best neem oil for cannabis

Neem oil, the organic wonder treatment for cannabis

Neem oil is impressive stuff, and in this article, we’ll teach you how to mix the perfect solution for almost all cannabis pest problems. Neem oil won’t completely get rid of your pests, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you their solution will. What neem oil will do is help you keep the pest population’s impact to a minimum without harming the beneficial organisms. That way, you can keep a balanced ecosystem in your farm.

What is neem oil?

Neem oil is derived from the Neem tree. It has been used in India for centuries and has become the de-facto treatment for organic farmers all over the world. Made by pressing the oil out of the seeds and fruits of the Neem tree, this stuff is a pure vegetable oil that has all the advantage of the tree’s natural pest resistance.

What does neem oil treat?

Neem oil can impact a wide variety of pests, over 400 different insect varieties as well as most fungus. The best part is, it protects against the neem tree’s natural enemies but doesn’t seem to harm more beneficial organisms!

Protects Against Pests

  • Spider Mites
  • White Flies
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Fungus, Molds & Mildews
  • Caterpillars & Moth larvae
  • Snails & slugs

Doesn’t Harm Beneficial Organisms

  • Ladybugs
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Earthworms
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • You

How does neem oil work?

Neem oil doesn’t directly kill pests, like most chemical-based pesticides. Instead, applying it creates a hostile environment for reproduction and depletes the population over time. The oil enters the insects and interferes with insects reproductive system and the oily coating on the leaves impacts egg viability. The whole environment becomes toxic to the pests, and after a few generations of low birth rates, the population collapses.

How long does it take to work?

You should start seeing improvements after the first application, but it generally takes several applications over a few weeks to get the problem completely under control.

Will neem oil completely get rid of my pests?

No. These pests have evolved over millennia to be diverse and resistant. The most costly and caustic commercial chemical treatments won’t completely eradicate a pest and neither will neem oil. If it can’t safely be done, then maybe complete eradication shouldn’t be the goal of a pest treatment, but instead, we should strive for achieving a balance.

Neem oil won’t completely get rid of your pests, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you their solution will. What neem oil will do is help you keep the pest populations impact to a minimum without harming the beneficial organisms. That way, you can keep a balanced ecosystem in your farm.

How do you use neem oil?

Neem oil is typically applied as a topical foliar spray that is a mixture of warm water, oil, and soap as an emulsifier. Coating as much of the surface as possible is essential. For mites and other insects, it is doubly important to cover the underside of the leaf, since that’s where they hang out. Its almost impossible for them to attach an egg sac to the oily surface.

You can apply any time of day, but I like to apply just before light out so that the oil can sit on the leaves longer.

How often do you use neem oil?

Spraying your plant once a week is a great way to prevent pests. If you have an active pest problem, you should spray once every other day until the population is under control.

How do you make a neem oil spray?

What you need

5ml Neem Oil: – I use pure, cold pressed oil.

2.5ml Soap: Oil and water don’t mix, so you need soap to bind the spray together. I use Dr. Bronner’s mint soap since it’s organic and the strong mint brings its own beneficial anti-pest properties. Any liquid dish soap will work as an emulsifier.

1 Liter Hot Water: You will need to keep the spray warm while using since the solution will separate as it cools.

1 Liter Spray Bottle: Any clean spray bottle will work.

These ratios are for pure, cold pressed neem oil, Consult your neem oil label for exact proportions for your product.

Step 1: Warm the neem oil

Neem oil is so thick that it’s almost solid at room temperature so you will need to warm it before use. Run hot water over the sealed container or put in a bucket of hot water until it is warm enough to pour.

Step 2: Mix together

Fill the spray bottle with hot water and, once the neem oil is pourable, add neem oil and soap, Replace the spray bottle lid and shake vigorously for a full minute.

Step 3: Apply

Spray all surfaces of the plant until they are dripping with oil. Pay special attention to the undersides of leaves and at the base of the stems.

Is there something stronger?

If the infestation is particularly severe or you want to take a more aggressive approach, there are very effective ‘kill-on-contact’ organic solutions out there. These are generally made with a combination of neem, rosemary, mint and other oils. We recommend that you only use products that are specifically formulated and tested on cannabis, as we’ve documented some bad results with commercial household organic solutions.

We have had success with Bonide Mite-X spray treatment. It’s an organic solution made of botanical cottonseed, clove, and garlic extracts and works as a broad spectrum pesticide which eliminates a wide range of insects including spider mites, aphids thrips, broad mites, russet mites, and whiteflies. Unlike with neem oil alone, spider mites die on contact. Eggs are suffocated within 12-24 hours.

Can I get a premade spray?

If you want to buy something, you can bet that someone wants to sell it to you, and this is no exception. There are some good solutions, but they can be a bit more costly than mixing your own.

Where can I get neem oil?

We recommend Dyna Gro’s pure, cold pressed oil, but any cold-pressed neem oil with work great. You can find neem oil at your local gardening center or online.

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Neem oil, the organic wonder treatment for cannabis Neem oil is impressive stuff, and in this article, we’ll teach you how to mix the perfect solution for almost all cannabis pest problems. Neem

Organic Pesticides for Cannabis: Neem Oil

Neem oil is one of the most used organic pest control products out there because it can not only prevent but also eliminate a wide variety of bugs and pests while not affecting beneficial insects that are friendly to your plants.

