Although very robust and can handle harsh environmental conditions succulents can easily succumb to injuries caused by pest infestation and using neem oil correctly can help prevent such events.
Neem oil when used on succulents can prevent pests by turning off the feeding hormone in insects and also acts as a repellant. This is done by the active ingredient Azadirachtin present in the oil. Neem oil can be applied as a soil drench or a foliar spray twice a week for effective results.
Neem oil comes from the neem plant and can help your succulents against pests without providing any side effects.
In this article, we’ll let you know all about the benefits of using neam oil on succulents. Why should you use it? How to use it? How often should you apply it?
How To Apply Neem Oil To Succulents?
Do you know that many pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides sold to the public for plants are not safe for our environment?
Some are even not safe for plants themselves. That’s why most experts suggest using organic products like neam oil.
Succulents are often disturbed by different fungi and pests.
Neem oil is the best solution for this. Neem oil is an organic pesticide, insecticide, and fungicide.
One of its main active compounds is azadirachtin, which is very effective against many pests without damaging the plant itself.
Neam is not only organic but an ace at repelling harmful bugs. Neem oil is a fun and natural way to keep pests from eating your succulent plants.
Neem Oil solution is only effective if correctly applied.
There are two ways to use neem oil on succulents.
- You can apply it topically by mixing about five drops of neem oil with one tablespoon of water. Apply the solution to the leaves, stems, soil, or pot of your potted plant.
- You can add water-soluble neem oil supplements to your fertilizer every few months. This will not only provide continuous protection to your plants against pests but will also improve their overall growth and health.
Both these methods are effective ways to control pests while increasing the overall health of both indoor and outdoor plants.
Coconut oil can also be used if you don’t have access to neem oil.
Warning Note: Neem oil cannot directly be sprayed on succulents. It should be firstly diluted in water as an emulsion.
Additional Tip: Mixing neam with warm water makes the plant more resistant to insects and molds while watering it with diluted neem powder helps increase growth.
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How Does Neem Oil Work
Neem oil comprises mainly triglycerides, steroids, and many triterpenoids, of which azadirachtin is the most well-known and studied.
Azadirachtin is very effective against soil, leaf pests, and pathogenic organisms, but it does not harm friendly fauna such as earthworms and microbes.
This active ingredient when absorbed into the vascular system of the succulent also reduces the appetite of sucking insects making the plant a less attractive source of food.
Applying Neem Oil to Soil
When used as a drench on the soil the plant can absorb the active ingredient, Azadirachtin, which is then transported throughout the plant via its vascular system.
Soil drenching is the process of adding diluted control products directly to the base of a plant.
The plant can now ward off pests both in and out of the soil.
Additionally, having the solution of neem oil directly in the soil would act as a first defense repellant for any laying insects venturing close to where it is applied.
Applying Neem Oil to Leaves.
Neem Oil can be applied to leave in the form of a foliar spray. A diluted mixture is applied with a misting bottle directly to the leaves of the succulent twice a week.
This gives the Azadirachtin enough time to be effective in warding off insects before it evaporates or is washed off.
Leaves can also absorb the active pest repellent which is also transported throughout the plant system for further protection.
How Can Neem Oil Benefit Succulents?
Natural compounds (such as neam oil) are increasingly considered alternatives to pesticides and insecticides for pest control. For over 3000 years, Indian farmers have used neam oil to fight against stubborn pests.
One of neem oils’ main active compounds is azadirachtin, which effectively protects against many pests without damaging the plant itself.
It is recommended for indoor and outdoor use on all types of plants, including vegetables, flowering shrubs, trees, and houseplants.
There are so many benefits of this wonderful oil for plants. Here are a few of them:
- Neem oil doesn’t only control pests and cures the affected plant but also prevents the future infestation of pests if used regularly.
With its bitterness, neem oil disrupts the hormone regulation and the life cycle of pests. It hinders the transformation of insects by attacking their larvae.
This prevents insects such as gnats from laying eggs on the leaves of the succulents.
