Grow Q&A: How Do I Emulsify My Neem Oil For Pest Control?

POT PEST CONTROL So what do you do when you’re facing an all-out, full-scale insect invasion?

Dear Dan, I live in a fairly cold area and my neem oil is almost solid sometimes. It stays separate when I try to mix it into my water. No matter how many times I shake up the sprayer bottle, I still see the neem oil particulates and it never seems to mix together the way it should. We have issues with mites sometimes and I need to use the spray as a foliar preventative and for occasional flare-ups in mite populations. Can you give me some tips on properly emulsifying my oil? – BBQ Billy

Dear Billy,
First, try to find pure neem seed oil. Many of the products on the market aren’t quite the real deal and dilute the oil with other products. Dyna-Gro produces a great oil that’s natural and free of additives. As for mixing, you need to add an emulsifyer such as a silica additive or horticultural soap to your oil before adding it to warm water.  

Pour 1-½ teaspoons of Neem Oil into a cup and add ½ teaspoon of emulsifier. Dyna-Gro also makes an excellent product for this called Pro-Tekt but you can even use dish soap in a pinch as long as it’s natural. After some stirring, add the mixture of oil and emulsifier to a quart of warm water (not hot but around 75-80 degrees). Some people use a blender to get it smooth but you can just shake the solution around inside the bottle as well. Be sure to spray it on the tops and undersides of your leaves for full coverage.

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