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Recipes for your plant health and happiness

Do a test on part of a plant before total treatment if unsure of compatibility.  Dr. Bonner’s baby castile soap is fragrance free.

Use on plants infested with Aphids, Spider Mites, Thrips, Cyclamen Mites, or White Flies.

Things to know before using insecticides

Do your homework and make wise choices.  All insecticides should be used only when necessary and plant based compounds are safer for people, pets and the environment than chemical ones. 


Insecticidal Soap


1 whole garlic bulb, peeled of paper coverings

1 small yellow or white onion, peeled of papery outer layers and quartered

1-2 whole cayenne pepper(s) or 1 t ground

1 gallon water

1 T fragrance free liquid castile soap (not a dish detergent with fragrance, moisturizers, degreasers, etc.) Bronner’s makes a liquid castile baby soap that is fragrance free.  I find it at my health food store.

You may also need 1 or 2 gallon jugs, like used milk jugs, a funnel, and cheesecloth or muslin.


Bring water almost to boil in large pot.  Remove from heat.  While it cools a bit, puree garlic, onion, and whole pepper if using, in food processor or finely chop these 3 ingredients and add to water in pot.

Add ground cayenne pepper, if using, and stir.

After steeping overnight on kitchen counter strain through doubled cheesecloth – I used a square of muslin to strain out the solids even better – and retain only liquid that will go through your spray bottle.  Clogged spray bottles are a pain.  Add liquid soap to the strained liquid and mix gently.

Spray your plants by thoroughly wetting both the top and undersides of the leaves and store leftover solution tightly covered and carefully labeled for a few weeks in your frig.


I found the fragrance of it steeping on the kitchen counter overwhelming, especially on a summer day.  I moved it to an empty gallon milk jug and put it on the back patio, loosely covered because it was still very warm, to cool and steep.  The following day I strained it into a second milk jug using a funnel and the muslin.  It was then ready for the plants (even though I thought briefly of making myself some soup for supper – it sure smelled good).

You may steep longer in frig and it will make a stronger solution.

Plant remaining solids in problem areas of your garden outdoors.

Helps control chewing/sucking insects, mildew, leaf spot, rust spot, and spore disease.

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