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Thread: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

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    420 Member Medical Marijuana's Avatar
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    How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Neem oil is a highly effective and 100% natural pesticide, extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree in India. Neem oil is non-toxic to animals or people. Neem is systemic.

    Neem oil is most effective when used as a preventive, meaning that you spray every crop regardless of whether or not you see a pest.

    Many growers seem to be put off by its oiliness, finding sprayers clogged and plants left coated in oil. The solution is to get the oil broken down and suspended in the water, then we can get it onto the plants.

    Mix:
    1 litre warm water
    8ml cold-pressed Neem oil
    5ml liquid soap

    Note: If your Neem oil appears solid and/or cloudy it is most likely too cold. Run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes until the Neem oil is easier to work with. Shake it well.
    8ml Neem + water
    8ml of Neem oil + 1 litre of warm water

    you can see that the oil and water are completely separated..

    8ml Neem, water and 5ml soap

    8ml of Neem oil + 5ml of liquid soap in 1 litre of water.

    NOTE - you may have to add more or less soap, depending on the strength of your soap. When you can see soap bubbles youve got it right.

    Shake this in your sprayer, it should make a milky-white liquid, with no oil floating on top. Leave it to settle for a few seconds. If there are any oil droplets floating on the top, add a little more soap, drop by drop, (keep shaking) until the oil is gone. Dont be surprised if you have to add more soap than I did. Now you are ready to spray.

    Spray everywhere, especially under the leaves where critters hang around. Get those plants dripping wet. Keep shaking while you spray.

    IMPORTANT - you must repeat this application every 3 days for at least 2 weeks (3 weeks if you want to be 110% sure)

    This is important because Neem oil doesnt directly kill bugs (amongst other things it stops them from reproducing, feeding and molting their skins). So in effect, it breaks their life cycle.

    This means you need to spray for at least the length of one life cycle, which for spider mites in ideal conditions (like most growrooms) is around 2 weeks, sometimes a little longer.

    I use this method for the first 2 weeks of 12/12. It was taught to me by a professional grower of 20 years experience. He also uses this recipe as a soil drench (Neem is systemic and therefore there is no need to spray if soil drenching)

    I have used it as a foliar spray for about a year now and have had no problems with mites or any other vermin, large or small. Skeptical friends have also been won over to this system.

    Emergencies

    If you are facing an infestation emergency, you can add Pyrethrum to the above mix. I challenge any nuclear-proof insect in the world to survive the twin pain of Neem and Pyrethrum.

    Notes on Ingredients:

    Cold-pressed Neem oil has much higher levels of active ingredients and is well worth the money. A good place to find this stuff is from a Pharmacy that stocks herbal remedies. (It is used as a treatment for head lice.)

    If your Neem oil appears solid and/or cloudy it is most likely too cold. Run the bottle under warm water for a few minutes until the Neem oil is easier to work with. Shake it well.

    Liquid Soap - plain unperformed, boring liquid soap. Personally I don't let that stuff anywhere near my plants, but many do, and if you're one of them you may find you need less than if using liquid soap. Experiment a little when you shake the mixture. Plain liquid soap is much more gentle than washing-up detergent.

    Pyrethrum is extracted from Chrysanthemum flowers. It is a highly effective and 100% natural insecticide. It is also one of the safest, bearing little threat to mammals. Pyrethrum degrades quickly once sprayed.

    Editors note: Liquid soap is similar to Safers soap (a fat based liquid soap mixture). Safers suffocates and dessicates (dries out) insects. Works good, but can also clog leaf stomata, so a follow-up spray of water is required.
    Last edited by Medical Marijuana; 01-02-2008 at 10:54 PM.

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    420 Member Baja Big Dog's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    If growing hydro (ebb and flow) should you protect the grow basis prior to spraying the plants?

    Will the Neem accumulation harm the water?
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    420 Member Baja Big Dog's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Quote Originally Posted by andy botwin View Post
    bbd-

    can you clarify what that means...? I don't understand what you are referring to - 'the grow basis'?
    opps..gro basins!!
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    I have used Neem for a long time. I have a tree in my yard. They are very easy to grow and very adaptable to various conditions.
    If you are using it as a systemic, aren't you concerned about it getting in the bud and being ingested? I have heard fruit and vegetable growers say that it can be carcinogenic. There is a book called Neem, the tree of 1000 uses, and I think it says that it can be cancer causing. I have no opinion one way or another.
    The soapsuds themselves should take care of spider mites, at least outdoors

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    420 Member Baja Big Dog's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Botwin View Post
    Ah, okay I get it...

