Article on Neem Oil

Wonder Tree, More about the tree.

Neem Tree Oil

Neem Granules

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DISCLAIMER: Gardening information and articles found in these pages are written by Wally Richards (Gardening Columnist)
They are compiled from his own experiences gardening and information gathered from other gardeners over the years.
The articles may mention uses of gardening products that may or may not be registered for the purposes mentioned.
They are supplied for you to make your own personal judgements on their validity.
Wally Richards
If you have ideas that will also help other gardeners in their endeavors, please relay them to the writer.
Note in our mail order section you can buy Neem Oil for your own garden

Incredible break through in garden pest control

Controlling garden insect pests is always a problem and now days as we become more aware of the dangers of toxic chemicals to our health and the environment, it has become increasingly difficult to find alternative non toxic substances that will control garden pests effectively.
Recently a new natural substance has become available to the home gardener that looks like it is going to be the main solution to the control of many common insect pests.
The product is neem oil and it comes from what is commonly known as the neem tree that grows in many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world.
The neem tree is a member of the mahogany family, meliaceae. it is today known by the botanic name azadirachta indica a. juss. in the past, however, it has been known by several names, and some botanists formerly lumped it together with at least one of its relatives. Neem trees are attractive broad-leaved evergreens that can grow up to 30 m tall and 2.5 m in girth. their spreading branches form rounded crowns as much as 20 metres across.
They remain in leaf except during extreme drought, when the leaves may fall off.
The short, usually straight trunk has a moderately thick, strongly furrowed bark. The roots penetrate the soil deeply, at least where the site allows, and, particularly when injured, they produce suckers.
Suckering tends to be especially prolific in dry localities.
The small, white, bisexual flowers are born in axillary clusters.
They have a honey-like scent and attract bees.
Neem honey is popular, and reportedly contains no trace of azadirachtin.(active ingrediant).
The fruit is a smooth, ellipsoidal drupe, up to almost 2 cm long. when ripe, it is yellow or greenish yellow and comprises a sweet pulp enclosing a seed.
The seed is composed of a shell and a kernel (sometimes two or three kernels), each about half of the seed's weight.
It is the kernel that is used most in pest control. (the leaves also contain pesticidal ingredients, but as a rule they are much less effective than those of the seed.)
Effects on insects a growing accumulation of experience from around the world demonstrates that Neem oil works by intervening at several stages of an insect's life.
The ingredients from this tree approximate the shape and structure of hormones vital to the lives of insects (not to mention some other invertebrates and even some microbes).
The bodies of these insects absorb the neem compounds as if they were the real hormones, but this only blocks their endocrine systems.
The resulting deep-seated behavioral and physiological aberrations leave the insects so confused in brain and body that they cannot reproduce and their populations plummet.

