need your input about neem oil

dragonheart(3)September 13, 2007

Hi, I would like to hear from you, concerning neem oil.

are you using it on your plants, are you getting good results? tell me about your expirience good or bad...

thanks :-)

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I think my experience has been fairly good. I heard of neem oil this spring. I liked the fact that it works in different ways. It smothers insects, disrupts their ability to reproduce, and absorbed into the plant. Also helps control some fungal diseases and scale. The big selling point for me was the smell isn't too bad (compared to other insecticides) and the claim that it is safe to use. I still, however, take precautions when using.

I read that neem oil is often sold as a leaf shine and that if you buy the concentrate versus the pre-mixed, you get a better concentration of oil. In fact you just buy the concentrate and mix your own. I bought a small $12 bottle of neem oil, marked on the bottle as "leaf shine" and mentioned "for leaf health" but didn't really say anything more specific about it's insecticidal properties.

I mixed it in a spray bottle. Neem, warm water, and a bit of dish detergent. The detergent helps the oil disperse properly throughout the water as neem is thick oil. Then I just shake it up and spray both sides of the leaves. Keep shaking the bottle once in a while as you are spraying. If any liquid is left, I have tried watering the plant with this solution as it gets absorbed into the roots and through the plant.

My results. My hibiscus had mites and aphids. I first tried using cygon (stinky smelly toxic), before I discovered neem oil and this helped but the bugs returned shortly thereafter. I then tried neem, which seemed to get rid of them but they still returned in a lower number. Still, by applying neem every few weeks I was able to keep the bug population under control.

So my thinking is that you might have to do a few applications of neem to get bugs under control (similar to other insecticides I guess) but, it's easy to use and fairly safe, so it's not such a big deal to spray plants. I would rather have to spray a plant 3 times with neem, than once with malathion, cygon, etc. This winter, I plant to regularly spray those plants that I am bringing inside that are prone to bugs and we'll see what happens.

Oh, I found that most plants tolerated neem well. My tricolour geranium, however, got a bit of leaf scorch after I sprayed and they say to keep plants in more shade for a few days after spraying.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:45PM
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nyssaman(Z6 ON)

I sprayed nasty yellow jackets with bio-grow which has neem in it couple direct sprays kills them dead with in 5 seconds.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 12:12AM
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Hi Glen:

Where did you find the concentrated neem oil? I have been looking for it as we can only get the pre mixed version here and it is quite expensive.


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 2:33PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

MG - Richter's has it. I buy mine at a local nursery - you have so many in your neck of the woods I'm surprised you haven't found it! The bottle at Richter's is $13 for 113 ml, and I pay $13 for 125 ml - I saw it for sale at my local nursery once in a gallon jug for $40! I should have bought one, then I could have kept GW supplied for years :-)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 3:37PM
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Hi BP:

A gallon would be great, we have a lot of house plants. I may try to contact a manufacture directly, please tell me the name of the company on your bottle. The nurseries here only carry the diluted version which last 2 weeks around our place. Looking for a more cost effective alternative;-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:17PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

MG - the name of the manufacturer of the bottle I currently have is:

AEF Global Inc. 201
Mgr-Bourget, Levis, QC
G6V 9V6

They also have a website: (some of their info is only in French)

The bottle I have is a 125ml bottle of neem oil concentrate and it makes 25l. They have a product catalogue that lists their products and it looks like that is the only size of concentrate they make, but maybe if you order a case of it it'll be a reasonable price? If I ever see the big one gallon sort again I'll get the company info for you.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 1:35PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I just picked up a 125 ml bottle of Neem Oil Concentrate at Long Lake Nurseries in Nanaimo yesterday, I would think Dinters would carry it. That might be closer for you, give them a call I can't believe they wouldn't stock it. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 12:31PM
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Hi BP, Aftermidnight:

Thanks for the leads, I will be checking into both of them.


