Sunday, February 19, 2012

Organic Insecticide

I have a few trees and things that I generally keep outside in giant pots during the summer, but have to move in during the winter.  

I have a bay tree, a meyer lemon tree, a patchouli, a couple of rosemaries and a lemon verbena.   

They spend the winter in the studio, in front of the big windows.  We keep it 55 degrees most of the time, so we don't have to water things much.   

This year they have aphids.

Just kill me now.

I hate aphids.

Then I found scale.  

Scale is a soft bodied little creature that sucks the juice out of your plants.   They multiply readily and can really cause problems for plants.  

There are two ways to get rid of these pests. 

1.   Pick them off by hand.   Effective, but time consuming and not much fun.
2.   Spray them with something.   Much faster, but most insecticides are nasty.   

Then I read a post on Caleb Warnock's blog about making organic pest spray.   He'd had aphids in his greenhouse this year and tried it and it worked.

So I tried it and it worked.  

Here's what you do:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
  • hot water
  • quart jar and lid
Peel the onion and the garlic.  You don't have to do it well. Chop the onion into big pieces.   Throw the onion, garlic and pepper into a blender with a cup or so of water so it blends easily.   Puree it all. 

Put it in the quart jar and fill it up with extra hot water so you have a full quart.   Let it sit overnight.  

The next day, strain it through a towel into a spray bottle.    Spray it on your plants. 

Note:  There is enough pepper in there to make my hands warm and tingle-y if I get it on myself.   Don't get it in your eyes!!  Wear gloves when using the spray if you are sensitive to it.


  1. This is definitely bookmarked. This year I'm tackling my front yard problem: blight. It started on the hollyhocks, moved to my mint and strawberries. Do you have a post here about getting rid of blight organically?

  2. You could also purchase lady bugs to eat aphids white fly and many oth soft bodied insects

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