Increasingly, approaches of this kind are seen as desirable methods of pest ontrol: pests don't have to be killed instantly if their populations can be incapacitated in ways that are harmless to people and the planet as a whole.
In the 2000's this is particularly important: many synthetic pesticides are being withdrawn, few replacements are being registered, and rising numbers of insects are developing resistance to the shrinking number of remaining chemical controls.
The precise effects of the various neem-tree extracts on a given insect species are often difficult to pinpoint.
Neem's complexity of ingredients and its mixed modes of action vastly complicate clarification.
Moreover, the studies to date are hard to compare because they have used differing test insects, dosages, and formulations.
Further, the materials used in various tests have often been handled and stored differently, taken from differing parts of the tree, or produced under different environmental conditions.
But, for all the uncertainty over details, various neem extracts are known to act on various insects in the following ways:
* disrupting or inhibiting the development of eggs, larvae, or pupae;
* blocking the moulting of larvae or nymphs;
* disrupting mating and sexual communication;
* repelling larvae and adults;
* deterring females from laying eggs;
* sterilizing adults;
* poisoning larvae and adults;
* deterring feeding;
* blocking the ability to "swallow" (that is, reducing the motility of the gut);
* sending metamorphosis awry at various stages; and
* inhibiting the formation of chitin.
as noted earlier, neem extracts have proved as potent as many commercially available synthetic pesticides. they are effective against dozens of species of insects at concentrations in the parts-per-million range. at present, it can be said that repellency is probably the weakest effect, except in some locust and grasshopper species.
Antifeedant activity (although interesting and potentially extremely valuable) is probably of limited significance; its effects are short-lived, and highly variable.
Blocking the larvae from moulting is likely to be neem's most important quality. eventually, this larvicidal activity will be used to kill off many pest species.
Effects on other organisms
although neem's effects on pestiferous insects are by far the best known, the tree's various products can influence other pest organisms as well. in the long run, these may well prove the most important of all. at present, however, the effects on noninsect pests are poorly understood.
Nnematodes: neem products affect various types of nematodes. this may be significant because certain of these thread worms are among the most devastating agricultural pests and are also among the most difficult to control. in addition, an increasing number of synthetic nematocides have had to be withdrawn from the market for toxicological reasons.
Today, there is a small but increasing body of evidence that neem might provide useful replacements. certain limonoid fractions extracted from neem kernels are proving active against root-knot nematodes, the type most devastating to plants.
They inhibit the larvae from emerging and the eggs from hatching, and in at least one test they have done so at concentrations in the parts-per-million range.
What neem means to youNeem Tree Oil is a natural extract from the kernals of the neem tree thus one can say ts "organic".
The neem oil acts on insects that digest or come into contact ith the oil.
The oil is absorbed into the foliage of the plant then when the foliage is then chewed or sucked by the pests causing them problems as mentioned earlier.
Trials done in nurseries in new zealand and overseas has found neem oil to be effective in the control of whitefly, caterpillars, mites, scale and aphids.
It will not harm beneficial insects, bees & earth worms.
You mix 5ml of Neem Tree Oil with each litre of warm water to be sprayed.
To aid the absorbtion and spreading aspects I would recommend that 1 ml of raingard also be added to each litre. To assist as a sunscreen, add 10 ml of Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) to each litre of spray.
For whitefly control, spray every 3 days for 3-5 times and then weekly to control new infestations that invade from elsewhere.
I have had very good reports from people that have used the product for controlling whitefly and this alone will make neem oil a winner in every gardeners book.
The perfect solution to controlling garden pests.
some mis-information has occurred in people saying neem soap which is available in trade aid shops will control insects.
This is not correct as the active ingredients that work on insects are destroyed when the soap is made.
Any soap will however affect some insects such as aphids.
A number of garden centres have neem oil or you can order directly from these web pages.
My feelings are, Neem Tree Oil is just what the planet needed. Wally Richards
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The Neem tree has been known as the wonder tree for centuries in the Indian subcontinent.
It has become important in the global context today because it offers answers to the major concerns facing mankind.
The neem tree should have been designed by celestial committee (maybe it was). A collaboration of genetic engineers, chemical engineers, pharmacists, agronomists, and dieticians could not have produced a more interesting, and some say, valuable plant. I'll let you decide after giving a brief overview.
From the very beginning of recorded human history, people have used the mysterious neem tree. Today, rural Indians call this tree their "village pharmacy" because it "cures" diseases and disorders ranging from bad teeth and bedbugs to ulcers and malaria. The seeds, bark and leaves contain compounds called limonoids with proven antiseptic, antiviral, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and antifungal uses.
Neem, is a sturdy, broadleaved evergreen. In the seasonally dry hills of central India, Azadirachta indica, is very much in existence with the people and animals in villages and along roadsides. It will defoliate during periods of extreme drought or freezing temperatures. Native to the dry forest areas of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Neem thrives in the dry areas of the tropics and subtropics.
Environmentally, Neem has a reputation as a natural air purifier, exhaling out oxygen and keeping the oxygen level in the atmosphere balanced. Neem's ability to withstand extreme heat and water pollution is well known. It also helps to improve fertility of the soil and to rehabilitate degraded wastelands.
The Neem tree can also play a vital role in controlling soil erosion, salination and preventing floods. But Neem is far more than a tough tree that grows vigorously in difficult sites. Among its many benefits, the one that is most unusual and immediately practical is the control of pests. Some entomologists now believe that Neem has such remarkable powers for controlling insects that it will usher in a new era in safe, natural pesticides.
