Neem oil is pressed from the seed of the neem tree (Azadirachtin indica). Native to the dry forests of eastern India, Pakistan and Burma, this tree is known by several names including “village pharmacy,” “cornucopia,” “wonder tree,” and “the veritable gold mine.” Neem leaves, stems, seeds and oil have been used for medicinal purposes and pest control in India for more than 4,000 years. In fact, its Sanskrit name, arishta, means “reliever of sickness.”
Neem tastes bad to insects-so bad they won’t feed on a plant that has been treated with neem oil. Neem is not harmful to beneficial insects, affecting only those insects feeding on plants treated with neem. Since most predator insects do not also feed on plants, they are not harmed by the presence of neem. For particularly bad infestations, spray small to medium sized plants once daily, and medium to tall trees twice daily, until the infestation has subsided.
Neem oil also acts as a great fungicide. It can help heal and prevent things like rust, leaf spot, and black spot. Simply spray your infected plant with your neem oil mixture every week until the fungus has cleared up. You can also spray plants every 14 days to prevent a recurrence.
We advise you not to spray neem oil directly on leaves in temperatures above 85 F, especially if for high concentrations of neem oil to water. This can cause the leaves to fry in the sun, and permanently damage your plant.
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