How To Use Neem Oil On Succulents

Pests are one of the significant challenges against your succulents. It would help if you found a way of dealing with them. You can take some remedial measures to eliminate the pests when the plant is infected, but it is better to avoid infestation altogether. Neem oil keeps your plant from being infested; it is one of the so-called systemic pesticides.

Can You Use Neem Oil On Succulents?

One of the main challenges plant parents face when controlling pests in succulents is the fact that succulents are pretty delicate. Many chemical and organic pesticides in full strength are likely to damage the leaves. Neem oil is gentle for the plant and gets the job done. Also, the fact that it is organic makes it ideal for succulents because most of them grow indoors. Using chemical pesticides can poison, but neem poses no such challenges because it is natural.

How Does Neem Oil Work?

As mentioned earlier, neem oil is a systemic pesticide instead of contact pesticide. It works on the pests by inhibiting their appetite and thus making the succulent unpalatable to the pests. The active ingredient in neem in this regard is known as Azadirachtin. Azadirachtin is one of several triterpenoids found in neem. It is, however, the best-known and the most widely studied.

Neem oil works against mealy bugs, whiteflies, Japanese Beetles, mites, and aphids. Furthermore, you can use the oil for common fungal diseases affecting the succulents the same way it repels pests. This means you can use neem oil for powdery mildew on succulents.

You can apply neem oil to your plant in two ways, directly on the soil or on the leaves. The following are more details on how it works in both instances.

Neem oil
Tara Winstead from Pexels.

Using Neem Oil On Soil

The triterpenoid Azadirachtin works well against soil pests, fungus, and other pathogens. However, the plant doesn’t affect friendly creatures in the soil, such as earthworms. To apply neem oil, you need to drench the soil with neem oil. Like other nutrients, the active ingredient will then be transported through the phloem and Xylem. It will then be activated inside the plant to repel pests and fungi. Neem oil in the soil also helps to protect the plant from other pests that find their way to the plant soil.

Using Neem Oil On Leaves

You can apply neem oil on the leaves of your succulents the same way you apply foliar. Dilute the mix and spray using a misting bottle twice a week. The Azadirachtin then gets into the leaves and keeps the pests at bay. Praying it as often as twice a week is crucial because it can easily be washed off or evaporated, leaving your plant unprotected.

The need to keep neem oil on the leaf’s surface is because leaves aren’t as effective in absorbing it into the plants as the roots. Roots are adapted for transporting nutrients to the entire plant through the vascular system. As such, the neem oil stays available to the plant longer when absorbed through the roots than when sprayed on the leaves.

This doesn’t mean that leaves don’t absorb the oil at all. They absorb it, but a much smaller percentage gets into the vascular system than when absorbed through the roots.

A Step-by-step Guide On How To Use Neem Oil On Succulents

You can take the following steps when using neem oil to protect the plant.

Get the following supplies before starting:

  1. One liter of warm water
  2. 5 Ml neem oil
  3. 2 Ml emulsifier, the emulsifier can be a mild liquid soap

Follow the following method:

  1. Put the warm water into a sprayer.
  2. Add the emulsifier into the water and mix thoroughly
  3. Add 5 Ml of neem oil to the mixture of water and emulsifiers and mix them thoroughly
  4. Spray the plant leaves on the upper and the lower parts, and you are good to go. If you want to apply it to the soil, drench the pottage of your succulents thoroughly. Repeat as appropriate.

Helpful Suggestions On The Market

It is not always easy to get pure organic neem oil. We have two suggestions of good products you can use.

  1. Trifecta Crop Control – Neem Oil For Powdery Mildew On Succulents
  2.  Bonide BND022 – Neem Oil For Mealybugs On Succulents

You can find the two products on sale in online stores or find out the stores from which you can get them for your use.

Common Mistakes When Using Neem Oil On Succulents

The following are some possible mistakes people make when using neem oil on succulents:

  1. Using pre-mixed neem spray: Commercial pre-mixed neem oil is usually heavily degraded because water degrades neem progressively. You might find that nothing of the active ingredient remains when you spray on the succulent.
  2. Spraying in the succulent under direct sunlight: Ultraviolet rays usually degrade neem oil when they hit it directly. The sun also scorches succulent leaves if water lands on them directly.
  3. Applying without testing: Don’t spray the entire plant all at once. Dab a small portion of the succulent first. One leaf is ideal, and wait to see how it reacts. If the reaction is positive, you can spray the entire plant and vice versa. Wait for 24 hours to see the sample’s reaction.
  4. Using raw neem oil on the leaves: Succulent leaves are delicate, and raw neem oil scorches them. The raw neem should be used on the soil, while clarified neem oil is best for the leaves.
  5. Mixing neem oil with products other than recommended emulsifiers: Neem oil reacts to solutions such as alcohol. Alcohol helps to kill pests in succulents, and one might be tempted to mix the two hopping for greater effectiveness; they will not get it. They are likely to harm the succulent instead. Use neem oil with soap emulsifier only.

Neem Oil On Succulents FAQs

  • Can Neem Oil Hurt Succulents?

The correct neem applied correctly doesn’t hurt succulents. However, if you apply the wrong oil the wrong way, your succulent may suffer. This is why you should use the recommended brands the recommended way.

  • How Often To Apply Neem Oil on Your Succulents?

You should apply the neem oil twice weekly on the leaves and once weekly on the substrate if it is liquid. Furthermore, you can apply it alongside a slow-release fertilizer and wait as appropriate to feed it later as needed.

Read More: The Art of Repotting Succulents (A Full Easy Guide)

Final Words

Neem oil is one of the most effective systemic pest control for succulents. It is essential to get the right products. Follow the recommendations above to ensure your succulents benefit from the oil and do not suffer from its application.


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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