The ecosystem is a major issue on the global agenda and preserving the ecosystem is a priority. A UN study predicts that by the year 2050, most of Asia and Africa will be reduced to a dust bowl if we continue the way we are going. Another study by FAO points out that some pests may soon be beyond control! Neem seeds contains bio-active fractions that can help in pest management strategies and help us save our environment. This bio-activity of Neem based products has been extensively evaluated and proven. Because of the fear of toxic residues in food products associated with the use of chemical pesticides, there is a growing need for pest control agents of plant origin which do not leave any toxic residues. Though many plant chemicals have been reported to be suitable for this, Neem is the only plant from which the bio-pesticides are commercially manufactured, found effective, eco-friendly and acceptable to commercial and domestic gardeners. Neem pesticides are now increasingly used in India on crops like cotton, vegetables, fruit trees, coffee, tea, rice and spices.
Today's exploding growth in human population is seriously depleting the world's natural reserves and economic resources. Unless the run-away human population growth rate is slowed down, there would be little hope for raising everyone out of poverty in the developing world. Besides educational constraints, the non-availability of inexpensive methods of contraception, which do not cause trauma or aesthetic, cultural, and religious sensitivities of people, limit the success of birth regulation programs. However recent findings indicate that some Neem derivatives may serve as affordable and widely available contraceptives.
According to a recent report by the Washington based International Food Policy Research Institute, by 2020, the world will be an even more unfair place than it is at present, with food surpluses in the industrialized world and with chronic instability and food shortages in the undeveloped countries, particularly in the African countries.
By 2050, the scenario may become worse for food importing countries as with even 1 % growth in population levels, countries such as USA may cease to become food exporting countries.
The US academy of sciences currently attaches very high importance to the Neem tree. The United Nations declared Neem as the "Tree of the 21st century". All these developments amply indicate the growing global importance of Neem. Incidentally over 60% of the entire Neem tree population is in India. Multitude of Uses and Remedies Include:
AIDS - The National Institutes of Health reports encouraging results as an AIDS preventative and possible cure using neem extracts.
Allergies - Neem inhibits allergic reactions when applied externally or eaten. Birth control (men) - In India and the United States, trials show neem extracts reduced fertility in male monkeys without inhibiting libido or sperm production, making it potentially the first male birth control pill.
Birth control (women) - Used as a vaginal lubricant, neem oil was up to 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
Cancer/immune - Polysaccharides and limonoids found in neem bark, leaves, and seed oil increased immune responses, reduced tumors and cancers without side effects.
Diabetes - Oral doses of neem leaf extracts reduced insulin requirements by between 30% and 50% for nonkeytonic, insulin fast and insulin-sensitive diabetes.
External parasites - Neem quickly kills external parasites and a neem decoction is safer and just as effective as standard treatments for head lice and scabies. Heart disease - Neem delays the coagulation of blood, calms erratic heartbeats and helps reduce elevated heart rates and high blood pressure.
Herpes - Recent tests in Germany show that neem extracts are toxic to the herpes virus and can quickly heal cold sores.
Hepatitis - Tests in the U.S. show neem hampers the virus that causes hepatitis B.
Fungal toxin - Neem is toxic to several fungi which attack humans, including those that cause athlete's foot and ringworm, and Candida, an organism that causes yeast infections and thrush.
Insect repellent - Studies have shown that one neem compound is a more effective insect repellent than the widely used synthetic chemical known as DEET (N,N,-diethyl-m-toluamide), a suspected carcinogen with long periods of use. Insecticide - Neem extracts have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on food crops. It is non-toxic to birds, animals, beneficial insects or man and protects crops from over 200 of the most costly pests.
Malaria - An active ingredient in neem leaves, called irodin A, is toxic to resistant strains of malaria.
Psoriasis - Neem seed oil and leaf extracts is suggested to be a cure for psoriasis. It relieves the itching and pain while reducing the scale and redness of the patchy lesions.
Periodontal disease control - German researchers have proven neem extracts prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. Soap/Shampoo - Neem oil soaps can be used to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments.
Ulcer relief - Neem extracts give significant protection from discomfort and speed the healing of gastric problems.
Well what can one say? Is the Neem Tree going to be the salvation of the Planet? Neem soap is available at Trade Aid shops and Neem as a Insecticide is now available at many garden centres plus another Neem product is fixing head lice in schools in the northern areas. So Neem is here and one could say: "Neem is Clean, Green and Mean"
(Note much of the material above was gleaned off the Internet)
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Neem Tree Oil is a natural product from the kernels of the Neem tree.
It is known to effect the natural life cycle of many insects by preventing them from passing to the next stage of their development. Thus nymphs cannot pass on to their next instar if they absorb Neem oil though contact or digestion. They then die.
Also it prevents a number of insect pests from eating once they have consumed some Neem Tree Oil that is on sprayed foliage.
It not known to affect beneficial insects so Ladybirds, bees etc are safe, even if they consume insects affected by Neem oil.
Being natural, Neem Oil is very safe to use but normal spray protection is advised as some people may have a reaction to the oil or smell. (this same product, I have been told, has been used effectively for head lice control in children)
TIPS FOR USE: In cold weather place the un-opened Neem Tree Oil bottle in a jug of hot water.
(The oil tends to solidify in cold weather) Shake bottle well before opening.
Using warm water in the spray mix is important to ensure it mixes well. Only spray at the end of the day when the sun has gone off the plants. Spray for total coverage of plants, under and over foliage.
Do not use in very hot, humid conditions as the oil may separate from the spray, in these conditions and cause blistering on plant’s foliage.
Being an oil it can burn or mark flowers or tender foliage, beware of this and test spray a sample before spraying all of a crop.

