My mother was known for her gardening skills and OH! Did she have a green thumb! She spent countless hours perfecting her natural talent and it showed through her gorgeous yard and immaculate garden. Because it meant so much to her, gardening and flowers, specifically, hold a special place in my heart. Not so much because the green thumb was passed on to me per say, but because my love for her expands to everything she loved and was passionate about. Every time I see a white rose or a pink carnation, for example, it reminds me of her because those are the types of flowers she had in her garden.
I know that every time we ate food from our garden, it gave my mom a sense of accomplishment. Knowing that the food is safe to eat without harmful pesticides sprayed on them. Knowing that she planted, watered and nurtured the plants that produced the vegetables. And the sense of pride as she watched us go out to the garden before dinner time to choose what to have with dinner.
I had no idea the benefits of gardening when I was a child. I just hated being the one to pull the weeds and snap the beans. But, as an adult, I see the rewards many times over as I watch friends and family reap them from their own backyard.
Since I have so many loved ones that enjoy gardening and I have a passion for essential oils, I’ve merged the two together by researching the best essential oils to use in the garden to help with plant growth, keep the pesky insects away and to take care of the gardener. Here are my finds. Enjoy!
Plants and Essential Oils that go very well together.
Each plant has a companion plant that it works very well with. Depending on the companion plant, they work together to help each other repel pests, nourish the soil, provide shelter to beneficial insects, shade or help retain moisture. Just as there are companion plants, there are companion essential oils that bring the same benefits. These essential oils are often the extracted oils from the companion’s plants that like to grow next to each other. Here are some examples:
|Green Beans||Lavender, Basil, Rosemary|
|Broccoli||Basil, Thyme, Oregano|
|Cabbage||Peppermint, Thyme, Clary Sage|
|Cauliflower||Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano|
How to use essential oils as a companion oil: Mix six drops of the companion essential oil to two gallons of warm water, then let it cool. Fill your watering container half full with the essential oil water, then top it off with cold water, stir again and water as usual.
Essential oils can be used to attract pollinators to your garden. The aroma of Wild Orange, Lavender, Marjoram, Helichrysum, Basil and Rosemary are an irresistible attractant for bees. You can also use Lavender, Fennel and Helichrysum essential oils to attract more butterflies to your garden.
Using essential oils drive away environmental threats, pesky insects and bugs.
Essential oils are invaluable when it comes to dealing with garden threats. About 85 percent of all plant diseases are rooted in fungi, where nutrients are taken from the plants. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca) is a natural oil with the power to not only limit fungal growth, but to kill existing fungi.
How to get rid of plant fungi: Mix a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil (up to a tablespoon) per cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on your plants a couple of times a week. Avoid spraying leaves in very hot weather because the sun-heated oil can easily burn the leaves.
Essential oils can be used to get rid of pesky insects and bugs. Here are some suggestions below:
|Ants||Peppermint, Spearmint, Wild Orange|
|Aphids||Peppermint, Spearmint, Cedarwood, Wild Orange|
|Chiggers||Lavender, Lemongrass, Thyme|
|Fleas||Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Wild Orange, Rosemary|
|Flies||Basil, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary|
|Mosquitoes||Lavender, Lemongrass, Rosemary|
|Moths||Peppermint, Lavender, Cedarwood|
|Plant Lice||Peppermint, Spearmint, Cedarwood, Wild Orange|
|Roaches||Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Thyme|
|Slugs & Snails||Cedarwood, Patchouli, Siberian Fir|
|Spiders||Peppermint, Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Lavender|
|Ticks||Lavender, Lemongrass, Thyme, Tea Tree|
|Weevils||Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Siberian Fir|
How to use essential oils to get rid of insects and bugs:
- Sprays–4-8 drops essential oil per gallon of water
- Hanging strips of cloth—1 drop of undiluted essential oil per strip. Hang from a branch, using multiple cloths to cover desired area.
- Cotton Wool—Bury small cartons, such as yogurt containers, in the ground keeping the top level with the soil. Add 4 drops essential oil to cotton balls and insert in the containers.
- String—Soak a string in a solution of water and essentials oils then string between plant rows to deter flying insects.
- DIY All Purpose Insect Spray: Fill a 10-12 oz spray bottle with 8-10 drops of each oil: Tea Tree, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lavender, Clove, Thyme, Wild Orange. Top with water. Optional: add 2 squirts of Liquid Castile Soap to help the spray stick to the plant. This Bug Spray can be used on all plants for all bugs. Use as a prevention of bugs and to rid your plant of any bug issues. Re-spray after rain or when bugs begin to resurface.
You can use essential oils to keep four-legged pests out of the garden and flower beds too. For example, cats dislike the smell of Rosemary, so adding a few drops in your mulch or spraying the ground with a solution containing Rosemary may help keep them out. Using Black
Pepper essential oil to spray specific areas seems to work well for keeping dogs away, as they don’t care for the strong smell. Mice and other rodents dislike Peppermint and Purify, so a few cotton balls doused with the oil and placed in their burrows might persuade them to relocate.
To make an effective weed killer, mix 5 drops On Guard essential oil and 1 teaspoon castile liquid soap in a large spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar. Spray unwanted plants with the mixture (preferably on a sunny day) then wait 24 hours. The soap causes the oil and vinegar to stick to the plant and basically suffocates it.
Essential Oils that are beneficial to the gardener.
Gardening can be beneficial to you mentally and physically, but there are times when the task of gardening can bring sore muscles, dry skin, sunburns, bug bites, and respiratory congestion.
Here are some simple ideas on how to resolve those issues:
- Sore muscles—Deep Blue Rub. Rub on area of concern.
- Occasional skin irritations—Make a compress by adding 3-5 drops of Lavender oil to cool water. Soak a washcloth in the mixture and apply it to the sunburned area for 3 minutes or another suggestion: Add 25 drops Lavender oil to a 1-ounce spritzer bottle, fill with purified water or aloe Vera juice, shake and spritz over the areas of need.
- Respiratory Support and Clear Breathing—Add a drop or two of Breathe Respiratory Blend to a cotton ball and inhale as needed. Peppermint works well too!
- Seasonal distress from pollen—Mix 3 drops each of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint in a carrier oil. Rub into your palms and inhale deeply for several seconds.
Using essential oils in your garden brings many benefits to the garden and the gardener. Your plants will be healthier, your garden will be fragrant and you will reap the reward of knowing you have contributed greatly to the continuing health and wellness of your family.
Start today and try one of the essential oils in your garden!