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How to Make a Pesticide With Oranges

A group of orange peels sit in a bowl, two pitchers have orange peel juice, and a person waters plants.
@shecooksorganic/TikTok

No one likes fending off pests in the garden. From expensive control measures to ruined plants, you might feel like you should just keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. There’s good news, though. A TikTok tutorial has a solution.

You can make a DIY pesticide from orange peels, and not only will it ward off pests, but it’ll help your plants grow.

TikTok content creator Sarah Murray explained that her grandfather—a former gardener—taught her to make the solution, and she still uses it. To start, she boils oranges and orange peels for roughly 15-20 minutes. During this process, the water becomes infused with the oranges’ nutrients (calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and nitrogen) and the scent of the oranges.

Union Watering Can with Tulip Design

Give those plants some love.

Once boiling is done, she uses a potato masher to mash the peels and oranges together in the pot. Then, she separates the peels from the boiled water and orange mixture with a colander or sifter. Murray pours the mixture into two pitchers and dilutes it with water before pouring it into a watering can.

@shecooksorganic

Recipe my grandpa taught me for a pest-free garden and garden care. What I do for #urbangardening #homegardening #smallgarden #gardenhacks #gardenersoftiktok #gardenhacksontictok #hollisticmethods #naturalpesticide #oranges #garden #gardening

♬ original sound - Sarah Murray

She then uses the mixture to water her plants including her tomatoes, bean plants, and herbs. After watering, she takes the separated peels and places them into the soil of her plants for added pest control.

So, does this trick actually work? According to other gardening experts, yes, it should. You’ve likely seen people use discard orange peels in their soil, and this works the same way. Many common, plant-killing insects are repelled by the scent of orange. Plus, when you water with the mixture, all those nutrients go directly into the soil.

If you’ve been concerned about garden pests this year, it might be time to buy some oranges instead of pesticides.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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