Neem oil is extracted from the olive-like seeds of the neem tree a tropical evergreen tree found in India and it has some very useful properties for gardeners, it interrupts the feeding activity, breeding and growth cycles of sap sucking and leaf chewing insects. Neem oil also suppresses fungal diseases such as mildew, blackspot and scab. The particularly good thing about Neem oil is that it has very little detrimental effect on beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and honey bees. Neem oil is easily purchased at most garden centres.
Use neem oil year round most frequently required in spring and summer when pests are most prevalent.
Use on plants when pests are first noticed. Spray on foliage and stems – paying particular attention to the underside of leaves.
The effects of neem oil on pests are not instantaneous. Neem oil has a delayed effect as it alters their metabolism or interrupts the physical development and breeding patterns of insects that have ingested it. Allow several days to a week before judging how successful an application has been.
Neem oil can harm insects when it is sprayed directly onto them. This can affect beneficial insects such as honey bees, lacewings and hoverflies if they are around when you are spraying. To avoid accidentally harming these beneficial insects spray plants in the early morning or at the end of the day when they are less active. If you keep bees or there are hives in the vicinity you may want to confine spraying to times of necessity rather than as a routine.
Application: Follow manufacturers instructions for application and care when using.