Gardening with essential oils

Contents

Grow These Herbs For Your OwnAromatherapy Herb Garden

Aromatherapy Garden Design Herb Plants Short Herb Roots Rose Herb Garden

An aromatherapy herb garden is grown for its oils, whether for you or to sell to a commercial grower, they’re more valuable grown organically.

The essential oils are found in the plants leaves, flowers, fruit, seed, wood, resin, bark, and roots.

When exposing the oils to heat or air they quickly evaporate.

This herb is easy to grow and a natural perennial.

These aromatherapy herbs and their
essential oils are used for…

Aches and pains– eucalyptus

Anxiety – basil, bergamot, cedarwood, hyssop, neroli, patchouli, ylang-ylang

Appetite stimulate – bergamot, ginger, myrrh

Asthma- pine

Broken capillaries – lemon

Bronchitis – myrrh

Catarrh – myrrh

Cell renewal – lavender

Cellulite – fennel

Concentration – basil, rosemary – memory

Hemp Therapeutic Oil – PEACE – Blue Chamomile

A peaceful blend to relax your muscles, ease anxiety and promote well-being for a restful sleep at night along with 100% pure hemp seed oil. This therapeutic oil blend is relaxing and eases aches with hemp oil being rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Apply anywhere for skin nourishment.

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Aromatherapy herb garden continued…

Circulation – benzoin, black pepper, cinnamon, cypress, lavender, lemon grass, rose, rosemary, thyme, ylang-ylang

Colds and coughs – black pepper, cinnamon, eucalyptus, thyme

Cystitis – cedarwood

Dandruff – cedarwood

Depression – bergamot, camphor, chamomile, clary sage, jasmine, juniper, thyme

Diarrhea – eucalyptus, chamomile; Constipation – fennel

Exhaustion – cinnamon

Eczema – juniper

Fades bruises – hyssop

Fever – Melissa

Fatigue – peppermint, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, thyme

Frustration – ylang-ylang

General debility – clove

Headaches – basil, lavender, marjoram (sweet), peppermint, rose, rosemary, thyme

High blood pressure – marjoram (sweet)

Hypertension – hyssop

Infection – lavender

Inflammation – frankincense

Influenza – cypress, pine

Insect bites – clary sage, lavender

Insomnia – camphor, clary sage, lavender, neroli

Kidney – geranium (pelargonium), pine

Laryngitis – cypress

Liver – geranium (pelargonium)

Low blood pressure – sage

Lung – bergamot, cedarwood

Mature skin – cypress, patchouli, frankincense

Menstrual problems – chamomile, clary sage, geranium (pelargonium), Melissa

Menopause – fennel, purple sage

Mouth sores – clove

Muscle tone – lemon grass

Muscular aches and pains – black pepper, juniper, lavender, rosemary, thyme

Muscular cramps – cypress, marjoram (sweet)

Nausea – fennel, sandalwood

Nervous debility – coriander

Nervous system – geranium (pelargonium)

Nervous tension – benzoin, Melissa

Neuralgia – clove, Melissa

Hemp Therapeutic Oil – LAVENDER

Lavender is the #1 oil for skin care along with 100% pure hemp seed oil. This therapeutic oil blend is restorative and calming with hemp oil being rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Apply anywhere for skin nourishment and protection.

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More plants to add to your aromatherapy herb garden…

Rheumatic pain – coriander, ginger, niaouli

Shock – camphor

Sinus problems – pine

Skin – chamomile, geranium (pelargonium), jasmine,

lavender, neroli,patchouli, rose, sage

Roses are used in potpourris and aromatherapy.

Skin inflammations – myrrh

Skin irritation – benzoin, peppermint

Skin – dry – sandalwood, clary sage

Skin – mature – cypress, frankincense, patchouli

Skin – oily – bergamot, camphor, fennel, lemon grass

Skin sores – clove, juniper

Skin ulcers – niaouli

Sore throats – clary sage, ginger, lemon

Stress – rose, lavender

Toothache – peppermint

Travel sickness – peppermint

Wounds & skin infections – eucalyptus, tea tree

Hemp Therapeutic Oil – STRESS

An uplifting, calming, grumps and moodiness be gone with soothing essential oils along with 100% pure hemp seed oil. This therapeutic oil blend is calming for the nervous system along with hemp oil being rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Apply anywhere for skin nourishment and calmness.

Although the extraction of essential oils is complicated and costly it can be done through patience and dedication. Normally the herbs are distilled (steamed) and is a labor intensive method to collect the oils.

You need to grow a tremendous amount of herbs to distill even 1 fluid ounce.

For this reason it is better left to the professionals. Or you could grow them to be a supplier or for your own personal organic medicinal pharmacy.

Essential oils have a remarkable range of herb uses in food, cosmetics, and medicinal usage.

Top of page – Aromatherapy herb garden

Learn more about Planning an Herb Garden or Herb Garden Design

All About Essential Oils: We Answer 7 Common Questions

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic compounds found in many plants. In chemistry jargon, they’re considered “volatile organic compounds.” Volatility, in this case, meaning that they readily convert from a liquid to a vapor form at room temperature. In other words, what we’re smelling are tiny molecules of vaporized oil that are lighter than air, which allows them to drift into our nose and lodge in our olfactory receptors.

It’s been found that the smell of different essential oils can alter brain chemistry in ways that impacts our emotional and mental state, hence their therapeutic potential. Essential oils are also readily absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin or stomach, creating a physiological effect with potential medical applications.

NOTE: It is generally unsafe to ingest pure essential oils or apply them directly to the skin. They must first be highly diluted. Never use pure essential oils in any way other than that which is indicated on the product label. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s best to discuss with your doctor prior to use.

What is the purpose of an essential oil in nature?

Plants produce essential oils for a variety of reason: to attract pollinators, make themselves unpalatable to insects and animals, ward off disease, or even make the soil around them toxic to other plants with which they would compete for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. Depending on their biological purpose, essential oils may be concentrated in flowers, leaves, roots, or bark.

How are essential oils extracted from plants?

There are several methods. One of the oldest, and still the most common, is steam distillation. In this method, hot steam is forced through the plant material and then collected in a condensation device that causes the vapor to return to a liquid. In ancient times, a technique called enfleurage was also used, particularly for delicate floral oils like rose: the petals were covered in animal fat, which absorbed the essential oil; alcohol was then used to as a solvent to extract the essential oils from the fat. In modern times, essential oils are often extracted in a high-pressure system using liquid carbon dioxide, or with chemical solvents, such as hexane and acetone.

Where are they produced?

The United States, India, China, France, and Brazil are the world’s top five essential oil producers. However, there are some individual oils that are typically produced in only a handful of countries, depending on where the species grows best and other factors, such as local labor costs.

For example, frankincense and myrrh oil, which both come from the bark of desert trees, are produced in the Middle Eastern and North African countries where the trees grow wild. Ylang ylang comes from the flowers of a tropical tree found in the islands of the South Pacific. Southern France traditionally produced much of the world’s rose oil, but the high cost of land and labor in this region has shifted the majority of rose oil production to Turkey and Bulgaria. Essential oils produced on a commercial scale in the United States include peppermint (Pacific Northwest), cedar (Texas), and various citrus oils (Florida).

Should I consider growing crops for essential oil production?

