Apart from repelling pests, essential oils also help in attracting beneficial pollinators! Here’re Best Essential Oils for Gardening and How to Use Them!
Essential oils have several medicinal properties. Besides many uses in the health and beauty sector, essential oils are used in gardens to prevent harmful pests and diseases. Learn more about the best essential oils for gardening and how to use them!
Check out our article on chemical-free pesticide recipes here!
Using Essential Oils in the Garden
1. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil has a woody scent and is a great option for pest control in the garden. You can use it to deter pests like aphids, cabbage butterfly, flea beetles, ants, and more. It can be used as an essential oil tea for cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Spray a few drops, in the pot, to keep the bugs away from chewing up the foliage.
Here are several rosemary benefits that you’d love to read!
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a strong, sweet fragrance that helps in repelling many garden pests like flies, aphids, spiders, cutworms, slugs, and beetles. Also, this essential oil is ideal for preventing mice, squirrels, and moles. Soak a cotton ball with few drops of peppermint oil and place it on the infected areas, or near the mole tunnels.
Read about the peppermint essential oil uses in the garden here!
3. Melaleuca Essential Oil
This oil is perfect if your garden plants are suffering from the fungus. Prepare a spray with 1 part melaleuca essential oil and four parts water and mist the plants and soil. This oil can make the plant more sun-sensitive. Hence use it on stems instead of leaves, as its coating can burn the leaves.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is an excellent pest repellant and a wonderful attractant for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Take a few drops of this essential oil in a cotton ball and place it near the pots. You can also make a spray with water and mist the affected area with the solution.
5. Orange Essential Oil
Orange essential oil is another excellent option to attract pollinators in your garden. You can mix it with lavender or rosemary essential oil to prepare a solution. Fill it in a spray bottle or soak some drops on a cotton ball, and place or spray it on pots to attract the pollinators.
6. Cinnamon Essential Oil
This strong-smelling cinnamon essential oil works best for getting rid of weeds and pests like ants, snails, gnats. It also helps in preventing fungus. You can make a solution with 10-15 drops of cinnamon oil and water. Use this spray on weeds or other infected areas.
Check out our article on some fantastic cinnamon uses in the garden here!
7. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best fungus repellants. You can use it as a spray by diluting it with water to prevent fungal infections like blights that damage potatoes and tomatoes in the garden or powdery mildew in cucurbits.
Note: Do not overspray as it can burn the plant.
8. Basil Essential Oil
You can use basil essential oil to keeps the insects away from plants like beans, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and potatoes.
9. Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil is an all-purpose garden use oil that works on killing weeds, prevents mildew/fungus/mold, and repels insects on plants and soil. Use it as a spray, or on a cotton ball, soaked with the solution, on your plants and soil.
10. Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil has a strong smell. It can be used in the garden to treat fungal infections. Also, you can use it to prevent flying pests like greenfly, carrot fly, mosquitoes, and other flies.
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How to Use Essential Oils for Gardening
Take 4-6 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Fill it 3/4th with water, and your mixture is ready! Remember to shake the bottle before every use. For best results, spray the plants early morning or evening, as the cool atmosphere helps in quick absorption.
Insect Deterrent Spray
Use a large spray bottle and add 1-2 drops peppermint, rosemary, and thyme essential oil. Fill it half with water. Mix well and use it early morning or evening.
Fungus Spray (Powdery mildew, blight, etc.)
Take 3 liters (1 gallon) spray bottle and add one drop oregano oil, five drops tea tree essential oil, one squirt Castile liquid soap, three tablespoons baking soda, and fill the bottle with water. Spray the solution on plants once a week, in the morning or evening.
Essential Oil Weed Killing Spray
Take a spray bottle and fill it with distilled white vinegar (below the fill line), one squirt of Castile soap, 15 drops of clove essential oil, and ten drops of cinnamon essential oil. Shake well and spray this solution on weeds.
Note: Use it only on weeds and not on plants as it can kill them.
You can use cotton balls to prevent pests at the ground level. Soak cotton balls in any of the essential oils from the list and put near burrows or rodent nests. They can be used in the garden to attract pollinators as well.
Strings or Strips
If you don’t want to use spray, then strings or strips are a good option. Soak cotton strips in essential oils and hang from a tree branch and near plants. The smell of these oils can confuse insects and repel pests.
Does the brand of essential oils matter?
I think brand used for essential oil will make a difference as not all brands on the market are of the same quality.