For this article we’re going to go over which neem oil we think is the best to use on plants as a fungicide/insecticide.
It is completely natural as it has been cold-pressed from the seeds of the Azadirachta indica or neem tree. It can be used indoors and outdoors and poses no health hazards to both humans and animals, making it one of the few effective hydroponics solutions that is completely pet-friendly.
We know it can be difficult to find hydroponics supplies that wont’ cause problems at home when there are roaming pets about, so you definitely won’t have to worry when using this particular product anymore.
A lot of people are unaware that something as old as neem oil can be used to prolong the life of hydroponics crops and improve harvests. Here are just some of the ways that using neem oil regularly will help prevent problems in your greenhouse today.
1. No Chemical Accumulation – One of the biggest problems that farmers and growers have to face is the fact that cultivating plants often leads to the accumulation of chemicals in the surroundings.
Some chemicals are downright harmful to animal life, so if you have pets at home that might come into contact with your hydroponics system, not using pet-friendly products will have its risks.
Luckily, this problem is non-existent when you use neem oil in your greenhouse, because it does not accumulate to any toxic levels at all.
It’s there, and it naturally passes and dissipates – no fuss. It will not harm cats, dogs, or any other animals, and it most certainly will not make any person sick (with you being the most important person in this scenario).
2. US EPA Certified – The US EPA has graded neem oil as having “no unreasonable side effects” and what’s more, it is completely biodegradable. Nature takes care of it once it enters any kind of organic system, including a hydroponics setup. This is a huge boon since we don’t want to add compounds to our setup that will harm the plants.
3. Keeps Good Bacteria and Fungi Alive – Neem oil, for all intents and purposes, targets only harmful insects and certain types of fungi.
Compared to insecticides and biocides, there will be no problematic dead zone when you apply it, which means beneficial fungi and bacteria will thrive, while you are able to control the bad fungi and insects that can cause leaves to roll and fruits to drop off.
Neem oil is a hydroponic grower’s dream, because it selectively eliminates problems before they get worse, and you can apply it repeatedly with no adverse side effects.
4. Targets Leaf-Sucking and Leaf-Munching Insects – Regardless of the phase of development of the insect, it will be effective in controlling both leaf-sucking and leaf-munching insects. It does so through three ways as insects are affected differently by the neem oil.
The most common effect is the neem oil prevents insects from actually feeding on the plant material.
With nothing to eat and limited energy to keep trying, the insects immediately detect that the plants are inedible and they drop off or fly away in search of new feeding grounds. Hormone disruption causes chemical change in insects that prevents them from multiplying.
This is especially helpful if you detected the insect pests late and they have begun laying eggs on your plants.
Hormone disruption can prevent the eggs from hatching or the young insects that hatch from developing properly. And finally, it is also possible that the neem oil will smother the pests outright and kill them, until the majority of the pests are under control.
5. Effective For Over Two Hundred Insect Pests – Neem oil has been proven effective in controlling over two hundred kinds of insects that affect crops from all over the world, including mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, and mites. The most common pests in your hydroponics setup will be no match for the natural killing power of neem oil, and it continue protecting your crops until they are ready to harvest.
6. Controls Root-Knot Nematodes – Neem oil has also been shown to be effective in controlling the growth and spread of root-knot nematodes. Root-knot nematodes are parasitic nematodes that burrow into the plant and it has been estimated that five percent of global crops are affected by this type of pest.
A staggering two thousand type of plants remain susceptible to seasonal invasions from root-knot nematodes, and as a hydroponic grower, it’s up to you to make sure that you take proactive steps to prevent an all-out infestation in your setup.
7. Protective During Dormancy Period – If you have a conventional soil garden/greenhouse setup, neem oil can also be used a dormancy or foliar spray to ensure that pests that are still on the plants will be eliminated during the critical dormancy period.
By taking care of the pests during the dormancy period, common conditions like leaf curling that usually occur during spring can be prevented. Since springtime is also often harvest time for many growers, it just makes complete sense to invest in all-natural remedies like neem oil.
8. Perfect For Greenhouses – You can safely use neem oil in small or large greenhouses, as they are safe for use on different kinds of plants. There will never be a situation when this fungicide will post any threat of harm to indoor or outdoor plants of any cultivar or species.
9. Effective For Fungi – Are your plants suffering from fungal infestations? It is never a pretty sight when you spot powdery stuff on the surface of leaves and stems. This is a warning sign that there are fungi in your midst, and you need to take proactive steps to prevent the fungi from gaining any traction.
Simply spray neem oil on your plants for seven to fourteen days, or until the visible signs of fungi infestation are eliminated. This all-natural fungicide works well with different kinds of conditions like leaf spot and tip blight.
Neem oil can also be used to prevent the reoccurrence of fungi in plants. The good news here is that you don’t have to spend extra just to prevent recurring fungal problems. Simply re-spray your crops every two weeks and that is usually enough to quell any fungi that is creeping back to your greenhouse.
10. Saves Fruits – Spraying your fruiting plants regularly can help save your precious produce from wooly apply aphids and other terrible pests that can deform and reduce harvests greatly if they are out of control. Berries specifically, can drop off easily when an infestation sets in and by then, things may get out of hand and recovery of your fruits may be more difficult.
11. Prevents Insecticide Resistance – We’re sure you are aware of the growing problem of insecticide resistance. Over the years, insect species increasingly become more and more resistant to conventional insecticide formulations, making it harder for farmers to control pests. But because neem oil is all natural, insects can’t develop resistance to it. You can use it again and again and get the best results even after years of use.
12. No Harmful Runoff – And this is our favorite benefit: you won’t have to worry about polluting Mother Earth when you release water with neem oil into the environment. Since neem oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the neem tree, the oil will just degrade over time and will continue being harmless to plants, animals, and man.