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 4:52PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Hello there,

I bought my neem oil at Rona. It was a small yellow bottle with green leaf pictures on it (not sure of the milli-litre size though) but was around $13. At the time, I had also checked Home depot, but all they had was a premixed leaf shine with neem.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 2:35PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

One thing I forgot to mention was that the instructions on the small bottle of neem say to heat the bottle in hot water first, before measuring the amount. I think this is to ensure that the thick oil/gel like neem mixes better and pours out of the bottle easier. I didn't really do this at first, thinking that the liquid was pourable as it was, but now find a section of thicker gel like neem at the bottom of my bottle. Anyways, just thought I'd mention that.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 10:37AM
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I have had great success with neem oil and use it regularly every spring thru early summer. It knocks down aphid populations and also controls powdery mildew on roses. It's sold as a "leaf shine" product as it hasn't gone through the rigorous steps involved to classify it as an insecticide/fungicide. But who cares what it's called - leaf shine or works! Just be careful at which time of day you spray it as it can cause leaf scorch/phytotoxicity. I usually spray my plants late evening. Bees aren't as active then and the oil can set in when the sun is going down. (Regarding the bees, I wouldn't recommend spraying when they're active as I'm sure the oil can harm them - y'know, coat their wings, get on their fuzzy little bodies!) On the other hand, I've seen bees actively collecting pollen on plants the next day without any seemingly adverse affects. I try not to "hose" down anything that's flowering with neem oil ever, just to be on the safe side.) Also, I've found that I only need to apply neem oil 2 or 3 times during the spring/early summer and those applications seem to protect the plants for the remainder of the year. The oil has a residual effect on the leaves that aphids and slugs don't seem to like the taste of. It almost acts like a systemic spray, is safe to handle, and leaves your plants looking great - shiny and healthy. I love this stuff! I've only ever used the lowest ratio of neem to water recommended on the bottle to get these fantastic results!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 12:21PM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

Check at local ethnic groceries. I saw a 125ml bottle of Neem oil for $1.99 at an Indian Grocer's. The young man behind the counter said 'older people' of his culture use it as a health & beauty aid, but didn't know about horticultural applications. I'm pretty sure it's the same product and a lot less expensive.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:56AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Could be, Diana. Neem also has a natural ability as a fungicide and has been used in health and beauty aids.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 1:23PM
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Neem is not a registered pesticide, so the label will not say anything about horticultural uses other than "leaf shine". Producers are not allowed to make claims about neem used as an insecticide and anti-fungal spray. It probably won't ever be registered as a pesticide-- Big Ag has yet to succeed in patenting it (it's been in use for thousands of years) so any corporate claims about "owning the formula" are just plain impossible. In India and the far east, neem is used in skin creams, toothpaste, lice treatments, intestinal worm treatments as well as in agriculture.

Ironically, foresters and tree researchers have discovered that neem can be used to "inoculate" trees against borers and other devastating insect pests that are wreaking havoc on our forests. We have one arm of the government using it as a pesticide and another arm of the government banning it as a pesticide.

A couple of notes on using neem:

- as an anti-fungal treatment it will prevent, but not cure fungal problems. I spray plants that are prone to powdery mildew and blackspot BEFORE the outbreak occurs-- when the weather conditions are "ripe"
- to be effective as an insecticide, the oil has to come into direct contact with the bug. The "kill" usually does not take place right away-- neem disrupts the developmental, hormonal, reproductive and normal growth patterns of insects. There is no "wipeout" effect with neem, but there will be a gradual control as the bugs' ability to molt and reproduce is thwarted.
- As an anti-feedant, neem works pretty well but you need to re-spray after a rain.
- neem oil is like olive oil-- it solidifies at cool temperatures. Putting the jar in warm water just helps liquify it
- you can use a few drops of dish detergent as an emulsifier but you can also use a "spreader-sticker" product for even better mixing. Sometimes these are called wetting agents and you can find them at head shops and other "grower"-type places
- when you spray, shake the bottle regularly to keep the oil from separating out. When you're done, rinse out the nozzle to keep the oil from gumming it up.
- for a "double dose" you can mix neem oil with insecticidal soap, but this is not usually necessary

Hope this helps.

- Bev

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 6:27PM
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