Houseplants enrich our home and ensure a pleasant indoor climate. Unfortunately, they are also susceptible to pests such as aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats and whiteflies, which can affect the growth and health of the plants. However, the use of chemical pesticides can not only be expensive, but also harmful to the environment and our health. A natural alternative is neem oil, which is obtained from the seeds of the neem tree. Find out here what pure neem oil actually is and how to use it!
Origin: neem tree
The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is an evergreen tree native primarily to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The bark, leaves, flowers and fruits of the neem tree have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Neem oil, also known as neem oil, is obtained from the seeds of the neem tree and contains ingredients such as azadirachtin, meliantriol and salannin, which have insecticidal and fungicidal effects. Neem oil is therefore used as a natural and environmentally friendly pesticide.
How does neem oil work?
The active ingredients contained in neem attack the pests and their larvae in various ways:
- Neem oil, mainly with the main active ingredient azadirachtin, acts on the affected plant in various ways and fights pests such as fungus gnats. It disrupts the hormonal balance of insects and affects their growth and reproduction. It can also influence the behavior of pests by inhibiting their movements, feeding behavior and egg laying.
- Salannin acts as an insecticide by blocking the breathing openings of insects and thus cutting off their oxygen supply. This causes the insects to suffocate and die.
- Meliantriol acts as a natural fungicide and can combat fungal infections. It can also help reduce the growth and spread of fungal spores.
- In addition, the oil from the neem tree can naturally reduce pest infestations by strengthening the plants' immune system and thus increasing their defenses against pests. This is because neem oil stimulates the production of phenols and other compounds that help the plant protect itself against environmental stress and disease. In addition, neem oil can also affect certain plant hormones, such as auxin, which is important for the growth and development of the plant. Neem oil has been shown to increase auxin activity and therefore may promote root growth and nutrient uptake.
Although neem oil can strengthen the immune system of plants, it should not be considered a panacea. It is still important to create an ideal environment for your houseplants by ensuring adequate nutrition, watering and ventilation. The FARBIO® NPK organic liquid fertilizer for green plants is very suitable for supplying your plants with the essential nutrients and thus helping them to grow healthily in the long term.
Natural plant protection for pest control
Neem oil is an effective and safe plant protection against pests. It is non-toxic to humans, animals and beneficial insects such as bees. Unlike chemical pesticides, which often have a targeted effect and only control specific pests, neem oil can repel a wide range of pests. It is effective against aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, fungus gnats, scale insects, mealybugs and leaf miner flies! However, you should note that neem oil is not equally effective on all types of pests. Some pests may be resistant to neem oil or require a higher concentration to be effectively controlled. It can also be used to control fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black rot.
Neem oil against pests - Neem as an ideal plant protection product for your plants
To use the preparation against pests, you can mix neem oil in irrigation water and give it to your plant or spray the leaves. To do this, simply mix a few drops of neem oil with water and put it in a spray bottle. The FARBIO® glass spray bottle is perfect for spraying your plant with neem oil!
However, it should be noted that neem oils are not approved as plant protection products in the EU - as they are often neither standardized nor tested for their exact ingredients. It is better to use tested neem extracts.
It should also be noted that neem is not always 100% effective against some pests such as fungus gnats. The natural remedy mainly fights the young larvae. The effectiveness also depends on various factors, such as the concentration of the oil, the type and severity of the pest infestation and the chosen application method.
Application: Correct dosage of neem oil
The dosage of neem oil depends on the type of plant, the pest infestation and the size of the plant. However, the correct dosage is crucial to ensure that the neem oil is effective but does not harm the plants. Always pay attention to the information on the package insert for your mixture. A general recommendation is to mix 1-2 teaspoons of oil in 1 liter of water. As a rule, neem oil is treated three times. Overdose should be avoided.
Overall, neem oil is an effective and environmentally friendly way to protect houseplants from pests.