Probably not, unless you’re willing to do it on an industrial scale or live in a country with cheap labor – it takes enormous quantities of plant material, often picked by hand, to make a small quantity of oil, and profit margins are notoriously thin. One exception is if you are going to produce value-added products using essential oils, such as soaps and beauty products. In that case, only small quantities of oil are needed, requiring perhaps just a few acres of land. A number of lavender farms in North America have found success with this model.

Can I make my own essential oils at home?

Yes, but you will need an essential oil “still” for distillation – similar, but not quite the same, as a still for alcohol – which are not widely available. A few manufacturers offer them online, starting at about $400, or you should try watching eBay for a deal. Many of the essential oils found in stores come from common garden plants, including lavender, oregano, peppermint, basil, clary sage, lemon balm, geranium, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, yarrow, and chamomile. Depending on the species, you may need anywhere from a single plant to a quarter-acre planting in order to produce a small vial of oil. Plant material for some oils may also be foraged from nearby forests, including Eucalyptus, spruce, cedar, cypress, fir, and pine.

As a consumer, how do I identify good quality essential oils?

Unfortunately, quality claims on essential oil products are not well-regulated, and should be treated largely as marketing material. If a pleasant fragrance is all you are after, simply use your own nose as a guide. Therapeutic grade essential oils, however (those used by aromatherapists), are virtually impossible to assess without special training and scientific equipment.

Why is it so complicated? The same species grown in different soils, at different altitudes, harvested in different ways, and extracted with different methods will produce oils with significantly different chemical compositions, some of which are much more desirable than others for therapeutic use. Reputable essential oil purveyors only sell oils that have been analyzed for optimum chemistry. Many of these companies are listed on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy website.

Testing also assures that the product is not contaminated with pesticide residue or other adulterants, whether from chemical solvents used in the extraction process or low-grade oil that has been used to “cut” an expensive oil to make it cheaper. For example, 10 milliliters of steam-distilled rose oil should cost about $500 – because of the enormous number of rose petals required to produce it – but 10 milliliters of rose-scented geranium oil, produced in copious quantities from the leaves of an easily grown plant, retails for around $25. Both smell nice, but have very different aromatherapy applications.

Where should you buy Essential Oils?

There are many different essential oil companies across North America. If you’re in the market for essential oils – one Canadian Company, Fern & Petal, sells all natural essential oils and a variety of bath products. You can find them here

25 Essential Oils To Grow In Your Garden!

Would you like to grow the plants that your favorite essential oils are made from in your garden? These are the top 25 essential oils to grow in your garden!

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Who doesn’t love the fragrant scent of essential oils?!

Essential oils have so many uses. One of my favorite things about essential oils is their ability to stimulate the olfactory system!

They are so effective at altering moods, encouraging happiness and positivity, and for turning a bad day around!

Do you know what else is good for altering moods, encouraging happiness, and turning a bad day around?

A bouquet of flowers!

So why not combine the two?!

Why not grow your own therapeutic scents?!

While essential oils in plant form are not as strong and potent as the essential oil, they still contain the same properties.

Imagine having a bouquet that smells like your essential oils sitting on your table!

Or, imagine being able to incorporate the plant form of essential oils into your culinary dishes and foods!

Every essential oil enthusiast will benefit and learn from growing and experiencing essential oils in their plant form!

Every essential oil enthusiast needs a fruit garden and an…

Herb Garden!

Now which essential oil plants should you grown in your fruit or herb garden?

I have compiled a list of 25 of the best essential oils to grow in your garden to help you to decide which plants are best for you!

Organic Herb Seeds

When growing plants of any kind I always make sure that my seeds are certified organic or heirloom. As we talk about each essential oil plant below I have included links where you find heirloom herb seeds, organic herb seeds, and the best herb seeds for sale!

This will allow you to grow the healthiest, prettiest, most beneficial essential oil plants possible!

Also, if you would like to learn more about utilizing herbs for natural health, foraging herbs, and creating your own herbal health care products for your family then be sure to out The Confident Herbalist. It is an AMAZING resource that will teach you everything you need to know in order to start benefiting from these amazing plants! I can’t recommend it enough!

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is such a relaxing, calming scent! And lavender flowers are so beautiful!

I love to see pictures of lavender fields. They always make me feel so peaceful and tranquil. Imagine how wonderful it would be to walk out into your own garden and see beautiful purple lavender waving in the breeze!

Or to have an aromatic bouquet of lavender sitting in the middle of your dining room table!

And don’t forget about using lavender flowers in foods!

I love to use lavender flowers in my Lavender Lemon Kombucha!

You can find lavender seeds here!

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile is another beautiful yet beneficial herb!

Daisies are my favorite ornamental flower. And chamomile looks so much like daisies. It makes me think of the movie You’ve Got Mail (one of my favs:) when Meg Ryan Says “Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” That’s what I think of when I see chamomile flowers.

Cheesy I know, but that’s how my mind works;)

Not only are chamomile flowers beautiful, but chamomile is also such a relaxing flower.

Put a bouquet next to your bed. Chamomile is great for insomnia. Couple the flowers with the essential oil and your room will be the perfect sleepy time place!

You can learn more about the amazing benefits of Chamomile essential oil here!

You can find roman chamomile seeds here and you can find german chamomile seeds here.

If you are wanting to use your chamomile with children then I would use the roman chamomile.

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is a popular herb for cooking.

It is also great for cleaning. Thyme has been used to clean throughout history!

During WWII thyme was used to disinfect hospitals!

Add a sprig of thyme to your essential oil bouquet and be sure to save some for cooking!

You can get thyme seeds here!

Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano is another great cooking herb.

It also combats insects, and the scent of oregano is great for the lungs!

Grow your own oregano to use in Italian dishes and to create a great culinary bouquet to make your kitchen smell like a chef’s paradise:)

You can find oregano seeds here!

Dill Essential Oil

Dill is not just for pickles!

It was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for more than just the flavoring of foods. They used Dill as a symbol of wealth and believed that it would bring good fortune.

It also has beautiful yellow flowers:) Wouldn’t Dill be a wonderful addition to your herb garden?

You can learn more about the amazing benefits of Dill essential oil here!

You can find dill seeds here!

Turmeric Essential Oil

Ok, this is not one that we are going to grow for it’s flowers. We are growing this one for it’s roots!

Turmeric is well known as an amazingly nutritious herb. It is used in foods, taken as supplements, and used for making essential oil!

Why not grown your own turmeric? Instead of buying supplements or turmeric powder for cooking, grow your own fresh turmeric!

You can use it to cook with, add to your juicer when juicing your favorite vegetables, etc.

You can learn more about how turmeric essential oil can benefit you here!

Ginger Essential Oil

This is another one that we are growing for the roots!

Although the ginger plant is pretty as well:)

But the ginger root is where all the nutritional benefits are.

Ginger is also used in cooking. I use it in my Orange and Ginger Kombucha!

It is easy to grow and a valuable addition to your kitchen!

You can find out more about why you NEED Ginger essential oil here!

Neroli Essential Oil

Ok, we are back to the flowers!

Neroli essential oil is steam distilled from the blossom of the Bitter Orange Tree.

As you probably know I live in South Florida. Citrus trees are everywhere!

All I have to do to smell the wonderful scent of orange blossoms is the walk out into my backyard.

