May 18, 2018

3 Reasons I Love Orange Oil

If you've ever attended one of my workshops, or if you've been a customer of mine for awhile, you've probably heard me mention orange oil because it's one of my favorite products, and today's #FridayFave.
If you don't have time to read the whole blog, I've created a quick video for you!

What is orange oil?

Orange oil, also known and sold as d-Limonene, is squeezed out of orange peels. It's safe, natural, and useful in and out of the garden, however, when you buy a bottle of Medina Orange Oil, you'll notice it isn't labeled as a pesticide, and there aren't directions for how to use it as one.  This has nothing to do with its effectiveness for killing insects, and everything to do with politics.  According to the EPA only a registered "pesticide" can kill insects.  If you ever poured salt on a snail when you were a child, you know this isn't true. 
Available from Amazon

How does it work?

It works by dissolving insects' exoskeletons. (Take that, pests!)

The recipe

2 oz (1/4 cup) of orange oil to 1 gallon of water, mix well.  One bottle of Medina Orange Oil makes 16 gallons of solution for the uses listed below.

Uses for orange oil

You'll find there are many more uses for orange oil, but here are 3 reasons I love it.

1) Fire ant killer

Orange oil is always my first recommendation for killing fire ants because it works great and it's safe for kids and pets.  Use the recipe above in a watering can and drench fire ant mound.  Done.
How easy is that?

If you drench the mound enough to kill the queen ant, you've effectively killed the entire colony.
I've been told that you can kick it up a notch by adding a small amount of molasses to the mixture, but I haven't personally tried that, and it still always works great for me.

One bottle of Medina Orange Oil makes 16 gallons of fire ant killer.

2) Bug killer plant spray

Use the recipe above in a spray bottle to spray the tops and undersides of the plant's leaves.  Works great on aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, and other pests.

Warning: Don't use this if it's over 90 degrees.  Oil gets hot in the sun (think sunbathing with oil on your skin) and it will burn plant leaves.
As with any pesticide, natural or not, the best time to spray is in the evening, when most of the day-flying pollinators, like honey bees, are not out and about.

3) Gnats in houseplants

Once you have gnats in your houseplants, they're hard to get rid of unless you have a bottle of orange oil.  Use the recipe above in a watering can and drench the soil.  That's it.

Where to buy orange oil

If you're in Texas you may be able to buy Medina Orange Oil at a great price from your neighborhood HEB.  If you're not in Texas, of if you prefer to buy it online, you can order it from Amazon using my link (if you do, I may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you).
I prefer the Medina brand because it is a great quality product at a great price.

Do you have a gardening question?  You can ask in the comments below, or by e-mail.  I'll pick my favorite questions to feature on this page.  Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more helpful gardening tips, tricks, and how-to's.


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