Essential oils are essentially (pun intended) the essence of plants. You can extract a plant’s natural oils from its flowers, leaves, stem, and even bark. These oils contain the constituents and components that make up a plant, which all have their own benefits and uses. As plants need to have a way to protect themselves from insects and disease, many essential oil components have insecticidal and antifungal properties.
Our list of the best essential oils for gardening contains oils that can naturally help to protect your garden, keeping it pest-free and healthy!
The Health Advantages of Gardening
Gardening is an appealing pursuit for many, and it has many health benefits. Soothing time in nature is proven to improve mental well-being, and surely there can be no better all-over workout than digging a potato patch!
Also Read: Can You Spray Peppermint Oil On Plants?
Are Essential Oils Safe for Plants?
They are and keep a bit like recruiting an army to support their healing if pests attack them.
What Are the Benefits of Essential Oils for Plants?
This is best explained by describing what an essential oil actually is.
Imagine that a plant grows in the middle of a garden, and its roots anchor it to the spot. Regardless of wind or scorching sun, it cannot move. If it rains too much and floods away nutrients, it can’t go to look for any others. Some plants are self-pollinating, but not all, so insects are essentially the genitals of the garden…but he can’t go on the pull. Neither when hoodlum caterpillars decide to munch him to death can he defend himself….
Or can he?
Actually, he can. He sends sweet fragrances into the air to seduce the insects. He changes his fluid intake to accommodate too much or too little water. He puts down chemicals into the ground to check no neighbors have any babies too close to him, and he sends up nasty chemicals to his leaves to either give the caterpillar belly ache or, if he is mean, ones that will make them sterile.
In short, those chemicals you use to make your skin soft are actually botanical warfare.
So, if your rosebush is covered in greenfly, she might be grateful for a blitz of clove oil, which killed 97% of aphids when tested in May 2020. What’s interesting, though, is that while aphids can be problematic, we don’t want to abolish the pollinators. We’ll leave that to the wretched chemical companies. Clove oil got rid of the aphids but selectively ignored the ladybugs. (Toledo, 2020)
Also Read: Do Plants Speak The Voice of God?
Use Your Bath For Gray Water
If you are keen to utilize your water better in the garden, what better way than to siphon off your bath water complete with last night’s essential oils to help plants grow? Far safer than using synthetic chemicals.
The 5 Best Essential Oils for Gardening
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the best essential oils for gardening as it can help keep your garden free and clear of insects! The strong scent of mint can repel wasps, spiders, mites, beetles, and even aphids. You can also use it to chase off larger critters, such as moles, gophers, and mice. You can soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around gopher holes and other garden areas, or else create the following spray:
- 1c Water
- 15 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
Mix together in a spray bottle and spray the edges of the planter boxes. If you wish to spray the plants themselves, use only 3 drops of oil per gallon
2. Cinnamon Essential Oil
Every gardener knows what a pain it is to deal with weeds. Thankfully, cinnamon essential oil makes our list of the best essential oils for gardening for this particular reason! Use the following recipe, and spray any pesky weeds you see. Be careful to avoid spraying your plants, as cinnamon oil is very strong and can cause harm to them. As an added bonus, cinnamon oil is also great at repelling certain insects!
- 1 Gallon of White Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Liquid Dish Soap
- 15-20 Drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray weeds as needed, avoiding plants!
3. Rosemary Essential Oil
One of the best smelling oils around, rosemary essential oil is also great for repelling pests in the garden. Scientific studies indicate that rosemary oil can kill spider mites and greenhouse whiteflies, two common garden pests. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that the scent of rosemary is highly disagreeable to felines, which means it can also keep curious cats out of your garden!
4. Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Sweet orange essential oil is one of the best essential oils for gardening because it attracts butterflies and bees! If you want to draw in the master pollinators, then using orange oil is an easy and natural way. Simply add a few drops of sweet orange to the side of your pots to attract friendly guests. Orange oil can also help repel insects, as it contains limonene which can kill ants and flies.
5. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Native to Australia, tea tree oil (or melaleuca oil) can be a great way to protect your plants from common fungi. To help protect the plants in your garden, you can spray them with a dilution of tea tree oil and water. Be careful to do so in the morning, as this will prevent burning from the sun. Also, note that tea tree oil is toxic if ingested, so wash any edible plants thoroughly and keep small children and insects away.
- 2 Cups of Water
- 2 Tbsp of Tea Tree Oil
Garden Essential Oil Recipes You Can Make At Home
Antifungal essential oil blend recipe
Plant molds and mildew can damage plants quickly, often spreading through a species.
Why not try this mix? Give the plant a good soaking morning and evening. Spray over the leaves before the sun gets hot or late in the day to guard against frying the leaves.
The vodka helps to disperse the essential oils. Place it into a spray bottle and give it a good shake each time you use it.
Best Essential Oils for Gardening: Methods Of Use
Essential Oil Sprays
One of the major benefits of using essential oils is that you don’t need to use very much of them! This makes it a very affordable way to create natural garden sprays. Use 15-20 drops of oil per full spray bottle for spraying weeds or around planters, while only 1-3 drops if spraying the plants themselves.
Cotton balls are a great way to deter larger garden critters such as mice and moles. To use this method, you must soak a cotton ball or pad with essential oil and leave it in rodent nests or burrows.
Each time you prune a rose bush or cut a stalk; your secateurs accrue mildew spores and pathogens. Give them quick oiling with tea tree before they go away to cleanse them and keep them moving.
Gardeners Self Care
Gardening can be hard work and brutal on your skin, especially your hands. Myrrh essential oil is wonderful for healing cuts and abrasions from even the wickedest rose bush. Keep them soft and healthy with helichrysum essential oil. Mix each drop into a hand cream to heal and protect them throughout the day.
Can You Use Essential Oils on House Plants Too?
Yes, absolutely. A personal favorite of ours is to use rosewater or an essential oil spray to mist the plants or polish off their leaves if they are dusty. The room smells fresh, and the plants seem to love it.
Does a Diffuser Work as a Humidifier for Plants?
No. It does not correctly project the essential oils. Diffusers do not add huge amounts of humidity into the atmosphere.
When using essential oils for gardening, it is still important to take the necessary precautions:
- Avoid direct skin contact with oils, as they can burn or otherwise irritate your skin due to their potency.
- Be careful of pets and small children, as many oils (particularly tea tree) can be toxic.
- If you are using these oils in and around your garden, be sure that no one curious can get their hands or mouths on them!
- Be very careful to wash any edible plants carefully before eating them.
There are many ways to help control pests and diseases in the garden, but using essential oils is one of the most natural. As they come from the essence of plants, this makes great sense! Plants must protect themselves from these same threats, each containing components that will help.
Using essential oils is a concentrated version of their defense mechanisms. You can use this list of the best essential oils to help keep your garden thriving without worrying about chemicals and pesticides!