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How to Use Orange Oil for Growing Plants

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

Orange oil, technically called d-limonene, is the result of crushing and extracting the contents of the orange fruit's rind. The effects of the oil's enzymes and natural acids may have a beneficial influence on garden plants. For example, orange oil can act as a natural insecticide to ward off pests and help plants devote all of their energy toward proper growth and development. In some cases, the effects may be on par with that of synthetic plant treatments, making orange oil an effective and all-natural solution to common garden problems.

Sterilize the soil. This can help kill fungus and soil-borne insect pests that may be hampering plant root growth, and may be especially beneficial for potted plants where fungus can be a critical problem. Mix 2 oz. orange oil with a gallon of fresh water. Pour onto the soil.

Kill bug pests, such as aphids, beetles and ants. Orange oil's acids penetrate insects' exoskeletons and quickly kills them. Pour a quart of water and 1/10 oz. orange oil into a plastic spray bottle.

Close the bottle and shake it to mix the contents thoroughly. Mist onto problem areas on your plants to kill the bugs.

Clean your plants to destroy any mold and fungus growth. Such growth can be significantly troublesome on house plants. Mix 1/4 oz. orange oil with 2 qts. water. Slosh the solution over your plant to thoroughly soak all of its foliage.


Things You Will Need

  • Orange oil
  • Plastic bucket
  • Plastic spray bottle


  • Orange oil should not be applied to tender young plants and seedlings, as its acids may burn them.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.