For General protection and control use at 5 mls per Litre, for bad infestations spray the first time at 10 mls per litre then followed a few days later at 5 mls per litre. Repeat till controlled.

Add Raingard to the mix at the rate of 1ml per litre of spray. This will assist in foliage penetration and prevent the oil from washing off when you water or it rains.
Neem oils are UV sensitive and the UV radiation will break down the active ingredients over time.
To extend the active life of the product add MBL Magic Botanic Liquid to the spray mix at 10 mls per litre of spray. The MBL will act as a sunscreen and benefit the health of the plants sprayed.
Use all spray made up within 24 hours of mixing or discard if not used. (It can keep longer but its effectiveness maybe reduced.)
Clean spray equipment out after use to prevent jet clogging. A norm rinse through with water and a spray of clean water will usually keep everything in order. Blocked jets or filters can be soaked in meths.
Store your bottle of Neem Tree Oil in a dark, cool place to ensure long shelf life.

Do not add to copper sprays as it will react will copper reducing effectiveness of both controls.
Neem Tree Oil is about the only thing that will control Leaf Hoppers, with regular spraying.
I have also had reports that it tends to keep possums away from gardens sprayed.
Neem Tree Oil is effective (to the best of my knowledge) against most garden insect pests and it also has some fungicide properties as well. It helps in control of black spot and rust and likely other plant diseases.
It can be used with “Perkfection for Roses” for best overall safe protection from both diseases and pests.
Use these three products together, Neem Tree Oil, Perkfection, MBL and Raingard. Note Perkfection is used only once a month but the other two maybe sprayed as required.
Do this and I think you should be very pleased with your roses and garden this season. From the feed-back from gardeners last season, it certainly makes for a better gardens and roses.
Neem Tree Oil not harm pets and wild life so can be safely used around your section.
If you have any questions please phone me at 0800 466464. Or SAE to Box 489 Palmerston North.
Happy and Safe Gardening

Wally Richards


Many gardeners have been enjoying the results of Neem Tree Oil their gardening. Being organic, Neem has made spraying safer while taking care of most insect pests and a few diseases as well. Every few weeks further reports from gardeners, roll in tolling its virtues.
Roses that have been sprayed with Neem Oil and other safe products such as Perkfection and Mycorrcin Plus have never looked better with healthy foliage and lovely blooms.
My best report came from a lady who looks after 400 roses at a winery in the Marlborough Region and she told me that she had been using the Neem and the other products mentioned since the roses started sprouting in the spring. Visitors to the Winery are amazed at how healthy the roses are looking and all the staff at winery have had to be told the reason, so it can be passed on to all the inquiries the roses cause.
Now the Neem product called Neem Granules.

The granules are the crushed kernels of the Neem tree. They contain the Neem properties that make the insecticide control.
The Neem Pellets can be used for soil insects such as root mealy bugs, root nematodes, grass grubs, carrot flies etc.
As the granules break down the Neem properties are taken up through the roots of plants and will help to keep the plants healthier and pest free, through the systemic action. This can be used to advantage on tall trees and bushes where spraying is difficult.
It is a first line of defense against foliage attacking insects. Sprinkle the granules in the area between truck and drip line.
For use in container plants just sprinkle a table spoon (or more dependent on the size of the container) of Neem granules into the pot at potting up time or place the same on top of the mix. Very economical the recommend amount is 50 grams to 50 litres of potting mix. Cover granules with some potting mix as they go moldy as they break down making the container to look a bit unsightly.

In the potting mix it should be effective for several months, (estimated up to about 4-6 months) slowly releasing the Neem properties.
Likewise the Neem Granules can be used in soil assist the control of soil insects at the rate of 50-100 grams per square metre.
I would suggest that the soil-life period to be shorter than in potting mix as the soil micro-organisms will break the product down faster.
(Estimated about 1-3 months)
When planting or sowing seeds, you can work the granules into the top 10cm of soil and likewise around plants with problems or ones you wish to protect.
An organic control, in my mind, for Root Mealy Bug, Galls and other soil insects.
For Grass Grub sprinkle the granules over the lawn at the rate of 50 grams per square metre and water to settle to the soil. Ensure that areas where damage has occurred and near those areas, are especially treated as the adult females lay their eggs back where they emerge.
Best times for treating is would be in the autumn when the ground is softening up with the autumn rains and the grubs are near the surface feeding.
This is likely to be about April/May. Mow lawns prior to application.
I would be interested to hear from Gardeners to the results they have with Neem Granules.

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