How to Use Neem Oil for Plants as a Natural Pesticide

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

How to Use Neem Oil as a Natural Non-Toxic Garden Pesticide

Do you need a non-toxic natural pesticide alternative for your home and garden? Learn how to use neem oil for plants as a natural non-toxic pesticide!

In addition to neem oil’s many medicinal uses – for which I’ve already created multiple recipes for soap, shampoo, salves and lip balm – you can also use neem oil for plants in your garden as a natural broad spectrum pesticide. Neem oil is extracted from the seed of the tropical neem tree and contains thee active ingredient, azadirachtin, which acts as an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide.

You can use neem oil for plants in the garden as a natural, non-toxic pesticide to help control slugs, snails, fruit flies, white flies, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, aphids small leaf eating caterpillars and other harmful insects.

In your home it works against fleas, ticks, ants, bed bugs, dust mites and cockroaches as well as scabies mites.

Simply combine between .5% and 2% of neem oil to warm water depending on severity of infestation. (So for every 16 oz. of water by weight, you’d want to use between .08 oz. and .32 oz. neem oil.) For the garden you can also include insecticidal soap or detergent at .01% – .02% of the water amount. Use the solution within a day or two and then make up a new solution to use as needed. If you have an existing infestation drench soil and leaves and apply once a week until infestation clears. As a preventative measure, use the neem oil at .5% dilution with warm water once a month.

Also be sure to check my natural homemade skin care recipes that contain neem oil: Natural Neem Oil & Rosemary Salve Recipe, Natural Homemade Neem Oil Cold Process Soap Recipe, Homemade Neem Cream Recipe, Natural Topical Anti-Fungal Toenail Treatment, Homemade Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe, Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo and my Lanolin & Neem Salve Recipe.

For more home and garden tips and recipes like this one, follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new projects and recipes by following me on Blog Lovin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram!


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

How to Create New Succulents from Clippings

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Making New Succulent Plants with Clippings from Existing Plants - Great for Handmade Gift Ideas and Favors

My succulent container gardens that I made back in May for Mother’s Day have been, of course, growing. So in order to keep them looking great, I had to trim a few of the taller succulents. I decided it would be great to re-grow these clippings into new plants that I could pot for other areas of my home and office at work that needed a little bit of greenery. As I’m pulling some of my arrangements inside to avoid the cooler fall evenings we’ve been having – the cooler weather can easily kill off your succulents – I also thought it’d be a great time to get creative and fill in some of my empty pottery pots – like the one pictured above – that I made many years back in my intro to pottery class in college.

DIY Succulent Container GardensI took clippings from several of my succulent container gardens. The particular clippings I used were from the succulent plant shown in this photograph on the upper left. They just happened to grow faster and much taller than the others and were quite tall after four months in the sun on my porch.

Succulent Clippings Arrangement in Water

The “correct” way to root your succulents is to clip them from the plant, then set them aside in a cool, dark location for a week or so then plant them right into the soil. This is definitely how it needs to be done with those low lying succulents that you really can’t clip a stem off of. Basically you have to take a leaf from the plant and root it. As these were taller and I always have trouble rooting the leaves, I just plopped a selection of these clippings in shallow water in a ceramic container and used them as a table centerpiece.

Succulent Clippings Growing Roots - How to Create New Succulent Plants from Your ClippingsIn the meantime, the clippings grew roots.

Rooting Succulent Clippings to Make Potted Arrangements

At which point I gathered several of these clippings together along with a container to put them in and some dirt.

Pretty DIY Potted Succulents Made from Rooting Succulent Clippings

And then all that was left was to plant them in their new home and water. What I love most about succulents is that they are so easy to grow and do especially well when you forget to water them. Plus most varieties can still thrive in low light areas. Just don’t forget to bring them inside the house in the winter! While some varieties will come back if they are killed off by the cold, others won’t. So keeping these planted in containers is best suited for their survival.

Do you grow succulents in your home? What ways have you had success with when starting new succulents?


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

My Memorial Day Weekend

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Scott Watering the GardenScott is watering the garden again today. He’s been faithfully watering the garden by buckets since there’s no hose or outside water faucet on the days the ground gets dry. Luckily we’ve had some good rain so far this spring and it’s supposed to be a rather wet summer since this can get a little tedious and I seem to keep having him add an extra row here and there. Right now we have tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers planted. I also have a row of organic Summer Bibb Lettuce seeds from Cubits planted in the ground and in a large pot along with some Basil and Calendula. Scott still has one more row to sow so I can plant my mix of organic Heirloom carrot seeds from Cubits.

