My indoor plants are looking a little sad at the moment, and their leaves are gathering some serious dust. As I watered them this morning, I wondered if olive oil was an excellent option to polish them up and make them seem brighter and livelier.
You can put olive oil on plant leaves but only when diluted with water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray it on the leaves to add shine. You should not put pure, undiluted olive oil on the leaves as it can block pores, and the plant will not absorb and filter the air.
Olive oil may not be the best solution for making plant leaves shiny and healthy, but there are many other considerations to make when thinking about what to best use to shine your plan. Can you use coconut oil? What about baby oil? Will olive oil on plant leaves kill bug infestations?
Can you put olive oil on plant leaves?
Pure, undiluted olive oil is not recommended for cleaning plant leaves due to its viscosity and hydrophobic qualities. Plants absorb air through their leaves to utilize carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
Olive oil can block the stomata that allow air to enter the leaf and cause your plant to wither and turn brown. Olive oil can also cause plants that live in direct or indirect light to burn and wither, as the heat from the sun is trapped and magnified by the oil.
You can use diluted olive oil mixed with water and spray it on the leaves to clean them up.
Does olive oil help plants grow?
Olive oil has not been proven to help plants grow and can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients through its roots if the soil is contaminated. Olive oil lowers the pH of the soil and increases bacteria levels in the groundwater if added in large quantities.
Soil contaminated with olive oil inhibits the plant from effectively absorbing natural minerals from the water and can cause roots to shrivel. It is recommended that soil contaminated with olive oil be replaced immediately to avoid causing further damage to your plant.
Does olive oil kill bugs on plants?
Olive oil can kill bug infestations on plants by blocking their pores and making it impossible for them to breathe. However, olive oil can also attract more bugs and pests due to its intense and distinctive aroma. Avoid using olive oil as your primary pesticide solution, as this is likely to damage your plant.
Can you clean plant leaves with olive oil?
You should not clean plant leaves with pure olive oil because of its pore-blocking abilities and dust attraction properties. Due to the sticky nature of olive oil, it can increase the presence of dust and dirt on your plant’s leaves.
A better option for cleaning your plant’s leaves is to combine 1 part milk with four parts water and use a damp cloth to wipe down the leaves. The natural enzymes in the milk help give extra shine and a nutritional boost to your plant.
How to use olive oil on plant leaves?
If you must use olive oil, mix 1 part olive oil with five parts water in a spray bottle and shake vigorously to combine. Take a clean cloth or towel, dip it in the mixture, and then wipe down your plant’s leaves. Once the leaves look clean and shiny, spray the plant with some clean, cold water. Leave your plant by a window or in an airy location so that it can dry naturally.
Be aware that olive oil is difficult to remove from plant leaves entirely and will remain and attract dust for weeks. The viscosity of olive oil can cause long-lasting problems with oxygen uptake and may cause your plants to wilt slightly.
Can you put coconut oil on plant leaves?
Like olive oil, coconut oil is not recommended for plant leaves because it can block the system between the plant’s food mechanism and its oxygen intake. Coconut oil can also cause the plant’s leaves to burn and wither if exposed to sunlight after application.
Coconut oil can be used as an effective herbicide due to its high viscosity, which can suffocate unwanted plants in your garden. Melt coconut oil until liquid, then wipe onto leaves and stem of the unwanted plant.
Can you put baby oil on plant leaves?
Baby oil is not recommended for plants due to the additives and preservatives present. These can irritate the plant’s internal systems and damage veins and roots necessary for carrying water and nutrients to the leaves.
Can you put neem oil on plant leaves?
Neem oil can be used on plant leaves as it is designed for horticultural use. Neem oil is an effective pesticide and is highly biodegradable, making it a safe option for indoor and outdoor gardening use. In low doses, neem is non-toxic to mammals and can be used safely around your pets and family.
Does vegetable oil hurt plants?
Vegetable oil does not hurt plants as it’s one of the safest oils to use. It breaks down easily in the soil. Horticultural oils are based on vegetable oils and are effective in controlling pests like spider mites and mealybugs, which deplete the sap of your plant.
Traditional horticultural oil is less viscous than vegetable oil and spreads easier, meaning that it will not clog plant pores in temperatures greater than 30 degrees Celsius. Vegetable-based oils are easier to remove, and if spilled on the soil, can be broken down by the bacteria and microbes without depleted nutrient levels.
Is canola oil good for plants?
Canola oil is good for plants due to its vegetable base and similar properties to other vegetable oils. You should avoid using canola oil in large amounts because this can saturate the plant’s roots and reduce nutrient uptake.
In small amounts, canola oil can help retain moisture in the soil and help boost nutrient uptake in your plant. To use, pour a small amount evenly around the base of your plant and overturn the soil gently to distribute thoroughly.
Canola oil should be used sparingly when applying to plants that require bright direct or indirect sunlight, as it can cause burns and permanently damage your plant’s leaves and stems.
Is used cooking oil good for plants?
Used cooking oil is not good for plants due to the residual food pieces and waste contained within. Used cooking oil is more viscous than fresh cooking oil due to the heating process and is, therefore, more likely to block the pores on plant leaves and cause damage or burns.
Used cooking oil is an effective herbicide, as it blocks the pores and disrupts the plant’s absorption of air and nutrients. To use cooking oil as a herbicide, pour the liquid into a spray bottle and apply to the weeds until completely coated.
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.