PLANT CARE 101
Planet earth has never failed to astound the humans with its diversity in flora and fauna. Keeping the fauna kingdom aside, there is a vast variety of trees, shrubs, herbs, plants and flowers in nature that have not been just existing for beauty purpose but they got medicinal properties which have been beneficial to the human race. Apart from that, their contribution in textile industry, food and beverage sector, bioenergy source, etc. is quite worthy.
They have been of their own use along with being an aid for humans. In the agriculture field, plants require nourishing. Neem oil for plants is considered to be the best.
From the plantations known as Azadirachta Indica, the hydrophobic refined neem oil is extracted. The locals call it “Margosa oil” that hails from the Indian subcontinent. While they were extracted from seeds, the oil was formulated into various products, pesticides being one of them. The active component Azadirachta has been used for hundred years to fight against the pests.
The agriculture industries produce this repellant through the solvent extraction method. The seeds are separated from their kernels and crushed. With the help of Soxhlet extractor, cold-pressed oil is obtained. Later, Diethyl ether is used to purify the neem oil and turn it into the final product.
How is it beneficial to the plants?
When the larvae appear on an excess amount over the plant, feeding off the leaves, neem oil is used as a pesticide that works in a systematic way through the tissues and stems. The oil forms a coating over the respiration system of these insects, eventually killing them due to lack of oxygen.
Even neem oil acts as fungicide to get rid of black spots, rotting roots and rusts. As it is biodegradable, they don’t leave toxic effects over the plants. Synthetic pesticides may harm the insects or earthworms which are proven beneficial for the plants but neem oil is an exception that doesn’t have a negative effect over the “good insects”.
Neem cakes are also available in the market who work twice as better as the fertilizer when sprayed or mixed with the water for plants. Usually, it not only is good for the vegetables and indoor plants but also trees laden with fruits and bushes covered berries.
So, they are sold in different concentrations and formulas based on the requirements and types of plants or shrubs.Continue Reading