- Neem oil helps prevent succulent fungi such as Grey Mold, Black Sooty Mold, Leaf Spots, etc.
- Unlike other pesticides, neem oil preys only on pests and evil insects and not the beneficial insects. Thus, it helps in plant growth.
- Neem oil also makes an excellent lubricant where it resists weathering, is self-cleaning and leaves no sticky residue.
- Because organic neem oil is toxin-free and has minimal side effects, there are no adverse effects. It is safe for the plants, the environment as well as all other living organisms.
Neem Oil as a Fungicide:
Because of its natural ability to destroy fungus, mold, and mites, neem oil is often used to prevent infestations of harmful molds or mildew in your plants.
The oil works by preventing the spread of new spores, so there are fewer for your plant to contend with. The effect can last for up to four months after application.
To Create Neam Fungicide:
If it is to be used as a fungicide,
Mix two tablespoons of neem oil with 2 tbsp olive oil or almond oil, 1 gallon of water, 1 tsp peppermint oil, and 1 tsp rosemary oil.
To Create Neam Pesticide:
If the neem oil is used for pest control, it must be mixed with Â½ teaspoon liquid dish wash and 1 quart of water.
Neem oil can also be used to control insects that lay parasitic eggs in the soil. Read more in our detailed article here.
You can see a listing of the most popularly used neem oil on amazon by clicking here.
How Often To Apply Neem Oil To Succulents?
The answer depends on which kind of succulent and other factors such as indoor vs. outdoor, the length/size, and the amount of sunlight your plant is exposed to.
The answer also depends on the infestation level of your plants. If your plants are suffering from mites, once a week will do the job of addressing the problem.
For aphids, spray them with neem oil twice or thrice a week.
In normal cases, succulents require a light coating of Neem Oil at least once a month to protect them from pests and diseases.
Important Note: To avoid sunburn, it should be sprayed at dawn or dusk.
Neem Soil Soak is to be used every three weeks as it remains active for 22 days.
What To Look For When Applying Neem Oil on Succulents?
A few things are to be taken into account while applying neem oil.
- Firstly, 100% organic and cold-compressed or raw neem oil is to be chosen.
- Secondly, it must be diluted with water so that its high concentration cannot harm the plant.
- Thirdly, daytime, when there are UV rays due to sun exposure, should be avoided for spraying neem oil. To prevent leaf burns, succulents should be sprayed at dawn or dusk instead.
- Fourthly, raw neem oil should not be applied to sensitive plants.
- Last but not least, the liquid should first be used in a limited area of the affected plant, and the condition should be closely observed for 24 hours.
If there is any improvement, then and then only the treatment is to be continued. In case any adverse issue arises, it is time to switch to some other method.
What To Do If Neem Oil Negatively Affects The Succulent?
In some instances, neem oil has adverse effects on plants.
Neem oil burns the foliage of young transplants. If used too much, it may cause the leaves to burn or droop and turn yellow.
Additionally, excessive oil creates a layer on the leaf and suffocates it, which inhibits food production.
To eliminate such effects, neem oil should never be sprayed on succulents when there is direct sunlight.
Neem oil should be used in required quantities. Neither more nor less than that.
In case an overgrowth of algae develops on the leaves due to neem oil, spray your plant with a fine mist of water.
Leave it for about 15-30 minutes, after which you should rinse the affected areas with water. Make sure no more than 1 mm of algae remains.
Neem oil should rarely be used on transplants aged one month or less.
To conclude, the active ingredient Azadirachtin in neem oil affects sensitive plants. So, before using, one should be well acquainted with preparing and applying neem oil.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re a succulent enthusiast, neem oil is a must-have for your plant care. While pests can add a lot of distress to your succulents, neem oil is the ultimate remedy.
Neam is not only organic but an ace at repelling harmful bugs. Neem oil is a fun and natural way to keep pests from eating your succulent plants, however, it is only effective when used properly.
However, do not overuse it. Remember, excess of anything, without any doubt, is dangerous.