If you live in an area that citrus trees will grow, then you need an orange tree! For the fruit as well as the wonderful scent of the orange blossom:)

Check your local nursery to buy citrus trees! Citrus trees are best bought as trees instead of seeds.

Lemon Essential Oil

Another citrus tree that you need!

Lemons are so good for you!

I use lemon juice along with lemon essential oil in my Essential Oil Liver Cleanse.

Lemon juice is very versatile. Not only can you use lemons to make lemonade, but you can use them in cooking, as well as cleaning!

You can read more about how lemon can be used for cleaning in my post 11 Essential Oils To Naturally Clean Your Home!

Check your local nursery to buy citrus trees! Citrus trees are best bought as trees instead of seeds.

Lime Essential Oil

I have a lime tree growing in my back yard and it smells amazing when it blooms! And the blossoms are so pretty!

Limes are also great for so many things. Bring blossoms in for a beautifully fragrant bouquet or use the fruit in many culinary dishes.

Check your local nursery to buy citrus trees! Citrus trees are best bought as trees instead of seeds.

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Ok, this is the last citrus essential oil we are going to talk about!

I love grapefruit! I love it in the form of essential oil and I love the fruit itself!

Grapefruit essential oil has many great health benefits as well. You can learn more about how to use grapefruit essential oil to stay fit and healthy here!

Check your local nursery to buy citrus trees! Citrus trees are best bought as trees instead of seeds.

Marjoram Essential Oil

This is another herb that is great for adding to foods!

How cool is it that we can grow the plants that make up our essential oils?!

You can find marjoram seeds here!

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine has a luxurious, sensual scent!

The plant that the essential oil is derived from is an excellent plant to add to your garden! It can grow either in the form of a bush or a vine.

I picture it growing as a vine up a trellis with its beautiful white flowers permeating the air with their perfume worthy fragrance.

What a wonderful thought:) I can totally see myself sitting under said trellis on a garden bench with a cup of hot tea and a book.

Not really reality. After all I have four kids, homeschool, raise goats, blog etc. lol But still a nice thought:) maybe one day!

You should definitely plant Jasmine in your garden!

Spearmint Essential Oil

Spearmint is an essential oil that I love to use for digestive issues. It is excellent for nausea, upset stomach, indigestion, etc.

You can use the herb in cooking, make spearmint tea for tummy troubles, or add it to your kitchen bouquet!

You can find spearmint seeds here!

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is another member of the mint family.

You can use it in any of the ways that you would use spearmint. I love both the herb and the essential oil a lot!

Talk about a wonderful pick me up scent! Peppermint is so invigorating!

Definitely add this one to your essential oil garden:)

You can find peppermint seeds here!

Basil Essential Oil

Along with Oregano and Thyme, Basil is one of those herbs you want to keep growing on your windowsill!

Keep it handy whenever cooking Italian foods and use fresh herbs instead of dried!

Also add it to your kitchen bouquet for a beautifully fragrant green touch.

This is a great herb to add to your essential oil garden as well!

You can find basil seeds here!

Rose Essential Oil

Like Jasmine, Rose has a wonderfully luxurious scent!

Rose essential oil is highly prized due to how hard it is to make. It takes about 1,000 rose petals just to make 1 drop of rose essential oil!

One of my favorite uses for rose essential oil is for grief. Rose is an excellent oil for those that are grieving the death of a loved one.

Grow roses in your essential oil garden so that you can add them to your floral bouquet for their therapeutic qualities!

I think that they would look and smell lovely combined with jasmine and lavender!

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium has commonly been referred to as the poor man’s rose.

It has a scent very similar to rose, but is a much less expensive essential oil!

Now, this is not the same geranium flower that you would find at your local nursery. The variety of geranium used to create the essential oil is Pelargonium graveolens L’Herit. ex Aiton (P. roseum), fam. Geraniaceae

So be sure that you purchase the right variety to have a true essential oil geranium plant in your essential oil garden!

You can read more about why you NEED Geranium essential oil here!

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is another culinary herb that you need to add to your essential oil garden!

It is not only a beneficial plant, but a very attractive plant as well. Use it in cooking or add a sprig to your bouquet.

Whatever you choose to use it for you will be happy that you decided to add it to your garden!

You can find rosemary seeds here!

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage is an excellent essential oil for many things!

I especially love it for use during the menstrual cycle or menopause. I actually use clary sage essential oil in the Hot Flash Spray that I make.

Add clary sage to your herb garden and experience the wonderful benefits that this herb has to offer!

Also enjoy the plant’s beautiful purple flowers:)

You can find clary sage seeds here!

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is a wonderful smelling essential oil!

It is exactly what it says, a tall grass. Add it to your garden for not only its elegant appearance, but to repel bugs and mosquitos.

Lemongrass is said to repel insects, which makes it a great plant for planting around your patio or garden benches!

Cilantro Essential Oil

or

Coriander Essential Oil

Did you know that cilantro comes in essential oil form?!

It does! But you are probably more familiar with its herbal form.

Cilantro is a great herb to have on hand. I can go through a lot of cilantro! I love it in guacamole, pico de gallo, tacos, etc. (If you can’t tell, we are big Mexican food fans in my house;)

Everyone in my family looooves Mexican food and cilantro is the ultimate herb for those dishes!

Ok, now you’re probably wondering why it says cilantro or coriander essential oil above, right?

Did you know that they both come from the same plant?!

Yep, cilantro essential oil is made from the leafy green part of the plant and coriander essential oil is made from the seeds of the cilantro plant!

Who knew, right?!

So, plant cilantro in your garden and you have two essential oils in one;)

You can find coriander seeds here!

Fennel Essential Oil

Fennel is an excellent herb and essential oil for digestion and blood sugar.

It has a wonderful licorice like smell and makes a wonderful additional to any garden and natural kitchen!

So be sure to add fennel to your essential oil garden:)

You can find fennel seeds here!

Garlic Essential Oil

Did you know that garlic is also made into essential oil? It is!

Once again, this is an essential oil plant that we are not growing for its leaves. We want the bulb of garlic that lies beneath the surface of the soil!

If you like to cook, then I’m sure garlic is something that you use in your kitchen regularly!

So why not grow your own? Garlic has so many wonderful health benefits!

St. John’s Wort Essential Oil

St. John’s Wort is a beautiful herb that blooms yellow flowers towards the end of June.

It is an excellent essential oil for stress and for those that have trouble sleeping.

Add this beautiful and valuable herb to your essential oil garden!

You can find St. John’s Wort seeds here!

Quality

Just a reminder, when using essential oils you also want to make sure that you are using a good quality oil.

As an Aromatherapist I would never recommend buying an essential oil at a local store. I can almost guarantee you that it is not a pure oil. There are no government regulations on essential oils, so an oil can be diluted by up to 50% and still be marketed as a pure oil.

Which Brand of Essentials Oils Should I Use?

Make sure that you know and trust your source.

If you have a brand that you feel confident in you can use that. But, if you aren’t sure about where to get good quality essential oils, or if you would like to check out the brand that I use, you can find it on my business website Healing Blends For Life.

Where to Buy at discounted prices!

If you are interested in learning how you can buy my preferred brand of essential oils at a discounted price check out my Essential Oil Page!

Which essential oils are you planning on growing in your garden?

Do you already grow any of these herbs and fruits in your garden?

Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Happy Gardening!

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. I do not prescribe, diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Please consult your health care provider before implementing any of the information provided on this site.
The information provided on this site is completely my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any other entity.
Any statements or claims regarding health benefits of foods, supplements or essential oils listed on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

You can read my full disclaimer here.

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Grateful Garden

I LOVE these…the size of a chapstick with the quick, portable ability to shift mindsets and ease specific symptoms. Awesome for anyone who works or spends frequent time in crowded places, as many essential oils are anti-viral…naturally. Check in often as we will be adding more varieties…

As a general rule, these last anywhere from 3-12 months. Four Thieves, Revive, Focus and Shavasana are a bit longer lasting, simply due to the essential oils incorporated. Always store these away from heat, children and pets.

Have a particular scent that you love and want pocket ready? We are more than happy to and frequently do make custom inhalers.

We offer discounts for 5 or more aromatherapy inhaler purchases, please inquire via email, call or text

760-413-7266


BREATHE (Immune Boost)…Perfect to have handy when someone is hacking like crazy around you or you feel like you’re coming down with something. Great for those that travel. Plus, it helps open the sinuses, clear mucous and smells so crisp and fresh.

$9.95
REVIVE…Awesome for reviving the sleepy, sluggish student or that terrible tired 3pm mindset! As an added bonus, it can be very helpful for easing headaches, nausea, coughing and laryngitis. Great for speakers and musicians. Crisp and minty.

$9.95

CALM…Fabulous for soothing anxiety and nervous tension. Potentially very helpful for those that suffer with panic attacks. Lovely, calming and beautifully floral.

 $11.95

SHAVASANA…Inspired by the Yoga pose. Restorative and rejuvenating. Earthy base with a lovely, uplifting citrus finish. Deeply soothing. Wonderful for easing depression and anxiety.

$11.95

FOUR THIEVES…Smells like all the wonders of fall baking. Great for cold and flu season. May be beneficial for those that suffer from chronic sinusitis and bronchitis.

$11.95

SWEET DREAMS…Just as it sounds. Wonderful to keep by the bedside for those that need a bit of extra help to doze off or fall back to sleep.

 $11.95

RELAX…soothing for anxiety and potentially beneficial for those with high blood pressure. Studies in PubMed have shown statistically significant reductions in psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as blood pressure of those with essential hypertension.

FOCUS…Formulated with an emphasis on memory and concentration. Great for students, teachers and anyone that may need a little help with Focus.

 $13.95

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.

© Deposit Photos / serezniy

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 supporting optimal health to 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 are toxic to our health and have chemicals in them that can be harmful. So while you might be trying to grow your own vegetables and keep your family healthy, you end up using a harmful spray or mixture of some kind on them that defeats the whole purpose.

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

Here are a few of the best essential oils to keep on hand and some of their benefits for your garden:

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.

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)!

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 keep in mind that a thick application could cause burn on the leaves.

Lavender’s scent is another one butterflies love, so if you 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.

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.

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 in a safe and effective way!

Here is a list of recipes you can use in your garden:

Garden Insect Deterrent

  1. Add 10 drops 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.

Plant Fungus Suppressant

  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.

Veggie and Fruit Wash

  1. Fill up a large bowl with cold water and add in ½ cup vinegar and 6 to 8 drops of lemon essential oil or orange essential oil.
  2. Place your fruits and veggies in it to soak for a few minutes and then rinse well.

Pollinator Attractor Spray

  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.

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. I get most of my essential oils from Plant Therapy.

  • Ants – peppermint or spearmint
  • Aphids – cedarwood, peppermint, spearmint
  • Beetles – peppermint or thyme
  • Caterpillars – spearmint or peppermint
  • Chiggers – lavender, lemongrass, sage, thyme
  • Fleas – peppermint, lemongrass, spearmint, lavender
  • Flies – peppermint, lavender, rosemary, sage
  • Gnats – patchouli or spearmint
  • Lice – cedarwood, peppermint, spearmint
  • Mosquitoes – lavender, lemongrass, arborvitae
  • Moths – cedarwood, lavender, peppermint, spearmint
  • Plant Lice – peppermint or spearmint
  • Slugs – cedarwood
  • Spiders – peppermint or spearmint
  • Ticks – lavender, lemongrass, sage or thyme
  • Weevils – cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood

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

What are some of your favorite essential oils for gardening?

Image © Deposit Photos / lyashik

Indoor Plants-Essential Oils and Hygiene

There are a few different methods one can utilize in attempting to produce their own fragrances. Balsam is a solution of plant-specific resins in plant-specific solvents (essential oils). Essential oils have been extracted for thousands of years and it is done fairly easily. Although, it is time consuming and it requires an ample amount of plant material to produce a small quantity of oil. But on a side note, pure 100% essential oil is very expensive to purchase. Making it yourself is not very difficult and using your plantation or garden for organic essential oil production only makes sense when using the fruits of your labour to their fullest potential.

Some botanicals store essential oil in their leaves or flowers while other botanicals may store their oils in their rinds, seeds or other plant parts. Some plants yield essential oils from multiple parts of the botanical that they subsequently came from and on the other hand not all plants produce enough essential oil to sustain the commercial cost ofextracting them.

Consider that we grow our plant life at home to produce certain qualities that we may not be able to attain from store bought produce and flowers. The plant material you use must be clean and free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other chemicals. You can use fresh or dried plant material as well as herbs, spices, flower petals, or citrus fruit rinds.
One of the easiest ways to make an essential oil is by steaming the plant material; it will help break apart the oil molecules from the rest of the plant. Essential oils are liquids that are soluble in lipids and generally they have lower density than water. The steamed oils are then carried through a condenser, where the water and oil are separated though a change in temperature. Then they are collected in a vessel, after which the oil settles on the top of the water, now called Hydrosol. The oil is siphoned off the top of the water and you are left with aromatic water after the processing is complete via steam or water distillation.
Essential oils can originate from many sources, including leaves such as bay, bergamot, mint, cinnamon, eucalyptus, geranium, and tea tree as well as flowering herbs such as basil, catnip, sage, holy basil, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, thyme, and yarrow. It can also originate from flowers, their petals & their buds including chamomile, helichrysum, jasmine, and rose as well as grasses such as citronella, ginger grass, lemon grass and palmarosa.
Also to note, you can infuse oils with flowers, herbs & spices as well. It is a simple process of infusing flowers to transfer the flavour, you can do this by heating or letting it sit in a sunny spot so that the volatile oils can transfer scent or flavour into a carrier oil. It can be used to add flavour to cooking oils. As well as making scent oils for use in aromatherapy, massage oils and making beauty products like soaps and lotions.
Some of the types of spices and constituents used to make essential oils are lemons, bergamot, cedar, cypress, citronella, juniper, lavender blossoms, eucalyptus, geraniums, jasmine, lilac, linalool, marjoram, pine, rosemary, salvia, sandalwood, terpineol, thyme.
“Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims those essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted in carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense”.
Remember, waste not, want not! If you have unused formulas that have sat on the shelf and aged, use them for burning as an incense or mix them into a new recipe for candles, air fresheners or potpourri.
In short we recommend growing your own all year round for your home-made recipes including essential oils, health, hygiene and plant life for decor. Using our LED grow lights is a definitive way to attain a bountiful harvest for a natural and organic alternative to store bought supplies. With great reason we grow organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, and of course because the results from the experience is enjoyable and rewarding, from seed to harvest. Some of the most common plants that can be considered for your garden and can be used in a natural and organic way for general hygiene products are as follows:
Aloe, Arrowroot, Basil, Beeswax, Borage, Calendula, Cane Sugar, Carrot, Chamomile, Citronella, Cucumber, (Lemon) Cucumber, Fennel, Ginger, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Mint, Neem, Oregano, Passionflower, Peppermint, Plantain Leaf, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Stevia, Thyme, and Vertiver (Chrysopogon zizaniodes).
We are currently moving forward with a trial grow of Avocado, Cayenne Pepper and Goji berries (Wolfberries) and hope to try growing things like Cinnamon, Coffee, Vanilla (but this will be a very hard one – in home) and Popcorn (this will be a fun one, indoors).

