Neem Extract

It is easy to make your own natural Neem extract.  Use the green leaves, seeds, fruit of the Neem tree and ferment just like you would to make the Ginger-Garlic or Immuboost extracts.

But many people don’t have Neem trees in their backyard.  Luckily this is easily overcome.  Go for a walk in your backyard or around your neighborhood.  Look for areas where there are pests, but certain plants remain pest-free.  Chances are good that if you ferment these plants’ leaves, you can make your own pest deterrent.

Also think about what you can buy from the store that will drive insects away (besides pesticide obviously).  Cayenne and chili peppers are hot.  Something bitter like Bitter Gourd discourages browsers also.  Herbs that are aromatic have the tendency to discourage pests also.  Try a combination of all these, test, change the recipe, have fun with it!

This demonstrates a basic lesson of natural farming.  Nature usually has solutions if you know how to look.  Observe natural phenomena and learn from them.  Have fun, experiment, and enjoy the journey!

  • Katherine

    I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make the sort of great informative site.

  • Big Ray

    Is there any specific plants that you could recommend? I live near large tracts of undeveloped land and, could spread seeds of these natural insecticidal plants. Mites, stinkbugs and aphids give us skullcramps down here in SE Louisiana!

    • Patrick

      Not sure I follow – you want to plant the undeveloped land with plants that are resistant to those pests? Then harvest the plants to make your pest deterrent? Not sure off the top of my head but I’ll ask Gil to have a look at this thread. For now here’s a list of repellent plants from wikipedia: repellent plants

  • Big Ray

    Yes, that’s exactly what I have in mind. If there are plants that are known to be resistant to the pathogens/pests that are most troublesome here then, I’d like to sow more of those around here for locals to harvest and use.

    I’ll also keep an eye out for plants that would meet Gil’s criteria for a “Neem plant” but, how will I know if that plant is resistant or, if it just hasn’t been attacked yet?

    I’ve given Gil’s web address to several local gardeners and hopefully, they just might start using these methods if the resources are readily available.

    • Patrick

      That’s great! What a good project. Regarding finding a resistant plant – take a walk in the fields or gardens around and look for places where there is an infestation, but some plants remain pest-free. A good place to do this is the garden, since you have many different species in close proximity. I just did that in my garden with a philodendron, it was resisting everything other plants seemed to ail of, so I got a bunch of leaves to ferment. Let’s see how it works. Anyway, look for pests, look for untroubled plants, there you go.

  • Patrick

    Also, thanks for telling your gardeners about us! I’d like to grow this site into a good resource of useful garden knowledge, we can only do that with user support and participation.

  • phoenix

    Basil, cilantro, and lavender are all listed as companion plants that are known to drive away insects. Check the list of companion plants on wikipedia for some other ideas.

    • Patrick

      Ya exactly – all the aromatic herbs are generally good as insect deterrents. And they smell great!

  • Annie

    The curry tree (Murraya koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, does not seem to be attacked by any insects. I have 7 trees or plants and all of them are doing great. Never known to be attacked by insects. It cannot grow in cold countries but I hear they do well in parts of Australia and California

    • Patrick

      There you go, thanks people for pitching in with great ideas for plants to use.

  • Kasia

    Here in Poland I can’t buy fresh leaves but I can buy organic powder of neem.
    Could You tell me how to prepare the powder? How to use it to drink? I need neem on candida (intestines) but don’t know how to use this powder :/
    I’ll be very grateful for Your help!
    All the best! Kasia

    • Patrick

      Hi Kasia,

      That’s tough, I’m not sure how much of the powdered neem you would use, and I don’t want to give you bad info when it comes to your health. But I’ll suggest starting small and working your way up slowly. Sorry I can’t be more specific. Experiment and see, then report back!


  • Cora

    Hi! Can I use neem extract with chili to exterminate fire ants? I’ve tried chili mixed in water but it didn’t work. I saw the fire ants carrying the chili flakes!

    • Patrick

      You can try…I think it will take more than that though 🙁

      Not sure what would absolutely work. Ideally something you can spray that will keep them away. Ideally you would collect the ants themselves, ferment them, and use that as a spray. That should work, but hard to do since they’d be hard to collect in quantity (so small).

  • April

    alam n’yo po ba kung saan makakabili ng neem plant or seed? i’m from Ilocos Sur and matagal na akong naghahanap ng halaman na ‘yon pero hindi ko alam kung saan makakabili.

    salamat po

    • Patrick

      Hi April,

      Neem trees are common here in Philippines – you can get leaves from them pretty easily, just watch out for neem trees and then get leaves when you see them. Otherwise, try, everything is on Sulit now, you can have them send to you from there I think.


  • Ben

    Hi Patrick and Gil,

    Greetings from east Africa, and thank you for the ‘tonnes’ of agro info on this website! Would the neem leaves and bark extract work fine as insecticide/pesticide. Must one have seeds and their coating in? I recently visited places in East Africa with many neem trees that i wish to turn into bio insecticide/pesticide that could be used as cheaper alternatives to what is commercially available in the longer term. Not sure how crazy, but what about addition of vetiver roots and leaves or fresh/dry herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley or celery) in the concoction to add to the strength? Would vetiver roots have to be treated like in the ginger-garlic extract? To keep everything longer for a year or two, i intend to use natural preservatives too. Would it matter if the ingredients are fresh or dry for this and the ginger-garlic extract? Presumably the application rates would be as for ginger-garlic extract.



    • Patrick

      Hi Ben,

      With natural pesticides it can be tricky. I’ve seen where it’s recommended NOT to ferment the aromatic herbs like rosemary and such, since that takes away from their pesticide effectiveness. They recommend just to soak them overnight then spray.

      The neem leaves and bark and such should work fine. The seeds would be ideal, but the other parts will work ok also. You might have to use frequent application.

      I’m not sure about vetiver roots, you can try! I would try just fermenting first, then maybe a tincture like the ginger-garlic recipe.

      Hope this helps! Greetings to east Africa!


      • Ben

        Hi Patrick! Thanks for the response and advice, that surely helps.



  • Loyal

    Thanks to everyone for the awesome ideas.
    I was curious if the alcohol used to stop the fermentation process could be denatured ethyl alcohol? (Assuming of course, it would only be used to control insects, not for human consumption.)

    • Patrick

      Hey Loyal,

      I suppose so…The priciple is that enzymes and such are alcohol-soluble and become solutes in the alcohol, I guess you could use that… I would try it on a small part of the crop first and see…


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