Peppermint castile soap for aphids?

lexie1397June 7, 2011

Hi all,

After doing a little weeding in my balcony garden, I discovered I have aphids. I've always heard the old drop of dishsoap in a spray bottle trick.

#1 does it actually work?

#2 I use organic castile soap for nearly everything around the house but it's scented with peppermint oil. Is that safe for the plants or should I pick up a small bottle of traditional dishsoap? (Mostly flowers but a tomato plant and a couple other edibles as well)

#3 Would the addition of diatomaceous earth be harmful? I spray it regularly on the carpet to keep the dog free of fleas with very good luck.

Thanks in advance!

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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

I dont know for a fact but it should be fine for the palnts. I never use dish soap but I do use a piece of bar soap. Bar soap seems to work better with plants.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 2:04AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Many, many years ago I used that as an insecticide on some of my veggies, and it seemed to at least slow them down. Here's a post I found about Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap:

"As a preventative mix 1 tablespoon Dr Bronner's Peppermint soap per quart water. Spray on vegetables on a regular bases or first sign of trouble. On specific pests mix 5 tablespoons per quart water. Test first on plant/bug to see if it is too strong or not strong enough."

With aphids, I usually just use a strong spray with water from the hose.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:01PM
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lexie1397

I got a little over-zealous with the soap and DE, but it's threatening to rain so some should get washed off in the next day or so.

Unfortunetly I don't have access to a hose... it's all hand-watering (and rain) for me! I could drag each pot into the bathtub for a hose-down but with all the rain we've had recently I think they would just rot.

MasterGardener-How do you use bar soap on your plants? Just rub them down with it, or mix into solution? If you rub it on, how do you get in all the nooks and crannies without damage?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:29PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Shave chunks of the soap into the spray container and spray. Just did it today on my peppers to get rid of some aphids.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:32PM
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ivygrapes

How does using the Castile soap affect bees during pollination?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:49AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've used a few drops of Dr. Bronner's soap in a quart of water, along with Neem Oil,
and it beat back an infestation of Spider Mites. Repeat applications are required, of course.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:34AM
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