plant care and essential oils

13 March 2020

As my indoor (and outdoor) plant collection grows ... so do my encounters with pets!
My most common issues have been scale and mealy bugs.

Of course my husband is the 'take it outdoors and hit it with a chemical' kind of guy....... but I know there must be safer options available.... with no toxic chemicals needed.

So.... I set to work to see what I could find on Essential Oils and their use for combating pests on plants.... this is what I found.... 
  • Rosemary oil can be used to deter cabbage caterpillars 
  • Peppermint oil is a great deterrent for ants... aphids...beetles and other crawling insects.
  • Tea Tree oil is a wonderful fungus suppressant.
  • Orange oil kills and repels insect pests like ants.... and eradicates their pheromone trail.
  • Cedarwood repels and suffocates insects..... and its great for wardrobes and storage to keep the moths away.

BROAD SPECTRUM INSECT REPELLENT -  I have not tried this recipe.. it seems a popular recipe online though. Personally I would spray around my pots and not on the foliage.... I would prefer a more diluted spray for my plant foliage.
  • 10 drops Rosemary
  • 10 drops Peppermint 
  • 10 drops Thyme
  • 10 drops Clove (or On Guard)
  • Add to a large spray bottle and top with water. - Shake well before each use - repels crawling...creeping and flying pests.

ALL PURPOSE PEST SPRAY - This is the recipe I have made.... its a far greater dilution and On Guard is a blend of Orange..Clove...Cinnamon..Eucalyptus and Rosemary all known to repel and destroy pests.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water -
  • Add On Guard drops to colour the water.
  • Spray to pest infected areas.

  • 10 drops Tea Tree
  • Add drops to a 1 litre spray bottle and fill with water - clean tools and green houses by misting with the solution.

  • 10 - 15 drops Orange or Peppermint 
  • Add drops to a 250ml spray bottle and fill with water or rubbing alcohol - spray solution around doors.. windows and corners. can be sprayed directly onto insect to kill it.

I found THIS article on the Gardening Australia site really helpful....  and because scale and mealy bugs have been my enemy..... I have made myself a DIY spray - 

SCALE / MEALY SPRAY - suffocating spray.

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon dishwashing liquid
10 drops Orange Essential Oil
1 litre water.


  • 6 drops of a pollinator attracting oils - Neroli.. Sage ..Lavender and Fennel are all suggestions.
  • Fill with water and mist the plants.

Happy gardening....

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