Gardening Blog

The Best Shopping Guide You Need To Glance At Before Purchasing Neem Oil

by Saru Kaushish on Feb 24, 2023

The Best Shopping Guide You Need To Glance At Before Purchasing Neem Oil

Until now, we all knew that inorganic or chemical pesticides are most effective against pests by giving results really quickly. But on the other side of the coin they may pose serious problems for  the natural habitat and eco- system. The negative effects of chemical pesticides are not just confined to the area of their application but also to other areas as well through runoff and drift. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of these chemical pesticides on the natural ecosystem were discovered very late. For example, commonly used pesticides like DDT were proven to be carcinogenic and they were also known to affect bee populations which were the chief pollinators for most of the crops.

What is the alternative for these chemical pesticides?

Nature has all the solutions for all your problems. All we need is a little patience. Neem oil insecticide is one such naturally gifted organic pesticide obtained from Azadirachta indica commonly  known as neem trees which are native to our very own India. 

What is neem oil?

Neem oil is a natural insect repellant and organic pesticide usually extracted from neem seed kernels and neem leaves. It contains an active compound called azadirachtin which is responsible for its pesticidal properties. 

organic pesticide

How to find the best neem oil?

Here are the steps you need to follow to purchase the best neem oil.

  • Scent says it all
  • A big No to oil extracted from leaves
  • Cold pressed neem oil is always best
  • Never opt for ready to use formulations
  • Check for the right concentration

Scent says it all

Yes, you read right!! A good neem powder for plants doesn't have a good lingering neem aroma. Actually, it smells unpleasant with a strong nutty garlic scent. The strong smell indicates that your neem oil is obtained from a good source. Neem oil having a mild smell or no smell would be relatively less effective.

A big No to oil extracted from leaves

Seed kernels obtained from neem fruits have most of the oil. So Always read the Labels to understand how the oil is extracted. Always choose the neem oil with the highest purity percentage (above 90%). Cheap neem oils available in the market are nothing but the extracts of neem leaf oil infused into the carrier oils like coconut oil. These low purity oils show little effect on pests.

Cold pressed neem oil is always best

Cold pressed neem oil is always best as this process extracts oil from neem seed kernels without affecting its chemical compounds like azadirachtin and its chemical properties. Cold pressed neem oil will be a little expensive, but it's all worth the price.It contains a more pungent scent when compared to neem oil extracted from other methods, making it most effective.

Never opt for ready to use formulations

I always wonder how these ready to use formulations work? Neem cake powder for plants is biodegradable which loses its effect in 45 to 48 hours after mixing it with water. To make these ready to use formulations work, the manufacturers need to rely on some sort of chemical substance which makes the oil stable. Using these formulations deviates our purpose of going chemical free and organic. 

Check for the right concentration

Generally, neem oil spray for plants with 0.5 to 1 % is used for home gardens. If you are dealing with stubborn pests, you can have strong concentrations of 2%. If we talk in ppm, neem oil of 10000 ppm is found to be effective against pests leaving no residues in the soil. 

Apart from these, always remember you need to add an emulsifier for balancing oil in water solutions. Add at least 2 ml of liquid soap in 1 liter of water to stabilize the neem oil solution and to get the maximum benefits. You might be thinking how to use this neem oil for your gardening and what is the right proportion to make this neem oil solution? We will try to provide a detailed insight on this through our next blog. Have a happy time gardening!!!