    No, do not worry about any actual harm or damage from the Neem touching the roots/water. You can actually use Neem as a root drench if you prefer. Neem is systemic and can be effectively administered both at the root zone and leaf surface.

    Typically, you only apply Neem products to the root zone in soil and spray if growing hydroponically, because although it's not damaging, it can certainly be oily and stinky!

    BBD, I would suggest spraying, and if you notice a messy build-up in the trays, I'd be surprised.
    Noted...mucho grasso Andy!!
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    420 Member Baja Big Dog's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    When should you start using Neem? My clones are about 4-5 inches.
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Botwin View Post
    If you're fighting a variety of pests, nothing beats the one-two combo of Neem and a watchful eye...

    I'll elaborate - don't worry, I'll make it brief, I know it's Sunday morning...

    Most of the time, I think growers encounter pests and diseases due to carelessness and/or laziness. If you make a proper check list, of the DOs and DONTs of growing, and follow it to a T, you'll catch 99% of the 'pitfalls of growing' very early. When you combine attention to detail with Neem Oil, it's hard to run into problems. I have a whole sermon on growing etiquette ready to rip here, but I think that's enough preaching for this morning...

    Hit your plants with a foliar Neem solution at about two weeks old from seed or immediately with clones, once a week for 3 weeks. Watch for any critters or molds that may creep up, do this everyday, take pictures to compare. Re-apply Neem if required.

    However, if you can grow a plant that's healthy, and big (let's arbitrarily say, 10 internodes), then you have the best insurance against pests and disease. Anything that normally inflicts our plants, will usually only succeed when the plants are very young or weak. Very similar to humans, and our peak susceptibility to disease and infection (i.e. infants, sick, elderly), deficient or underdeveloped plants tend to encourage pests and disease.
    Hey reverend Andy, is it correct to use Neem as a preventive? I presently have no pest issues, but Im somewhat anal about cleanliness, I run a quart of alcohol every two weeks cleaning stuff that is around the kids, but I was just wondering if I should give them a squirt to prevent a problem.

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    Resident Connoisseur PitViper's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Botwin View Post
    It's best to use it as a preventative.

    I've heard some growers say that using Neem, since it does penetrate the tissues, results in an altered taste or aroma. I'm not one of those growers. I'm also not one of the growers that has HEPA filtered intakes, and a completely isolated, air-tight room, so taking preventative measures like Neem application is a necessary part of my routine.

    One day I'll have that Bat Cave Grow Room...
    I had my 1st bout with bugs last grow. I created my own problem by stuffing in too many pants and caused severe loss of air circulation, too much RH and too much transpiration...it was a breeding ground on 4 plants. Spider mites.
    I didnt apply properly because I knew no better. I used 1000 lady bugs...I will use them again, but now that I know how to apply properly with soap and water...Ill feel alot better.

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    420 Member Baja Big Dog's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    Quote Originally Posted by PitViper View Post
    I had my 1st bout with bugs last grow. I created my own problem by stuffing in too many pants and caused severe loss of air circulation, too much RH and too much transpiration...it was a breeding ground on 4 plants. Spider mites.
    I didnt apply properly because I knew no better. I used 1000 lady bugs...I will use them again, but now that I know how to apply properly with soap and water...Ill feel alot better.
    This is a concern of mine, I have 6 plants in a 7x2x7high closet, I am LST'ing two of them to try to get some room, I am running two fans for circulation, but I think Im gonna start the Neem now to avoid future problems, lady bugs are a great idea, but inside the house would be a pain in the ass!!
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    420 Member slimm's Avatar
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    Re: How Do I Use Neem Oil Without Getting My Plants All Oily?

    I'm with you on the neem - used to use it on my roses. I recently discovered a product called AzaMax which is a neem derivative. It's a little less stinky and much less oily than straight neem and very concentrated. Anyone have opinions about this product?