Why You Should Use Neem Oil On Your Indoor Houseplants

When bringing a new plant into your home, there is always a risk of introducing other uninvited guests. So how do you protect and treat your plants when those gnats and other bugs start making a home for themselves? Almost every big box store has plenty of chemical options to rid a home of plant pests. However, these can harm other house members, such as children and pets. If you prefer to use organic products whenever you can and want to keep your pets, children, and plants safe, neem oil might be the perfect solution. It has beneficial nutrients the plants can use, it treats pest infestations and bacterial and fungal diseases, and applying with a cloth cleans the leaves for a healthier plant.

Neem oil is extracted from a tree called Azadirachta indica, and according to Gardening Know How, neem oil is used in soaps and cosmetics. A product that is safe enough for the skin and also for house plants might sound too good to be true — but is it?

It's effective against pests

Every plant parent gets a sinking feeling when they inspect their plants and find tiny bugs. Pests are destructive, they can kill plants, and they're gross! Luckily, neem oil has been used to effectively rid plants of these nasty little bugs for centuries, according to Bloomsprouts. It's used against pests such as mealy bugs, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, and aphids. All of which can quickly spread to the rest of the plants within the home if they aren't stopped.

Sometimes plants are outside for part of the year and are moved back indoors when the temperatures start to drop. Using neem oil, you won't have to worry about it harming insects such as bees, ladybugs, or other beneficial pollinators. While it's toxic to most damaging bugs, it won't hurt the insects that are healthy for your garden.

Neem oil can also be used as a fungicide against common house plant diseases such as black spots, powdery mildew, and root rot fungus.

It's non-toxic and beneficial to plants

Spraying your plants indoors with neem oil might make you wonder if it's okay to be using it around your pets or children. What makes neem oil an excellent option for houseplants is its non-toxic qualities. You can safely use neem oil around children, dogs, cats, and birds. Bloomsprouts recommends avoiding using neem oil around aquariums and ponds since it has been harmful to fish and amphibians. Additionally, the concentrated version of neem oil can be detrimental to young kids and infants if swallowed, so keep it out of reach.

Applying need oil to houseplants treats pests and can also be used as a preventative. Plant Care Today recommends applying neem oil every 2 to 3 weeks to protect plants from infestations and disease. This means you will clean the leaves of your plants, allowing them to photosynthesize more efficiently. Neem oil also contains beneficial proteins and nutrients, which the plant can absorb through its leaves when applied. So it's a win-win! Using neem oil protects your plants and introduces beneficial nutrients to the plant that will make them healthier and stronger.