Can I Spray Neem Oil On The Soil? Here Is How To Do It

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In this post, I will explain the science behind neem oil’s ability to keep your garden healthy and thriving. You will also learn the active ingredients of neem oil and the way they interact with the soil. And finally how to make sure you are using it safely and in the most effective way possible.

So without further ado, let’s begin…

How to use Neem Oil for plant pests:

Neem oil is an effective, natural remedy for plant pests. You can use it as a preventative measure against common garden pests, or apply it on plants and soil to eradicate existing infestations.

Whenever using neem oil, Be sure to first dilute it in water according to package instructions.

Different ways of using neem oil for plants:

You can use neem oil in more than one way to promote healthier plants. You can use the oil for soil drenches, foliar sprays, and seed treatments. However, not all applications might be suitable for every plant and the precise method of application depends on the species of plant.

Can I spray neem oil on the soil?

Yes, you can definitely use neem oil on soil for controlling pests and diseases. It is an effective method for mitigating the growth of harmful organisms and promoting the health of a given ecosystem.

Neem oil contains numerous compounds that can act as insecticides, fungicides, or nematicides depending on the concentration and mode of application.

When applied to soil, these compounds are released over time and can be absorbed by plant roots to provide systemic protection from pests.

By introducing a thin layer of the oil onto topsoil, you can make an effective means of pest management and potential beneficial microbial activity in the soil that can further enhance crop health.

Neem Oil Spray Recipe:

To make neem oil spray, mix 1-2 teaspoons of neem oil per quart of warm water in a large container. For added effectiveness, you can also add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to the mixture.

Shake the container vigorously to make sure that all ingredients are mixed together properly and then pour the solution into a spray bottle for easy application.

When using neem oil spray as a soil drench, simply apply it directly to the surface of your potting soil at any time throughout your growing season. It’s important to thoroughly soak the entire root zone with this mixture for the best results.

Why Make Your Own?

Making your own neem oil recipe is an intriguing opportunity to explore the potential of this versatile and widely applicable botanical oil. When you make your own formulation, you can optimize the composition that best suits your garden conditions. It will maximize the efficacy of the product.

Moreover, It will also provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the potential applications of neem oil.

what is soil drench?

A soil drench is a process that involves the application of a liquid solution to the topsoil in order to provide targeted nutrition for plants. The solution is formulated and applied according to the specific needs of the targeted plant species.

The soil drench method is an effective way to deliver precise amounts of nutrients without impacting surrounding areas or running off into bodies of water.

How Does Neem Oil Soil Drench Work?

Neem oil soil drench is an effective pest management strategy that works by providing systemic protection to plants. When you use neem oil it is absorbed into the plant’s xylem, allowing for an increased level of protection against pests.

When a pest ingests any part of this plant the neem will also enter its body, disrupt its life cycle, and prevent it from laying eggs.

Neem oil works by disrupting the reproductive cycles of a wide spectrum of organisms, such as fungi, insects, and nematodes. The active ingredient, azadirachtin, inhibits the molting process of insect larvae and prevents the formation of adult forms.

how often to use neem oil soil drench

Given the advantages of neem oil soil drenches, it is quite clear that you should apply them regularly. While there is not an exact prescribed frequency that suits everyone, generally, neem oil soil drenches should be applied at least once every two weeks.

However, this can vary depending on the intensity of pest infestation, form, and concentration of the neem oil, as well as other environmental factors. But you should always keep drenching your soil on a consistent basis.

How to get the most out of Neem Oil for your garden.

  • While preparing the mix only mix up the amount you will use in one go. Neem oil starts to degrade quite fast once it is combined with water and soap. You can keep pure neem oil for a year in the refrigerator, so prepare the mix each time you want to use it.
  • Avoid using neem oil during the middle of the day, It can hurt your plants when the oil gets combined with direct sunlight.
  • Always do a patch test before applying the neem oil on a larger scale. If you are using neem oil as a foliage spray, first apply the oil on a small portion of the plant and wait for 24 hours to see its impact. how it responds. For a soil drench, treat just one plant and watch its effects for 24 hours before treating all of your plants. 
  • Use a diluted solution the first time to gauge your plants’ response and adjust accordingly.
  • Not all plant is suitable for neem oil application and they can get negatively impacted by neem oil, A neem cake meal can be a better alternative in such cases.

pros and cons of directly spraying neem oil on the soil.

While it is true that spraying neem oil on soil can provide multiple beneficial effects such as enhancing fertility, controlling erosion, and suppressing pests; there is also the possibility for negative consequences.

Sometimes the direct application could result in adverse effects on certain beneficial species due to its toxicity, including phytotoxicity.

Is Neem Oil safe for kitchen gardens?

Neem Oil is a naturally derived product that has been used for centuries. The oil is composed of a variety of compounds, that have insecticidal and antifungal properties.

Its active ingredient, azadirachtin, is a highly effective insecticide and has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Recent studies have suggested that when used in appropriate concentrations, Neem Oil can be safely applied to kitchen gardens with minimal risk of adverse effects on humans, animals, or beneficial insects.

Plant Pests Controlled with Neem:

Neem is a natural pesticide that has been utilized for centuries to effectively control plant pests. It is very effective in controlling a plethora of plant pests, specifically aphids, beetle larvae, caterpillars, lacebugs, leafhoppers, leafminers, mealy bugs, thrips, and whiteflies.

Neem is an organic insecticide, and it works by disrupting the physiological processes of the targeted pest and therefore provides a form of biocontrol.

This is primarily due to the presence of various secondary metabolites found within the neem tree’s seeds and leaves. These compounds have been identified as being capable of disrupting essential biochemical processes and inducing morphological changes in arthropod pests.

Interestingly, neem has low toxicity to non-target species like humans. Due to this reason, neem has become increasingly popular over synthetic pesticides.

Why is Neem Oil preferred to other garden pesticides and insect repellents?

Neem oil is a particularly attractive option as a garden pesticide and insect repellent due to its broad-spectrum efficacy against both pest insects and arachnids.

Furthermore, its active component azadirachtin is a naturally occurring compound derived from the seeds of the neem tree, which renders it far less hazardous to human health than many chemical-based pesticides and insect repellents.


Soil drenching with neem oil is an effective and natural method to protect your plants from pests and diseases. It is safe for beneficial insects, pets, and humans alike.

This method has been used for centuries and results have shown that it can significantly reduce the amount of insect damage in gardens.

Furthermore, it can help reduce the need to use chemical pesticides while providing an environmentally friendly alternative. Neem oil is easy to apply, and affordable, and its effects are long-lasting.

With a few simple steps and some patience, you should be able to successfully use neem oil on your soil with great results.

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prasenjit saha author Gardening ABC

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here I share everything I have learned.

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