Essential Oils in the Garden


When we use essential oils on our bodies, we use them three ways- aromatically, topically, and internally. We can use them in similar ways on our plants.

Sprays: Add drops of essential oil to water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of natural liquid soap such as castile soap to act as a surfactant, which will ensure uniform coverage on leaves and insect bodies. Spray directly onto fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc.

String: Soak a string in a mixture of water and essential oils. Hang the string between crops in the garden. This will deter flying insects.

Cloth Strips: Use a drop of essential oil on strips of fabric and hang throughout the garden. Add more drops as needed.

Cotton Ball: Use for animals or pests that like to burrow. Place directly on top of nests, burrows, etc.

Cartons & Containers: Bury the carton into the ground up to the top of the container. Add drops of essential oil to deter slugs, snails, mice, ground insects, etc.

Here are a few recipes to try. Remember that essential oils are powerful. Apply sparingly. Several applications, every few days may be necessary:

Insect Repellent for Plants

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray the leaves, including underneath. Apply with a brush if you want to be more specific in application.

General Plant Protection

Combine ingredients. Use a spray bottle to mist the plants.

Mildew & Fungus Spray

  • 1 Teaspoon High Proof Alcohol (alternatively, leave this out and add 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda dissolved in the water.)
  • 6 Drops each Melaleuca, Oregano, Thyme
  • 8 oz. Water

Combine the first two ingredients. Shake to incorporate. Add water to oil mixture and place into a spray bottle. Spray in the evening when the sun cannot burn the leaves.

Customized Pest Control

Ants: Peppermint
Aphids: Peppermint, Hawaiian Sandalwood or Indian Sandalwood, White Fir
Beetles: Peppermint, Thyme
Caterpillars: Peppermint
Chiggers: Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Thyme
Cutworm: Thyme
Fleas: Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint
Flies: Basil, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium
Gnats: Patchouli
Mice: Peppermint
Mosquitoes: Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass
Moths: Lavender, Peppermint, Geranium
Plant Lice: Peppermint
Scorpion: Basil
Slugs: White Fir, Cedarwood
Snails: Patchouli, White Fir
Spiders: Peppermint
Ticks: Lavender, Lemongrass, Thyme
Weevils: Patchouli, Hawaiian Sandalwood or Indian Sandalwood, Cedarwood


Check out this great presentation for more info on gardening with essential oils.


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