I spent a lot of time outdoors yesterday cleaning up both the front and back yards. We rent and this is only the start of our second year here – and our first with any sort of extra income – so we’re just now getting the yard to our liking. I don’t have hedge trimmers yet – I spent money on a weed eater and an a/c unit – so I trimmed trees with my hands and a pair of craft scissors – which was surprisingly effective. I also spent a lot of time pulling up Virginia creeper out of the ground and off the fence. While it looks a lot better, it did send my allergies into overdrive so I’m nursing a sore throat today.

If you’re allergies are giving you fits as well – even with medication like mine – there are some natural home remedies that can help. One of my favorites since I have a variety of herbs planted out front is to drink peppermint tea. The peppermint oil acts as a natural decongestant. Simply add 1/2 ounce of dried organic peppermint leaves to a one quart jar then fill two-thirds of the jar with boiling water. Steep for five minutes, sweeten if desired and enjoy.

And since we’re on the topic of gardens, dirt and mud, I am offering 50% off my new Rose Body & Facial Mud for Memorial Day weekend! Just enter coupon code: FLASHMUD at checkout and receive half off every jar of Rose Body & Facial Mud you purchase from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen through Memorial Day. (Coupon code expires 5/27/13 at 11:59pm EST.)

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend. Scott and I will be going out to buy a small charcoal grill today so we can enjoy some grilled bratwurst and burgers purchased on the market this weekend from a local farmer.


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

DIY Upcycled Washi Tape Planter

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

DIY Easy Upcycled Planter - Made with Washi Tape and an Empty Vinegar ContainerI use so many gallon sized containers of vinegar every month – for everything from a homemade after shower spray to a natural and inexpensive laundry softener – that I wanted to  figure out something I could actually use these plastic containers for rather than just tossing them into the recycling bin. One of the quickest and easiest ways I thought of to upcycle these containers is to re-use them as pots for plants.

To make these pots, simply cut off the top of the container with sharp scissors – I used a knife to get started – wash thoroughly, then wrap with strips of your favorite washi tape. You can also make a small drain hole in the bottom if needed. Leave some of the plastic on your new pot exposed and you’ll be able to tell by how dark the soil is, whether or not it’s time to water.

I put one of my pepper plants in my pot while it’s waiting to be transplanted into the garden. However, these would be perfect for using container succulent gardens and for planting your favorite flowers and annual herbs.

Once I have three more of these vinegar containers emptied and ready for upcycing, I’m planning to use them with a dowel and eye hooks to create some new wall storage in my office.

Looking for more ways to re-use everyday containers? Be sure to check out my DIY Storage Box Organizer as well as my post on Creative Ways to Recycle Everyday Things. You can also follow me on Pinterest!

How do you recycle and upcycle everyday plastic containers?


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

DIY Herb Garden Markers – Homemade Mother’s Day Gift Idea

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Herb Garden Markers DIY - Upcycled Craft Project Made From Popsicle Sticks and Washi Tape - Easy Craft for Kids and Homemade Mother's Day Gift IdeaWith spring in full force and planting underway, now is the perfect time to whip up some garden markers for your new plants! This herb garden marker is so easy to make with materials you probably already have on hand. Plus, they’re simple enough the kids can craft some for all of mom’s favorite plants as a homemade Mother’s Day gift!

Herb Garden Marker Craft Project

Materials for making your own diy herb garden markersWhat you need:

popsicle sticks, one for each marker
scissors
washi tape
packing tape
permanent marker

Homemade Thyme Garden Marker - Homemade Mother's Day Gift Idea Even the Kids Can Craft

What you do:

Start by cutting the bottom end of each popsicle stick into a point. Then wrap the top section of the popsicle sticks with washi tape. I used complimentary patterns and colors of washi tape for my thyme herb marker, using a solid color of washi tape where I wanted to write the name of the plant. I used scissors to cut around the top edge of the popsicle stick for a cleaner look. Then I simply wrote the name of the herb onto the washi tape with a permanent marker.

Once I had the garden marker the way I wanted, I covered the washi tape decorated portion of the marker if packaging tape and then cut around the popsicle stick to seal it from rain. Alternately, should have some on hand, you could also seal the garden marker with a clear, outdoor acrylic sealer.

Handmade Garden Marker DIY - How to Make Simple Herb Garden Markers with Washi TapeAll that’s left is to place your garden markers in your garden by their corresponding plants or into pots of plants you plan to gift.


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.