: so far, they have laughed at my organic attempts at control. As one flew away after I sprayed it, it said: “your organic sprays make us more virile”. Someone please give me the smooth stone (organic solution) that will knock them out.

    • Phil on February 15, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      Yes, neem oil could be a help if you get started early in the season and spray it regularly on the trunk and leaves. Definitely worth a try and let me know how it goes.

  11. Amanda Michelle on February 15, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Neem does harm beneficials…I do not recommend using neem outside because it kills bees and we keep them where we live. My advice, only use I side on plants…or research neem on beneficials. I learned the hard way by finding all the good bugs were dying!

    • Phil on February 15, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      All of my research shows that pure neem oil does not harm most beneficials including bees unless you’re spraying them directly (that’s why it’s best to spray early morning or evening when they’re not pollinating).Are you using pure neem oil? Many neem oil products contain chemical pesticides that do indeed harm beneficials, but with pure neem oil, some beekeepers even spray it on the hives for mite control.All that being said, if for some reason bees end up ingesting too much of it, it could be an issue.Thanks for sharing your experience here. We definitely want to think holistically about everything we spray and do in our gardens.

  12. GardenMeetsGeek on February 15, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Absolutely a great article. Neem oil has been a staple around my plants for years. I used to only use it when I brought my plants indoors at the end of the season, but about 2 years ago started to use it around most of my garden as I noticed a large break out occurring. Keep up the great articles.

  13. Ramani on February 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Very useful post, Phil. Would neem oil work to discourage snails without killing them?

    • Phil on February 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      It’s generally not all that effective at discouraging snails, but some people do report having success with it.

  14. Kathy Boone on May 9, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Do you happen to know where I can get pure Neem Oil in Canada?

  15. Kishan Patel on September 2, 2015 at 3:37 am

    hello sirhow to mix neem oil and an emulsifier ? which ratio i maintain pls give information.thank you

    • Phil on September 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Mix 1.5 Tbsp of neem oil with ½ teaspoon of liquid soap per gallon of water and shake like crazy before and during application.

  16. Anika Kozlowski on June 2, 2016 at 12:08 am

    what happens if you don’t dilute the neem oil and wipe down a plant with pure neem oil only?

    • Phil on June 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      I expect it makes a very unhappy plant. Try it on a few leaves and let us know 🙂

  17. PAULETTE BROWN on July 5, 2016 at 1:18 am

    i would like the neem but shipping is a bit steep for me. Is there a brand you recommend i look for? I see so many but not sure if they are true pure cold press organic neem. Im in the US. thanks

    • Phil on July 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Paulette, neem is one of the rare products I carry where I don’t (yet) recommend a specific brand. If I find a product and the company cares enough to share where and how it’s harvested and processed, along with the organic certification, I feel confident in the quality.

  18. Glen Davidson on July 8, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    What a great comprehensive post on the benefits of Cold-Pressed Neem oil! My company, Terramera, owns http://www.Neem.com and we are one of the largest importers of 100% Pure Cold Pressed Neem in the US. If you are looking for a pure Neem supplier look us up.

  19. Jai on July 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Hi All, I am from India, is it i get this pure neem oil product in India?, if yes please let me know where and how should i get it.

    • Phil on July 25, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hi Jai, I’m not sure where to buy neem oil in India.

  20. Kevin on July 29, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Hi Phil, I made too big a batch of neem oil spray and i heard it will lose its efficacy within hours, so I can’t reuse it? Thanks

    • Phil on July 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      With most fertilizers, ya, you want to use it the same day you’ve mixed it with water. In the case of neem oil, I don’t think it goes “bad” like some fertilizers do (e.g. fish), so I expect you can still use it, but I’m not sure about efficacy – I expect you’ll still get some benefit. Test on a small area first and give it a couple of days to make sure there are no negative consequences.

  21. Sammy on August 18, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I love it but can this be available in Malawi my home? If one in Malawi here knows where I can get it please tell me.

  22. Ali on September 1, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    What detergent can you use to emulsify the neem oil? Everything I can find has some ingredient that is not healthy.

    • Phil on September 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      I use Dr. Bronner’s because that’s what I have around. Most liquid castille soap is usually quite benign. I’m not sure how much it matters if you’re just using a tiny amount anyway, but obviously it’s nice to go with healthy ingredients as much as possible.

  23. MAt Tih on January 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Hello phil..can u ship to malaysia…hehe.. and how much 1pint?. I want to use for my garden.. 1/2 acre.. chilli..

    • Phil on January 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Sorry, I can’t ship outside of the U.S.

Leave a Comment