I don’t like to use any synthetic pesticides in my garden and try not to use anything on my plants. But sometimes, you have to use something to deter whatever pests are taking over your garden. It’s better to be proactive, especially if you know what pests are repeatedly attracted to your garden. I only use organic methods in the garden that are safe for both my family and me.
In this post, we’ll discuss:
- What is diatomaceous earth?
- How to apply diatomaceous earth to plants
- Is diatomaceous earth safe for plants?
- Is diatomaceous earth safe for pollinators?
- List of bugs diatomaceous earth kills
This post is all about ‘is diatomaceous earth safe for plants’.
Table of Contents
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural substance made from fossilized single-celled algae called diatoms. There are no other ingredients included, and therefore doesn’t have any chemicals or pesticides. It’s highly absorbent, so it quickly absorbs water and oil and dries out the insects that come into contact with it. The sharp edges of the powder cut through their shells and absorb moisture to kill them. Its powdery texture is a great soil amendment since it helps to aerate the soil and increase its water-holding capacity.
How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Plants
To use diatomaceous earth on plants, simply sprinkle it around the base of your plants or mix it into the soil before planting. This will create a barrier that will protect the plants from any crawling pests. Make sure to avoid getting DE on the foliage of your plants as this can cause burning. If you need to apply it directly to the plant, spray it onto only the areas where pests are active. Re-apply after rain or heavy watering for maximum protection. The application must remain dry in order for it to work. Apply DE every 7-10 days for optimal control of garden pests.
It technically can remain indefinitely if it does not get wet and stays dry.
By following the steps above, you can help ensure that your plants stay healthy and pest-free.
How does DE work?
DE works by drying out the exoskeletons of insects by absorbing oils and fat. It has sharp edges because of what it is made of. These sharp edges are abrasive and increase the drying out process of the exoskeleton.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Plants?
Yes, DE is safe for plants when used properly! It’s a natural substance and will not harm plants. It Isn’t harmful to the plants or their roots, regardless of the climate in which it’s used.
Is diatomaceous earth safe for pollinators?
DE affects all insects the same so it’s essential to be careful how it’s applied. It can be harmful to pollinators like bees and ladybugs. To prevent harm to pollinators, do not apply DE to areas, especially to the flowers, where they’ll come in contact with the plant. Use discretion when applying to plants that are visited by pollinators.
It is important to remember that DE’s sharp edges are abrasive and can increase the drying out process of the exoskeleton. This can make pollinators more vulnerable against other environmental factors, making it critical to apply with caution. Surveying and monitoring the area after application will help ensure that any adverse effects are minimal. By following these guidelines, DE can be an effective natural pesticide while still protecting our pollinators. Additionally, it is vital to remember that DE will not stay on the plant forever and will need to be reapplied as necessary. Taking these steps can help ensure that DE remains a viable option for pest control.
List of Bugs Diatomaceous Earth Kills
Diatomaceous earth can be used to control a variety of bugs, including:
- Stink bugs
Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance made from fossilized diatoms. It is highly absorbent and has sharp edges that cut through the shells of insects, drying them out and killing them. DE can be applied to plants by sprinkling around the base or mixing into the soil before planting. It is safe for plants and is a great soil amendment that aerates and increases water-holding capacity. Use caution applying it as it can be harmful to pollinators, so avoid flowers and areas where they might come into contact with it. Reapply it as necessary after rain or heavy watering for optimal pest control. Keep an eye on the area after application to ensure there are minimal adverse effects.