gardenwolverine

Does Neem Make Plants Shiny?

gardenwolverine
June 4, 2019

Last week I noticed bug activity on my plants in my community garden spot, and used a rather strong (about 30%+) mixture of neem, water, and about 1 tbl of Dr Bronner's tea tree castile soap on the affected plants (kinda soaked 'em, actually) since I already had it made for other purposes, plus a spritz for each of the rest as a preventative. They all look like they're recovering from the bugs, but I noticed something today that makes me wonder if someone sprayed something on them - plants that aren't normally shiny...are shiny. And it ain't water, or slugs. Just shininess, which isn't on plants in the other gardens.


We haven't had any rain for a week, but I have been making sure to water them every couple of days or so, but since it was cool yesterday I didn't water them and only noticed the shine today. Could it have taken this long for the plants to take up all the neem that was in the soil and on their leaves, and it made them shine? Or did someone do something nefarious to my poor babies, as my plot is about 5 feet from a parking lot outside the fence, in a manicured tiny park?


--GW

Comments (7)

  • lilyd74 (5b sw MI)

    Have you been back to the community garden since you applied the neem mixture? Was it a powder or a liquid when you mixed and applied it? Most liquid neem that is available is in an oil-based format, and would automatically make leaves "shiny." Sometimes, depending on sun exposure, people have given their plants sunburns that way. If your plants are doing well and are just shiny looking, then I would operate on the belief that it is probably the neem and not worry about it. Of course, pictures are always helpful in an attempt to be certain.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Well, neem is an oil so can have a shiny appearance once sprayed......

  • gardenwolverine

    I sprayed the neem last week, and noticed the shine *today* after numerous days where I watered my plot. I did allow one whole day for the neem to soak in, and that may have burned a couple of the basils because I didn't know that my plot is suddenly getting some afternoon sun (a tree that provided shade died in the drought last year and was cut down, but I thought the other trees covered it sufficiently), but they're recovering from that and weren't shiny at the time. The shine is new. The lettuce which was purposely planted in a sunny spot is fine except for the shine.

    As far as the mixture, it was liquid neem mixed with water and 1 tbl liquid castile soap.

    The more I think about it I think you're right, lilyd74, in that I probably don't need to be worried. I won't be harvesting anything from them for a few weeks anyway. And rain is predicted for all the rest of the week.


    Thanks!


    --GW

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Neem is safe to eat if applied to edible plants.....right up to and including harvest day.

  • gardenwolverine

    I know. Use it on and in myself and a little (literally a drop or two) on my cat. I didn't know that it would make plants shiny, tho, which made me concerned that something else might have been sprayed instead.

  • donna_in_sask

    There used to be a plant product to clean/shine indoor plant leaves and it was neem-based. I think it was called Leaf Shine. This was before neem was used mainly as a natural pesticide.

  • gardenwolverine

    UPDATE: Well, turns out I sprayed too much, and burnt the basils. Just took a while for the burns to occur. But they should eventually recover so long as I don't do something else dumb. :P All the rest I sprayed just a little and are fine.

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