Photography by Georgia Love for Herb
Growing weed, indoor or outdoor, is a rite of passage for cannabis enthusiasts. But at the same time, no matter how green your thumb, successfully growing weed can be complicated. One of the most difficult issues to deal with is pests and insect infestations of your precious weed garden. But you don’t necessarily want to go with storebought stuff to ward them off—and you don’t have to. You can easily make some of the best homemade bug sprays for weed plants without too much effort. Here’s where to begin.
Most homemade bug sprays for weed plants use ingredients you already have in your kitchen, like soap, garlic, chili powder, and oil. The following DIY bug sprays will help you rid your garden of pests such as aphids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, and beetles.
Oil-based insecticides for weed plants are made by combining vegetable oil, like canola, soybean or cottonseed with other ingredients. According to Ilovegrowingmarijuana.com, an oil-based spray works by suffocating the pores of insects like aphids, thrips, and mites by suffocating them.
1 cup oil
1 tablespoon of Castile soap
1 quart of water
You can also try spraying essential oils, like eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, and cinnamon. Simply mix them together, dilute with water, and spray directly onto your plants.
Other home growers prefer to apply other essential oils like cinnamon, clove or coriander directly to cannabis leaves to repel pests. These oils are safe to use on cannabis plants without causing damage. Although, Royal Queen Seeds recommends that you don’t apply essential oils directly to your buds because they could alter the flavor of your weed.
Very similar to oil-based insecticides, soap-based insecticides are made by simply combining soap and water, sans oil. It can be sprayed on your weed plants at any time, but ilovemarijuanagrowing.com recommends it works best if applied at dawn or dusk. Soap-based insecticides are great for killing whiteflies, mites, and beetles.
While garlic doesn’t exactly kill bugs, it is a great insect repellant, and so is great for slowing down or preventing infestations.
Chili, like garlic, is also a natural bug repellent. While chili won’t kill insects, it will definitely deter them, slowing down or preventing an infestation.
Directions for Fresh Chili Repellent
Directions for Chili Powder Repellent
Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family of plants which contain alkaloids that can be harmful to animals. Therefore, the leaves of a tomato plant can be used as a bug repellent, much like garlic and chili. In fact, these alkaloids are especially good at deterring aphids and other insects from your weed plants.
Some home growers find that mixing garlic, onion and cayenne chili powder actually produces a more potent natural bug repellent than any of these ingredients on their own.
Neem oil is one of the most popular natural insecticides as well as antifungal cures for infected cannabis plants. Neem oil is derived from the Neem tree which produces a few different components that kill bugs, as well as hinder their ability to feed. Additionally, it produces Azadirachtin which disrupts insects’ hormone systems so that it’s difficult for them to grow and lay eggs. Azadirachtin also reduces insect feeding and acts as a natural repellent.
Neem oil can also fight against powdery mildew, a fungal infection that’s common to cannabis. While it’s not the type of thing you’ll find in your kitchen like the rest of the DIY bug sprays on this list, it is one of the oldest and most popular natural insecticides for growing weed as well as other plants.
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