I had heard that coconut oil can be beneficial to plants. So I wanted to research how to use it in my container garden.
Coconut oil is good for plants because you can rub it on the leaves to add nutrients and keep them moist. It also helps make the leaves attractive and repel dust. You can also use the oil as a weed killer and to remove rust from your gardening tools.
If you’re looking to use coconut oil for your plants you can find a lot more details below.
Ways to Use Coconut Oil on Plants
Clean the leaves with coconut oil
If you dab a little coconut oil on the leaves, it helps give them a beautiful shine. It also keeps the dust and insects away from the leaves.
You do want to be careful when using coconut oil on the leaves because the heat from the sun may burn the leaves. It’s best not to leave the plants in direct sunlight after you have put coconut oil on the leaves.
Dabbing oil on the leaves will also prevent the leaves from absorbing moisture. This can be a good thing to prevent fungal diseases in the plant. But this also means you won’t be able to spray liquid fertilizer effectively on the foliage.
Kill weeds with coconut oil
Coconut oil has a good amount of fatty acids which makes it useful as a weed killer. The fatty acids prevent the weeds from growing well.
They do this by attaching to the waxy outside of the weed and preventing photosynthesis. So the weeds cannot produce food for themselves and end up dying.
Transpiration is the process that plants use to circulate nutrients and moisture through their system. The coconut oil will hinder this process.
This means the weeds will not be able to get the required nutrients. They also won’t be able to eliminate waste and build up toxins. Both these situations will cause the weeds to die off after a short time.
Clean gardening tools with coconut oil
You may have tools you use in the garden such as pruning shears, shovels, and rakes. You do need to maintain these tools before and after every use. This will help keep the tools in a good working state for a long time to come.
As part of such maintenance, you need to keep the tools well-lubricated with oil. This also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.
You can use coconut oil on your gardening tools for such maintenance. Apply a little coconut oil to a ball of steel wool and rub it on the metal part of the tool.
This will remove any rust that is already forming on the tool and prevent further rust from developing.
How to Clean Your Plant Leaves Using Coconut Oil
It’s very easy to clean your plant leaves with a few simple materials. This method works best for plants with large leaves such as a Monstera or Fiddle Leaf Fig.
You need the below materials:
- Coconut oil
- Microfiber or cleaning cloth
Dab a little bit of coconut oil on the microfiber or cleaning cloth.
Support the leaf by placing the palm of your hand underneath it.
Gently wipe the top of the leaf with the cleaning cloth to remove the dust. You may need to swipe several times to get all of the dust off.
Once you’re done with the top, you can place your palm on the top of the leaf for support. Dab
Repeat the process for all of the leaves on the plant.
How to Make Organic Pesticide Using Coconut Oil
You can use coconut oil to create a mixture that works as an organic pesticide. This can get rid of insects like aphids, mealybugs, mites, and caterpillars.
The way coconut oil works as a pesticide is it coats such insects and blocks their breathing pores which kills them. The advantage of such a method is the insects won’t develop resistance unlike using chemicals.
You will need the below materials:
- 2 cups of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic castile soap
- Empty jar
- Spray bottle
You need to pour the coconut oil and soap into the empty jar. Close the lid and shake the jar well.
After you’ve given it a good shake, the contents of the jar will turn white.
To use this pesticide, you need to take 10ml of the white mixture and dilute it in a liter of water.
Add this mixture to a spray bottle and spray it on the affected areas of your plants to get rid of the pests. Make sure to spray it on both sides of the leaves.
The white oil will store in the jar for up to three months. Make sure to use the oil only when the weather is cool. Otherwise, you risk burning the leaves due to the heat.
You also want to avoid using the oil on sensitive plants or those with thin or soft leaves.
How to Make Weed Killer Using Coconut Oil
I’ll show you a simple method for making weed killer from coconut oil. It’s organic and you won’t have to worry about damaging your plants after using it.
Use equal parts of vegetable oil and coconut oil. You’ll want to use cheap vegetable oil. It doesn’t matter which kind because it won’t change the overall outcome.
Pour both into a saucepan. Both oils can be added together at the same time.
Place the saucepan on the stove and turn on the heat to low.
Once the mixture has heated a little, turn off the stove.
Whisk the oils together until the mixture looks uniform in color and consistency.
Pour your mixture into a spray bottle.
It’s important to note that these oils will separate after they cool. All you’ll need to do is shake the bottle to mix them again.
Spray this mixture on the weeds that you wish to remove from your garden. You need to apply it till the weeds are saturated with the mixture.
Check the weeds every day and keep applying the mixture whenever you see the need. The weeds will slowly start to wilt because of the effect.
You can then pull out the weeds and spray the soil with the oil a few times to kill any root fragments of the weeds.
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.