Taking care of your plant, understanding its watering cycles, fertilising it and always being aware of its needs will make it grow big, sturdy and happy; but there are things that can get out of our control: pests. Mealybugs, ants, slugs, mites and aphids can decide to attack your plants and wreak havoc on what you have worked so hard to maintain.
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There are many pesticides on the market, but their ingredients are often toxic and if you have pets, this can be a problem. But don't despair, many products you have at home can be used to combat those pesky pests. Read on and learn how to use homemade insecticides to eliminate pests from your plants.
Homemade insecticides for plants
Ideal for eliminating aphids. Prepare it by blending a large head of garlic in two cups of water. You can add ½ onion to make it more effective. Strain and steep for 12 hours. Dilute this mixture in 2 litres of water and apply directly on the plant with the help of a sprayer.
- Castile soap
Castile soap is ideal for eliminating powdery mildew, mealy bugs and other insects such as aphids, mites and thrips. Just dilute 1 tablespoon of Castile soap, 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in 2 litres of water. Mix very well and spray the plant.
Eggshells are a fantastic ingredient for your garden. They work as a fertiliser, providing nutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese and phosphorus, but they also act as a repellent for snails, caterpillars and slugs. Preparing it is simple: wash the eggshells very well, remove the white inner membrane. Let them dry well in the sun. Process the dried shells in a food processor or blender until they are a powder. Sprinkle the powder around each plant, creating a protective ring.
- Cow's milk
Cow's milk is rich in lactic acid, which acts as an excellent fungicide, as well as combating mite pests. Prepare this homemade milk insecticide by mixing ¼ cup of milk, 1 cup of wheat flour and 5 litres of water. Mix well until smooth and spray all over the plant.
The natural oils that are present in the skin of citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit are very effective in eliminating insects such as aphids, mealy bugs and other soft-shelled insects. To prepare your homemade citrus fruit repellent, cut the peel of these fruits into strips, place them in a heat-resistant container and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Cover and leave to steep for at least 24 hours. Spray this solution on your plants a couple of times a week.
Wood ash, which may be left in a fireplace or after a barbecue, is rich in minerals that will help plants absorb nutrients more efficiently; but its benefits don't stop there, as it is an all-purpose insecticide and fungicide. In fact, to eliminate snails, worms and slugs, spray it around the plant. To prepare an insecticide with ashes, simply mix a couple of tablespoons of ash in a litre of water and leave to stand for about 4 days. Strain to remove impurities and add a tablespoon of Castile soap. Spray the plant with a sprinkler.
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.