References: Essential Oil, List of Essential Oils, Parabens, Chemicals in your cosmetics-Dibutyl-phthalate, Endocrine Disruptors.

We can all agree that bugs have their purpose in this world, especially our favorites; the pollinators, but getting rid of the pesky ones naturally can sometimes be a bit of a conundrum. What to use that will actually work, is natural, and if eaten won’t kill us people, our little ones, and our pets…but still kills pests? The answer is not as tricky as you think! There are a couple fantastic natural options for use against insects and bugs of all kinds, but the one I am sharing with you today is a fantastic All-Purpose bug spray because it can work outside, inside, and on any bug you like!

First a word on my OTHER favorite natural bug killer

Before we get started discussing how amazing essential oils are (because we all know they are!), there is one other fantastic natural pest control option that you can use inside or outside your home, and even in the garden! This magic natural ingredient is Diatomaceous Earth! If you have never heard of this stuff, you are in for a fantastic treat! The word “diatomaceous” comes from the root word “diatom”, which is a single-celled organism. Diatomaceous earth is a chalk-like powder that is made up entirely of these diatoms that have fossilized over thousands of years. While DE is safe to use on humans, it is harmful to insects because of its mechanical makeup. It contains no toxins of any kind. On the microscopic level, it is coarse and porous, making it highly absorbent. It sticks to insects and wicks valuable moisture away from their exoskeletons, fatally dehydrating them. This can take time, anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the conditions and the kind of bug. The great thing about this non-toxic powder is that you can sprinkle it in your garden, around your plants, or even on that line of ants in your kitchen. Just be sure you get Food Grade DE (This is my favorite brand) and not pool grade DE! The pool grade DE can cause respiratory issues. Because this is an ancient clay-like substance, there are a lot of beneficial minerals in DE that are helpful to people, animals, and plants! Stay tuned for more on DE in my next post, where we’ll be using it to make an herbal flea powder for your furry family members!

Using essential oils to battle blight, fungus, and bugs

We’ve talked a lot about the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties of many different essential oils, but we always think about these properties when cleaning household surfaces, or using for health purposes. Many essential oils can be used in the garden for these same purposes! Many of your plant’s ailments can be mended by using essential oils instead of their toxic counterparts. Tea tree and lavender essential oils are very antibacterial and antifungal and work well to combat fungus and bacteria issues on your plants. Add 10 drops tea tree essential oil and 10 drops lavender essential oil to 1 gallon of water, before watering. I have also been known to add essential oils to a spray bottle, along with water, and spray just the affected area too! My Medicine Woman essential oil blend is not just great during the cold and flu season, it’s another blend that is great to also use in the garden. It’s not only highly antibacterial and antifungal but will also help protect your plants from bugs too!

Essential oils that repel and kill creepy crawlies

There are many essential oils out there that can repel and kill creepy crawlies around your house and in your garden. You can use these essential oils in your watering can, as a bug spray, and even in candles to ward off insects and bugs of all kinds!

My TWO favorite bug KILLING oils

When I am making a bug spray to kill bugs, there are TWO specific essential oils that I always utilize in my sprays, because they work SO WELL at killing pretty much all bugs everywhere.

  • Orange oil – In a world full of biological pesticides which don’t work very well, orange oil stands out because it wipes out or repels entire colonies, and prevents re-infestations, instead of simply killing insects individually. D-limonene (the main constituent of orange oil) is harmless to humans, but deadly to most insects because it dissolves the waxy coating on the exoskeleton of insects, causing dehydration and asphyxiation. One application of orange oil will destroy a full colony of ants. Then, even more importantly, its powerful scent will eradicate the pheromone trail left behind by the ants. Re-infestation usually happens when “new” ants follow that trail back to the original ant nesting spot. But if they can’t find the pheromone trail, a new colony won’t be setting up shop in your home or business. This oil is so effective at killing bugs, that you should be aware of which bugs you are spraying, as this can also kill beneficial bugs and pollinators.
  • Cedar oil – Cedar oil affects octopamine, a compound that is essential to life for pheromone-driven “bad bugs” like fleas and ticks. Octopamine is responsible for regulating heart rate, movement, and behavior in pests. It’s essential for life. Cedar oil blocks the octopamine neurotransmitter receptors in pests, causing them to be repelled from the area. When “bad bugs” come in contact with cedar oil, pests suffocate and die. Mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and beneficial insects are not affected by cedar oil because they do not have octopamine neurotransmitters.

DIY Bugs-B-Gone Home & Garden Spray

Soap is very effective against all forms of bugs! It also helps to keep flying bugs from flying again, once their wings are drenched, keeping them from coming at you for killing them! This spray can be used both indoors and outdoors, and even on/around your plants in the garden. Beware, this spray will kill ALL bugs, including the good ones, such as bees and butterflies, so be aware of who you are spraying. It won’t kill them if they come to the plant after it’s been sprayed, only if they get sprayed themselves! This spray is so awesome, I have used it to kill ants/fire ants, cockroaches, wasps (you really want to make sure you have a spray bottle with a stream function if you are going to go after these buggers), aphids, caterpillars, flies/horseflies, mosquitoes, and more! This spray is safe for use around your babies & kiddos of all ages!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (you can alternately use any of the scented Dr. Bronner’s kind as well, such as lavender, citrus, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus)
  • 1 tsp. sweet orange essential oil (alternately you can use 1 tsp. orange oil)
  • 1 tsp. Virginia cedarwood essential oil
  • filtered water to fill
  • 32 oz. commercial spray bottle (The commercial strength spray bottles are made without BPA and are strong enough to be used with essential oil. I have tried so hard to find a glass version of this, but they are just not that common still. If you don’t want to use a commercial plastic spray bottle, you can halve this recipe and use this 16 oz. glass spray bottle instead!)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine castile soap, cedar oil, and orange oil in a 32 oz. spray bottle (preferably the kind meant for cleaning so that you can change from spray to stream when you need) and add water to fill. Cap and shake well to mix together.
  2. Label and store in a cool dark cabinet when not in use.

TO USE: Spray directly onto the bugs you are trying to demolish. They may walk or run away, but they will slow down and die. For flying bugs, it’s easiest to spray them when they have landed, either on their hive or on the ground/walls/etc. You can make this mixture (using peppermint castile soap) in a large batch, using boiling water, and pour over the ant piles in your yard as well. You have to remember that ant homes can be very large underground cities, so this is a repetitive process that causes them to move their homes out of your yard.

