You Should Be Using Coconut Oil on Your Plants

You Should Be Using Coconut Oil on Your Plants

Over the past few years, coconut oil has become a go-to personal care product, with uses ranging from ridding your hands of garlic stink, to deep-conditioning your hair, to softening dry, cracked heels. But did you know that your plants may benefit from it too?

That’s right: Coconut oil can help improve the lives of both indoor and outdoor plants. Here’s what to know.

How to use coconut oil on plants

Of course, there are many kinds of plants with some very different needs, so, as always, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the specific needs of your plant(s) before introducing them to coconut oil or any other new products. With that said, here are some general uses for coconut oil:

Cleaning and dusting

As we’ve pointed out in the past, like other objects that sit in your home, houseplants accumulate dust and need to be cleaned. This is about more than simply aesthetics: Dust can also affect a plant’s ability to feed itself.

First, wash your plant either by dunking it, or giving it a brief lukewarm shower. Once it has dried, put a small amount of coconut oil on a clean cotton or microfiber cloth, and gently wipe the plant’s leaves and stems, leaving them shiny and dust-free.

When you’re done, don’t put the plant somewhere that gets direct sunlight: The oil will absorb more heat from the sun, and could end up burning the leaves.

As an organic pesticide

Does your plant tend to attract aphids, mealybugs, mites, or caterpillars? If so, it might benefit from an organic pesticide made using coconut oil.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic Castile soap
  • Empty jar
  • Spray bottle

Put the coconut oil and Castile soap in the jar, and shake it until it turns white. (Kept in the jar, this oil-soap combo will be good for around three months.) Then, dilute 2 teaspoons of the mixture in about a quart of water, pour it into the spray bottle, and spritz both sides of each leaf.

Avoid using this pesticide on days when the sun is strong (so the leaves don’t burn), as well as on plants with soft or thin leaves.

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