Best Essential Oils for Gardening with 4 Recipes

Do you want to know how to use essential oils in your garden? Learn about the best essential oils for gardening and grab some helpful recipes for gardeners.

Plant being sprayed with an essential oil mixture to repel insects
© Deposit Photos / lyashik

If you are already an essential oil user and a gardener, then this post about the best essential oils for gardening will be just what you’re looking for! If you have yet to use essential oils, then read on and see if they sound like something you would like to try.

They have many, many uses from cleaning your home to making your own beauty products – and gardening is one of the many uses too.

I read somewhere that 85% of all plant issues are fungal-related. Many pests and fungal threats can really hinder your gardening from growing and flourishing the way you dream. Unfortunately, this can prevent your plants from producing as they should.

One problem we have is that so many of the things sold on the market to help with these issues can be harmful. So while you might be trying to grow your own vegetables, you end up using a harmful spray or mixture of some kind on the plants that has the opposite effect.

The good news is that there are all-natural alternatives to those things that you can make yourself and feel good about.

Essential oils and benefits for plants in your garden

Several bottles of essential oils lined up on a wood slice with a brown glass spray bottle in the background.

1. Rosemary Essential Oil

This oil has a wonderful, woodsy scent and works wonderfully to help repel many pests in the garden. It has been shown to even repel the larvae itself.

Place a few drops right on a pot to keep the bugs from chewing up the leaves of your plants. Rosemary essential oil is also a butterfly attractor. They love it, so if you have a butterfly garden it can benefit you in this way as well.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

This oil has a sweeter scent and repels several garden pests like aphids, flies and beetles and even spiders can’t stand it! You can place peppermint oil around baseboards or in cupboards in your home to keep spiders away. I use it for ants too (more essential oils for repelling pests)!

3. Melaleuca Essential Oil

This oil is great for dealing with anything that has to do with getting rid of fungus on your plants. You can make a spray with it to mist your plants and soil.

Use melaleuca essential oil on the stems more so than the leaves though, as it does cause the plants to be more sun-sensitive. So be aware that a thick application could cause burn on the leaves.

4. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender’s scent is another one butterflies love, so you can spray lavender oil near the plants to attract them. It will draw them in even more!

Lavender essential oil also attracts bees, which we need for pollination. Place a drop or two on a cotton ball and place in pots or in the garden to attract them too.

5. Orange Essential Oil

Orange oil has a really clean and sweet aroma that draws both bees and butterflies. You can make a blend of rosemary oil, lavender oil, orange oil in a spray bottle or combine a few drops of each on cotton balls to help attract them both.

6. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon oil is one of the best essential oils for getting rid of weeds. Make a spray bottle with water and several drops of cinnamon essential oil and get to spraying those weeds!

Essential oil recipes for your garden

1. Garden Insect Deterrent

Essential oils and spray bottle needed to make an insect deterrent.
  1. Add 10 drops each of the following essential oils to a 4-ounce glass spray bottle: Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, clove oil and thyme oil.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake to mix.
  3. Apply anywhere you would like to get rid of insects.

2. Plant Fungus Suppressant

Melaleuca aka tea tree essential oil next to a glass spray bottle.
  1. In a 4-ounce glass spray bottle, combine water with 25 drops melaleuca essential oil.
  2. Spray on plants and soil to help keep away the fungal growth.

3. Pollinator Attractor Spray

Orange essential oil with a glass spray bottle of pollinator attractor.
  1. In a 4-ounce glass spray bottle, add 6 to 8 drops orange oil and top off with water.
  2. Shake to blend and spray on flower and buds to attract bees for pollination.

4. Fruit and Veggie Wash

Lemon and orange essential oils next to a glass spray bottle of fruit and veggie wash.

You can use either plain vinegar or apple cider vinegar to make a fruit and veggie wash. Add 6 to 8 drops of lemon essential oil or orange essential oil for extra cleaning power.

Want to keep bugs off you while you’re gardening? Make a DIY Bug Repellent with essential oils.

List of Best Essential Oils to Use for Pest Repellents

You can repel these specific bugs and pests with these essential oils – using a drop or two on a cotton ball or spraying on stems of plants, depending on the case.

InsectEssential Oils
AntsPeppermint or Spearmint
AphidsCedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint
BeetlesPeppermint, Thyme
CaterpillarsSpearmint, Peppermint
ChiggersLavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
FleasPeppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender
FliesPeppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage
GnatsPatchouli, Spearmint
LiceCedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint
MosquitosLavender, Lemongrass, Arborvitae
MothsCedarwood, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint
Plant LicePeppermint, Spearmint
SpidersPeppermint, Spearmint
TicksLavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
WeevilsCedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

Best Place to Buy Essential Oils?

I have been buying my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils. They are very high quality, you don’t have to have a membership to buy them and the scent lasts a really long time. Be sure to check out my Rocky Mountain Oils Review to learn why I think they’re the best!

If you love gardening and the outdoors, you may also be interested in learning about essential oils for pest control.

6 thoughts on “Best Essential Oils for Gardening with 4 Recipes”

  1. Hi there,

    I love this idea so much. I’m just wondering, is it safe to eat the veggies (like kale, for example) after they’ve been sprayed with essential oils?

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

  2. Hi Chrystal- Enjoyed your suggestions on using essential oils in the garden. I was having a really bad problem with stinkbugs all over my tomatoes, ants on eggplant. I tried a peppermint spray (20 drops to a qt water with drop of soap). It reduced the ants some but not completely and by the end of the day I was seeing stinkbugs again. Then I tried lemongrass, 20 drops to a qt. That was Monday. I have yet to see a stinkbug on my plants. It may be too soon to declare victory, and it’s possible other factors are at work, but I wanted to share this potential success.

    1. That’s great to hear Frances! Sometimes it just takes a little experimentation to figure out which essential oil will work best for the pests you’re dealing with. I wish you continued success!

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