Natural pest control for your entire family

While this spray is fantastic around your home and garden, you may also want to battle the bugs around you and your family’s bodies too! These are some of my favorite recipes to use for the whole family!

Bugs-B-Gone Candle & Spray

Bugs-B-Gone Jr.

Flea & Tick Spray FOR DOGS

Flea & Tick Spray FOR CATS

The Best Essential Oils for Gardening (+ Recipes)

So before we get to talking about the best essential oils for gardening, first let me talk a little bit about your organic garden.

A garden is like a community, where all the different parts work together to create a thriving ecosystem. In order for this community to work how you want everything has to do it’s part.

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And that starts in the soil. Your soil is the backbone of your organic garden. Good soil is nutrient rich, full of organic matter, and has good drainage.

A great garden has great soil. A healthy garden has great soil. So if you aren’t already, be sure you are testing your soil and amending it as needed. Check out my article on 8 Ways to Improve Your Garden Soil for Free for some ideas.

Now that’s out of the way, let get back to how to use essential oils in the garden to help with disease, garden pests, and attract pollinators.

9 Best Essential Oils for Gardening

Cinnamon essential oil will help repel garden pests such as ants, gnats, snails, but where it really shines is in its ability to help with your garden weeds! Check out the recipe at the end of this article for an easy, essential oil weed-killer!

Cinnamon essential oil can also help treat fungus that attacks your plants!

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree oil is another fungus-fighting essential oil. So it can be mixed into a spray to control fungal infections such as blight that attacks your tomatoes or potatoes or powdery mildew in your cucurbits.

Tea tree oil can burn your plants so spray in the morning or evenings and spray lightly.

Pick up a copy of my Companion Planting Guide and Binder to help you design the perfect garden beds with companion planting in mind. Everything you need to know about companion planting in an easy to read format so you can start companion planting sooner!

Peppermint oil is a great insect repellent for your garden (and your home!) It will help fight pests such as ants, aphids, bean beetles, cutworms, flea beetles, slugs and more.

This oil is also great for deterring larger pests such as mice, moles, and squirrels. You can simply place a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place them in problem areas around your garden- or down in mole tunnels!

Essential oils in the garden isn’t only about pests and disease, but they can also be used similar to companion planting.

Maybe your garden is small, or you just don’t want to grow basil, but want the properties it gives as a companion plant- that’s where basil essential oil comes it- it can be used to enhance the growth of plants such as tomatoes, beans, broccoli, peppers, and potatoes!

Simply make an essential oil tea and water as usual! (recipe below)

Rosemary Oil is another great for pest control. Use it to repel pests like ants, aphids, bean beetles, cabbage butterfly, flea beetles, and more. It also be used in an essential oil tea for plants like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil is another essential oil you can use for almost all the uses in your garden. It’s great at killing weeds, repelling insects, and to control mold/mildew/fungus on your soil and plants!

Oregano oil is a strong oil that I use in my home to help with things like athlete’s foot and ringworm. So it’s no surprise that oregano oil can be used in the garden for problems with fungus too!

It also is a great deterrent for flying pests such as carrot fly, green fly, mosquitoes, and flies in general.

In addition to deterring pests, essential oils can also attract beneficials and pollinators. Lavender oil is a great attractant for both bees and butterflies.

If you can’t grow lavender plants, or if you just want a little extra push in your flower garden place cotton balls with a few drops of lavender oil, or make a light spray with water to spray the area.

Orange Oil is another oil that attracts pollinators to your garden. Mix it with lavender or by itself to spray around your garden to make it smell amazing and bring in those much needed pollinators!

How to Use Essential Oils for Gardening

There are a few different ways to use essential oils in your garden. They are:

Sprays: Remember a little goes a long way when it comes to your oils. Mix just one or 2 drops in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well before each use. Spray your plant in the early morning or evening, and wait until the rain is out of the forecast! *Glass spray bottles might be best, but they are harder to find for large scale garden purposes.

Essential Oil Tea: You may have heard of compost tea for the garden, and this is a similar concept. Make your tea and then use it to water your garden. The basic recipe can be found below.

Cotton Balls: Cotton balls can be used to deter larger pests at the ground level. Place soaked cotton balls in rodent nests or burrows. You can also use them to attract pollinators to an area. Replace as needed.

Strings or Strips: Soaking a cotton string or strip and then hanging it between rows or from a tree branch can confuse the sense of smell in insects and deter pests without having to spray an entire area. Refresh as needed.

Recipes for Essential Oils in the Garden

Insect Deterrent Spray

In a large spray bottle combine the following (per cup of water)

1 drop peppermint

1 drop rosemary

1 drop thyme

Shake well and again before using. Spray in the early mornings or evening.

Fungus Spray (blight, powdery mildew, etc)

In a 1 gallon spray bottle, mix:

5 drops tea tree essential oil

1 drop oregano oil

1 squirt Castile soap

3 T baking soda

Fill with the bottle with water and shake well. Spray the leaves of your affected plants once a week, in the morning or evening

Essential Oil Weed Killing Spray

In a large pump spray bottle (I use one like this) combine:

Distilled white vinegar (to just below the fill line)

1 squirt of Castile soap

15 drops clove essential oil

10 drops cinnamon essential oil

Screw on the top of the spray bottle and shake well before use.

Be sure only to spray this on weeds, as it will kill your garden plants as well.

Essential Oil Tea Recipe

This is a basic tea recipe, use your choice of oil.

Add 8 drops of essential oil in 2 cups very hot water. Allow to cool.

Dilute this at the rate of ¼ cup added to 1 gallon of water.

Shake and water as usual.

And as a final reminder, don’t forget to use other natural and organic measures in your organic garden!

Diatomaceous earth is one of my favorite tools to get rid of pests in my garden.

Also be sure to check out the following articles on pest control and companion planting in the organic garden:

16 Ways to Use Companion Planting to Control Pest Naturally

How to Control Squash Bugs Naturally

How to Control Cucumber Beetles Organically

Get Rid of These 8 Garden Pest Naturally!

Essential oils play a big role in organic gardening. Various types of oils help to repel insects and kill invasive weeds that try to overtake the edible parts of the garden. Keep your home garden growing abundantly without chemicals with these tips for gardening with essential oils.

How to Mix and Use

When using essentials oil to keep pests out of the garden, mix a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle filled with water, then spray on all the plants. The oils are natural and won’t harm the plants or the humans doing the spraying. Can you say that about Round-Up???

Make spraying for pests or weeds the last thing you do after working in the garden so it will have time to settle on the plants and soil.

Insect Repelling Oils

* Garlic oil is very pungent and works well at repelling several pests, including mosquitoes and cats.

* Lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus and cajeput essentials oils are very effective for garden use. All repel a variety of flying and crawling pests without harming vegetation.

* Peppermint essential oil repels ants, lice, spiders and fleas. If you own pets, it’s a great to use on the lawn to keep the flea population at bay. Soak cotton balls with non-diluted peppermint oil and tuck around the perimeter of your garden to keep rats and squirrels from eating your vegetables.

* Pine oil repels fleas, ticks, slugs and snails. Good to use in the garden and landscape when you have children and/or pets.

Thieves Oil Pesticide – Thieves oil has clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. In a standard size spray bottle, fill almost full of water and then add enough Thieves Cleaner to color the water.

