How to make a horticultural oil pesticide at home (using baby shampoo)

Are you looking for ways to get rid of that mold powder on tomato leaves without harmful pesticides? Or do you need to get rid of scale insects on your houseplant leaves? If you’re like me, not a big fan of using pesticides, then the best option for you is to make your own homemade pesticide. Below is a step by step guide on how to make horticultural oil at home.

What is horticultural oil used for?

Horticultural oil is a natural pesticide used to get rid of scale insects, whiteflies, chiggers, earwigs, aphids, spider mites, mites, caterpillars and leafhoppers. Horticultural oil will also kill powdery mildew on the leaves.

List of insects
The caterpillars
spider mites
List of effective insects with horticultural oil

When sprayed directly on insects, horticultural oil kills insects by smothering them. It is also effective on eggs and larvae.

Horticultural oil List of insects
Insects and pests of horticultural oils

Where can I use horticultural oil?

You can use horticultural oil on all plants, whether indoor or outdoor. I like to use horticultural oil on houseplants because it is safe to use around children and pets. I also like to use horticultural oil in my vegetable garden because it is safe to use on fruits and vegetables. I wash off the residue once it dries to make sure I don’t consume any horticultural oil.

How to make horticultural oil

Below is a recipe for homemade horticultural oil.

Ingredients for horticultural oil

  • 1 cup vegetable oil (soybean oil or cottonseed oil)
  • 1 tablespoon baby shampoo or dish soap
  • 1 gallon of water

How to make horticultural oil

1. Mix vegetable oil, baby shampoo and water

how to make horticultural oil
Mix water, oil and soap

2. Pour the horticultural oil solution into a spray bottle

How to make horticultural oil
Pour the solution into a spray bottle

3. Spray horticultural oil directly on insects

How to make horticultural oil
Spray directly on insects

How to Apply Horticultural Oil to Plants

Spray horticultural oil under plant leaves. This is usually where insects hide. You will also find insect eggs and larvae under the leaves.

Horticultural oil only works when sprayed directly on insects, larvae or eggs. Horticultural oil must enter the insect’s body to function. It does not work when dried on the leaves.

When to spray horticultural oil on plants

It is best to spray horticultural oil when it is cloudy, not too sunny – avoid intense sun. Wait until very late in the afternoon to spray horticultural oil on the plants.

Do you need to wash off horticultural oil residue?

It is best to wash off horticultural oil residue on plants. You don’t want to leave any residue on the plants because the oil can burn the leaves of the plants. Wait a few hours before washing off the residue.

How often can you spray horticultural oil on plants?

Like any pesticide, use horticultural oil sparingly. Don’t overspray just because it’s a homemade pesticide. After all, it’s still a pesticide! Runoff of horticultural oil into the soil is harmful to plants. Use horticultural oil sparingly.

You might also be interested in:

How to start a vegetable garden

How to Care for the Fiddleleaf Fig Tree (Infographic)

Laidback Gardener’s Guide: How to Grow Irises

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