This organic pesticide is used in almost all crops, not only cannabis and even though it doesn’t affect the bugs directly, it prevents them from feeding and laying eggs, forcing them to look for other plants to feed from.

1. What is Neem oil made from?

Neem oil comes from the Azadirachta indica tree, commonly found in India, South Asia, and introduced to lots of other subtropical and tropical countries for its importance in organic farming and medicine.

Not only is it used in plants, but Neem oil is also good for the skin in the treatment of several diseases, used as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, but remember you shouldn’t use it unless your doctor recommends it because there have been reports of Neem oil poisoning 1 in adults and children, so be careful.

When a Neem tree flowers they produce not only small white flowers but also a small green or yellowish fruit that resembles an olive, these fruits (and the seeds) are where Neem oil is extracted from.

By grinding and pressing the fruits and seeds, manufacturers can obtain the purest form of this oil, although it can also be extracted with solvents it will diminish the quality.

2. How to use Neem oil

Before using your preferred mix of Neem oil, you should always test it on one leaf and wait for 24 hrs to see how your plants react to it after you know it is safe to use it, you need a sprayer to completely coat your plant, including the branches and underside of the leaves so the bugs don’t have a spot to run away from it.

Here are a couple of recipes that aren’t too strong, you can always increase the amount of Neem oil you mix but these ones are quite light and won’t have a bad effect on your plant.

Neem oil alternatives

5ml of baking soda per 1L of water

500 ml of 70% alcohol with 500ml of water

Have in mind that Neem oil indeed can be used in the flowering stage but only on the stems and branches, but bugs will run away from it and hide where you haven’t applied Neem oil (the buds), so it is better you don’t use it.

Also, plants absorb neem oil and it stays in their vascular system and can alter the taste and flavor of your buds, so it’s better to use the alternatives given in the table above before applying Neem oil.

3. How and when to apply Neem oil

Neem oil can be used as a foliar spray and used as a drench to water the soil in any stage of cannabis’ plant growth (although it is not recommended on the flowering stage), it has shown to be more effective as a foliar spray but will depend on what you’re using it for.

If your plants are suffering from fungus gnats larvae or other bugs that live in the soil, you can use it as a drench, Neem oil will last up to 22 days in the soil but only 45 minutes when mixed with water to be used as a foliar spray.

So depending on what you’re using it for, you will have to repeat the process a couple of times.

Neem oil against bugs

A Neem oil insecticide is super effective against more than 200 kinds of bugs including Aphids , Mealybugs, and Whiteflies .

So, how does Neem oil work ?

Despite not killing bugs automatically, this organic pesticide can prevent insects from feeding, larvae from maturing, reduces mating, and can also coat the bugs, preventing them from breathing.

Depending on your case (if you’re preventing or controlling a pest) and the percentage of Neem oil present in the product you’re using you should dilute it in water, for example, a product that contains 70% Neem oil should be mixed at a ratio of 7ml per liter of water and used as a drench or sprayed throughout all the plant, including the underside of the leaves.

If you’re using it as prevention, you should use it once a week or even once every two weeks but if you’re trying to control and eliminate bugs already present it should be used once every 5-7 days.

Neem oil as a fungicide

There are several ways of dealing with fungi, and Neem oil is one of them.

A Neem oil fungicide can be used to treat Root rot and Powdery mildew but will depend on the stage your plant is in, if your plant is in the vegetative stage you’ll be fine but if it’s in the flowering stage you should avoid using it.

Is neem oil safe for flowering plants?

Even though Neem oil is safe for flowering plants, it will alter the taste and aroma of the flowers.

Neem oil has a really strong and unpleasant smell and taste, it is not recommended to use it either as a foliar spray or in the soil in the flowering stage because neem oil is absorbed by your plant and it will stay in the vascular system for a while.

If you need to treat fungus or bugs in the flowering stage you’ll be better off using alternatives such as mixing alcohol or baking soda with water.

Is neem oil safe for humans?

Since Neem oil is very potent, it is not 100% safe for humans and animals. Ingesting as little as 20ml can cause vomiting and convulsions. Even though it may seem a bit crazy to drink Neem oil, there have been lots of cases of Neem oil toxicity and it can also affect liver and fertility.

It is advised children and pregnant women stay away not only from Neem oil but from all Neem products in general.

In some parts of Europe (like the UK) the sale of Neem oil is controlled and regulated , so even though it’s organic and considered safe, you should always avoid touching your face when dealing with Neem products.

4. When not to use Neem oil

You should not use Neem oil on plants that have suffered from overwatering , overfeeding, or nutrient deficiency stress recently, even though you can if you need to control a pest fast, it’s better to wait until your plant completely recovers before applying it.

Also, you should not spray neem oil with the lights on (if you’re growing indoors), plants in direct sunlight outdoors or in extreme cold or hot should not be sprayed with neem oil because it can burn the leaves, branches, and stem, you should apply it at night or when the sun sets, and when the temperature is around 20 o C to avoid having problems.

5. In Conclusion

Neem oil is a great way to get rid of pests organically, but make sure you don’t use it in the flowering stage because it will affect the smell and flavor of the buds and leave them with an unpleasant harsh smell.

There are alternatives to Neem oil use in the flowering stage if you want to keep your harvest safe. If you’ve had a good (or bad) experience with Neem oil or have other homemade recipes please leave us a comment below!

External References

1. US National Library Of Medicine National Institutes Of health

Neem oil is a natural product used to prevent and eliminate pests, being widely used on all types of plants including cannabis because it's organic.