* Rosemary essential oil is a natural mosquito and cat repellent. To keep cats from using your garden as their own personal bathroom, try this trick. Spray small strips of cloth with rosemary oil water and hang the strips up around the perimeter of your garden. Cats hate the smell of rosemary and will stay away – so will the mosquitos. Re-wet cloth strips weekly or after a rain.

* Tea tree, lavender and clove essential oils are good all-around insect repellents.

Fungus Killer

Moss and other types of fungus grow on garden soil and deplete nutrients before plants can uptake them. Kill the fungus with these anti-fungal essential oils. Add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice to a spray bottle, then spray the soil thoroughly.

* Cinnamon, clove, peppermint, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, tea tree or oregano.

* Neem oil will rid the garden of nematodes which live in the soil and attack plant roots.

Attract Pollinators

Essential oils can be used not only to repel the bad guys, but attract the good guys too. Attract natural pollinators to your garden with orange blossom, sage, yarrow, lavender, catmint and fennel essential oils mixed and used the same ways as the repellents.

As always my fave oils are Young Living oils. Not only do they produce the highest quality oils out there…they use essential oils for all pest and weed control on their farms. Pretty nifty!

Here are some easy ways to incorporate non-toxic pest control with essential oils into your garden practices. It’s easy! And there are solutions for just about any gardening problem.

Non-Toxic Pest Control With Essential Oils

Sure, everyone is talking about essential oils these days. And with good reason. They offer solutions for nearly everything. One of them is non-toxic pest control solutions for the garden. Pest control without poisoning our world is a big concern for our planet these days. And for good reason. Essential oils offer solutions that don’t contribute to the toxicity of our planet, and even more specifically, of our gardens and yards…where we and our family spend our time, and where we grow food meant to nourish and not to harm us.

What Oils Work?

There are many essential oils that work great in the garden. (Essential oils are present in plants to begin with, in part, to help protect the plant from disease and pests, so it makes sense that they have pest-repelling abilities.) Which oil to use, depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Peppermint works for many pests (ants, aphids, beetles, fleas, flies, moths, plant lice, spiders, etc) and is definitely an oil to keep in the pest control arsenal. Cedarwood and white pine oils work better for slugs. Cedarwood is also a good bug spray for people. It can also be added to mulch to help de-bug it.

Here’s some general guidelines to help you decide what oils to use for what:

Ways to Use Essential Oils in the Garden

There are a few different ways you can incorporate non-toxic pest control with essential oils. Pick a way that works best for you.

If you’d like to spray the oils onto your plants and problem areas, mix a bit of natural liquid soap, 10-20 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and fill the bottle with water. Remember to shake often when using.

You can also soak cloth or string with essential oils and hang in problem areas, or tie onto plants/plant stakes/trellises, etc. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of oil to cotton balls and place them in a small container (empty yogurt container for instance). Dig a little oil and set the container down in it, to keep it from getting knocked over.

Adding oils to your watering can is also a great way to use essential oils in the garden. Simply mix a few drops of oil into your watering can and water garden or problem areas with this essential oil water.

Critter Pests

There are more than insects that are hoping for some of your garden…deer, wild rabbits and slugs are some vying for a tasty morsel. Here are a few suggestions for these kinds of pests.

How Often?

I’m often asked how often these oils need to be applied…that depends…

How bad is the pest situation you’re experiencing? The worse it is, the more often you’ll have to use essential oils until the situation is under control.

You will need to re-apply after it rains or after watering (if the water goes where your essential oils are.

If you are watering your garden with a watering can enhanced with essential oils, do it a couple of times per week.

And remember, too, that non-toxic solutions don’t last as long as nasty chemicals that stay with us FOREVER. Apply essential oils more frequently, and after rain and watering.

Do you want to get some of the best essential oils in the whole wide world? Here are my go-to oils.

Next week I will talk to you about using essential oils similarly to how you’d do companion planting. Exciting stuff. I love that these oils are good for pretty much everything. Non-toxic, natural, simple, lovely solutions for all of life.

CROP PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
NOTE

Basil plants growth and essential oil yield in a production system with successive cuts

Crescimento de plantas de manjericão e produção de óleo em sistema de produção com cortes sucessivos

André MayI, ; Odair Alves BoviII; Nilson Borlina MaiaII; Lauro Euclides Soares BarataIII; Rita de Cassia Zacardi de SouzaIV; Eduardo Mattoso Ramos de SouzaIV; Andrea Rocha Almeida de MoraesIV; Mariane Quaglia PinheiroV

ABSTRACT

This work studied the growth of basil plants and the effect of successive cuts on the total yield and quality of the essential oil, throughout the crop cycle. Steady increases were observed in the dry weight of the aerial part and in the essential oil yield, during the cultivation cycle. Intensive cultivation and successive cuts could improve the agronomical and industrial yield in each harvest.

Key words: Ocimum basilicum L., dry mass, harvest intervals.

RESUMO

Esta pesquisa visou estudar o crescimento de plantas de manjericão e o efeito de cortes sucessivos sobre a produção e qualidade do óleo essencial ao longo do ciclo. Observou-se aumento na massa seca da parte aérea e na produção de óleo essencial ao longo do ciclo de cultivo. O cultivo do manjericão submetido a cortes sucessivos pode aumentar a produção do óleo em cada colheita.

Palavras-chave: Ocimum basilicum L., massa seca, intervalo entre cortes.

Introduction

Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is included in the Lamiaceae family, which has about 3500 species distributed among 210 genera, most of these herbaceous, less often shrubs, or rarely trees. Herbaceous plants from this family can behave like annual or perennial plants, depending on where and how they are grown (BLANK et al., 2004). In Brazil, they are cultivated by small farmers mainly to supply fresh or dry leaves as flavorants or condiments (TEIXEIRA et al., 2002).

Besides fresh leaves have been normally used in natura, one can extract a valuable essential oil from basil, used in the manufacture of perfumes and flavors for food and beverages (MAROTTI et al., 1996). The basil essential oil also has insecticide and insect repellent properties (UMERIE et al., 1998). MAIA et al. (1996) reported the potential uses of basil essential oil in order to replace molecules obtained from endangereds species.

Basil essential oil can be extracted from leaves and flowering tops through hydrodestillation (CHARLES AND SIMON, 1990). The chemical composition of basil extracts reveals the presence of tanines, flavonoids, saponins, and volatile terpenes like camphor, tymol, methylchavicol, linalool, eugenol, 1-8-cineol and pinenes (LORENZI AND MATOS, 2002). The composition essential oil may reveal several types of basil like the European, the French or so called sweet basil, the Reunion or Comores, the Bulgar, the Java or Methyl Cinnamante and the Eugenol (SIMON et al., 1990). The most valuable basil essential oil in the market is the European type, which is mainly constituted by linalool (40,5 to 48,2 %) and methyl-chavicol (28,9 to 31,6 %) (FLEISHER, 1981; CHARLES AND SIMON, 1990). The price for the most valuables basil oils in the market reach values up to US$ 110,00/kg. This price makes the cultivation of basil for essential oil production a promising alternative for small farmers in Brazil.

The production of basil essential oil has increased the demand for basil vegetal matter to be extracted in specialized distilleries, thus creating a need of fresh plants from periodical harvest of semiperennial plants. Few works have been done about seasonal variation of basil oil yield during the year (MUNI et al., 2002) and about oil production as a function of the number of plants per area (GILL AND RANDHAWA, 2000).

The economical interest of some vegetable species for essential oil production has brought the need of studies about the capacity of them to bear intense exploitation when submitted to frequent harvesting, aiming to reach the maximum longevity of the plants. However, the knowledge about basil cultivation in this intensive system is almost inexistent (FERNANDES et al., 2004).

FERNANDES et al. (2004) has observed, in a study about hydropony basil cultivation on different substrates, in protected environments, that the major substances in basil essential oils were linalool, a-trans- bergamoptene, germecrene-D, cubenol and g-cadinene. Linalool was the most abundant compound, both in the narrow leaf basil (44,3 to 59,8 %) and in the broad leaf basil (22,7 to 37,4 %).

Materials and Methods

The experiment was carried out in the Horticulture Agribusiness Analysis and Technological Research Experimental Center of the Agronomic Institute (IAC) in Campinas – SP, during May 30th 2005 and May, 30th 2006.

Herbaceus branches with two leaves were grown in trays in a nursery, up to rooting. The cuttings were collected in the Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Center of the IAC. Afther 30 days in trays, the cuts were planted with a interval of 0,6 m x 0,4 m.

The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized block design, with eight replications. A conventional sprinkling system was used for the irrigation.

There were applied 5 kg m-2 of manure, according to the recommendations of CÔRREA JÚNIOR et al. (1994) for basil cultivation.

The plots were cut every other 42 days at 40 cm from soil surface. Eigth harvesting seasons were made since June 25th of 2005.

Plant growth analysis method by MAGALHÃES (1986), describes physiological and morphological conditions of plants in different time intervals, allowing to observe the production dynamic, evaluated by means of physiological and biochemical indexes.

For each harvest was measured the leaves and branches dry mass, the plants height and the essential oil yield. Essential oil was extract from 150g of branches and leaves (aerial part) in a Clevenger-type apparatus, for 120 minutes.

Manual separation of leaves and branches were made to evaluate mass production in different parts of the plant, and then dried in an forced air oven, at 60 °C, and weighed until constant mass weight.

To get the centesimal composition of the basil essential oil, eight sample were analyzed in a GC-MS 5890/5970 with a column HP5-MS (30m x 0,25mm x 0,25um) (one sample for each cut to evaluated de essential oil composition during the experimental period). The temperature ramp was: Tinitial: 50 ºC , ramp (5 ºC /min) Tfinal : 220 ºC, Tinjector: 250 ºC, Tdetector : 280 ºC . Split rate (1:100). The essential oil samples were diluted at 10 mg/ml. Pentadecane at 3 mg/ml was used as a marker. The injected samples consisted of 0,8 ml of the diluted essential oil and 0,2 ml of diluted pentadecane. The solvent for all samples was methylene chloride. The compound identification was made by comparison of the mass spectra obtained and the ones included in the Wiley 275 mass spectra library and by its calculated retention index (Kovat’s index – KI), according to methodology described by ADAMS (1995).

The data obtained were fitted by polynomial regressions using the software ESTAT (UNESP, Jaboticabal – SP).

Results ans Discussion

Production of dry matter of leaves, branches, total aerial mass, plant height and essential oil yield were fitted in a quadratic polynomial regression (Figures 1, 2 and 3). It was noted a fast initial growth with constant increments in the amount of dry matter and in the plants height, up to the maximum values achieved, followed by a subsequent decrease. The maximum values for the analyzed data are presented in table 1.

The analysis of the data shows a higher dry mass production, of the total aerial part, at around 234 days after planting (DAP) or at the sixth cut (Figure 1) and high plant at 213 DAP, or fifth cut (Figure 2). The essential oil yield was not affected by the numbers of cuts. The total essential oil production in the eight cuts was of 1157 kg ha-1.

It was noted a reduction in production of aerial parts after the fifth cut, and a gradual decrease of sprouts, reducing the growth speed and increasing plants senescence. Although basil is considered a perennial plant in warm regions (CÔRREA JÚNIOR et al., 1994), when submited to successive and intense harvests, it has an annual behavior. So in commercial cultivations, when the objective is to achieve maximum oil production per area, the crop renewal may be necessary

Despite the fact that CORRÊA JÚNIOR et al. (1994) have mentioned that the first harvest should be done just after the second year of cultivation, in this work, superior results were obtained, as showed in Figure 1, a constant aerial part growth up to 234 days after planting. The dry mass of aerial parts accumulated along the experimental period was of 33,13 t ha-1, (15,15 t ha-1 of dry leaves). CORRÊA JÚNIOR et al. (1994) mentioned a dry mass annual production of the aerial part of 3 t ha-1, (1,5 t ha-1 of dry leaves) with planting space of 0,6 m x 0,25 m.

Along the experimental period there was observed an air temperature increase. But even at the time of decreasing production of aerial part mass, which happened between late January (fifth harvest, day 210) and the beginning of March (sixth harvest, day 252), temperatures were suitable (between 20 and 27 ºC) for basil development (Figure 4). Plant senescence was a consequence of intensive harvest rather than weather conditions.

The dry mass of leaves was similar to the dry mass of branches up to day 168 (fourth harvest – Figure 1), when there was a reduction in the ratio leaves/branches. The highest concentrations of essential oil are in the leaves, once that the higher amount of leaves dry mass was on the 195th day and the maximum yield of essential oil was on the 198th day, that is, the maximum values achieved for both variables are very time-related. So, one can conclude that for maximum basil essential oil production, it is important to keep a high ratio leaves/branches. However, even with high temperatures in the period of maximum production, the studied species did not keep high proportion between the production of leaves and branches as a consequence of the natural senescence caused by intensive exploitation.

Essential oil from branches, close to zero, is not economically considerable. Maximum ratio of leaves and branches must be achieved to maximize oil production.

The essential oil yield achieved in the present work, 0.58%, by the basis weight of fresh leaves is superior to the value reported by FERNANDES et al. (2004) when cultivating hydroponics broad leaf basil in a greenhouse. It was also superior then the 0.3% obtained by CORRÊA JÚNIOR et al. (1994) from fresh aerial parts.

Essential oil composition varied during the experimental period. Linalool content increased until the fourth cut on day 168 reaching 43.58 %, decreasing afterwards until the end of the experiment with 31.73%. The same pattern occurred with camphor from 3.60% in the beginning reaching a maximum of 12.75% and decreasing to 11.72% at the end. Eugenol content varied from 7.87% in day 126 to 18.43% in day 336. Cineol varied form 0.33% in day 84 to 8.08% in day 336. Alpha terpineol varied from 3.43 in day 42 to 2.14% in day 210.

Conclusion

The essential oil production in this intensive harvesting system produced high yields in the period of the experiment, but anticipates plant senescence. It has been verified that the essential oil is mainly concentrated in the leaves and that the oil amount in the branches is almost insignificant.

ADAMS, R.P. Identification of Essential Oils Components by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. 2.ed. Allured Publishing, 1995. 469 p

FLEISHER, A. Essential oils from two varieties of Ocimum basilicum L. grown in Israel. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture Abstracts, Oxford, v.32, p.1119-1122, 1981.

Recept for publication in July 6, 2006 and accept in September 28, 2007.

autor correspondente.

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