Using Garlic Water for Plants

Harness the Power of Garlic -

Without the use of chemical pesticides, organic gardeners look purely to nature for solutions to pest infestations. Luckily, nature is always willing to comply and supplies garlic as a cure. It may come as a surprise, but yes, this small ground-dwelling bulb has a wide array of uses in the garden. The active sulfur compounds in garlic not only act as a powerful natural pesticide, they also eliminate fungus and deter grazing vermin. Best of all, you'll be able to free your plants of pests without leaving behind harmful chemicals or residues. Keep reading to learn the recipes and processes so that you can benefit from using garlic water for plants.


Benefits of a Garlic Spray -

A homemade garlic spray has many uses and can be applied to vegetable, fruit, ornamental and indoor plants.

  • Natural Garlic Pesticide - When used as a foliage spray, garlic is effective against: Aphids, Colorado Potato Beetles, Whiteflies, Bean Beetles, Cabbage Worms, Spider Mites, Moths (including the Diamondback Moth), Ants and Termites. If used as a soil treatment, garlic water is a recognized treatment for nematodes and fungus gnats.
  • Natural Fungicide - The active sulfur compounds will also terminate a variety of fungal and mildew infestations. A garlic water foliage spray is a very effective treatment and preventative measure for Powdery Mildew.
  • Natural Deterrent - When used in combination with chilies, garlic works well as a preventative deterrent against mice, rats, rabbits, voles, elk and deer.


Makes - 1 Gallon of Pesticide/Fungicide Spray

Expenses - 50 Cents. What a deal!

Recipe for Garlic Water - Pesticide & Fungicide

Ingredients -

  • 1 Small Head of Garlic
  • 2 Cups Water

Process -

  1. Process whole head of garlic in a blender. Get it as smooth as possible.
  2. Add two cups water to the blender and pulse a couple times.
  3. Pour the mixture into a glass container and sit covered in a dark place for one day.
  4. When ready to apply, strain off all the solids and dilute with more water until you have a gallon's worth of solution.

To Apply -

To use the 'garlic tea' as a foliage spray, use a spray bottle to soak the tops and bottoms of each leaf in the infested area. Use the solution once every week until the problem ceases. When using as a preventative measure, apply the garlic water only once every two weeks or after it rains.

Soak the infected soil thoroughly once a week for elimination of fungus gnats and nematodes.


Makes - 1 Gallon

Expenses - $1

Recipe for Garlic Water - Deterrent

Ingredients -

  • 1 Small Head of Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeno, or 1TBS Cayenne Pepper

Process -

Follow the above directions, adding the peppers to the process.

To Apply -

For mice, rabbits, rats, deer and elk use the garlic and chili water solution as a foliage spray on the effected plants. Again, apply thoroughly once every two weeks or after each rain.

For preventative protection against voles, pour a barrier of the garlic and chili solution around your garden plants. Make a there is no breaks in your barrier. Re-apply to the soil once every two weeks.


Precautionary Advice -

The key to using a garlic water solution for plants is to use it in moderation! While the solution effectively eliminates pesky garden infestations, it can also negatively affect beneficial soil organisms if used too often. Through my own experiences with garlic water, I've found that it should not be applied more than twice a week as a foliage spray and once a week as a soil treatment.

Garlic Water for Plants
Garlic Water for Plants

Final Word -

Garlic water for plants is seriously an effective treatment! Using the foliage garlic spray, I have been successful in the removal of spider mites, aphids and powdery mildew from my own gardens. I've even used garlic water for the successful elimination of fungus gnats, so I can definitely vouch for its efficiency. Overall, you'll be doing yourself and your plants a lot of good by seeking comfort with the homemade, all natural, and organic garlic pesticide.

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Comments 26 comments

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Only recently have I learned that garlic had such usefulness in the gardening realm! This is so cool. Thanks for the guide!

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado Author

Simone Smith - I'm glad that you've at least heard of garlic in the garden before! Always appreciate your feedback.

TMHughes profile image

TMHughes 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

Great article, I'm going to use these techniques. Check out my hub on growing garlic.

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado Author

TMHughes - Hey, thanks for the comment. Garlic is good stuff. I'll be sure to check out your hub.

sloopyjo 4 years ago

We are using ladybugs to wage war with our aphids, but it's a long drawn out battle. If I give the awabuki plants (in central FL) a mist with garlic water, will I lose my ladies?

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 4 years ago from Colorado Author

sloopyjo - Let me be the first to admit that I am greatly unfamiliar with Awabuki plants. On the upside, I've used garlic water on a variety of house, garden and ornamental plants with no damage at all (other than what the insects had already done). Even the most tender of plants showed no ill effects. Garlic is not a strong chemical and should not interfere or stunt your plants' growth or vigor. Applying an application of garlic water will most likely be very appreciated by your Awabuki plants! Good luck to you, aphids can be quite the pain.

Jojosi profile image

Jojosi 4 years ago from Complicated

For sure garlic is a real winner in many areas. While I have followed the medicinal benefits of garlic for all these years, I have never used it in the garden before. This information has come in handy for my battle with aphids.

mcstagra 4 years ago

besides being economical its non toxic to human, definitely i'll try this in my garden. thanks a lot

Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

Voted up and tweeted. I will try your garlic water and pepper in a couple of days when the pepper is ready to pick.

grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Very good information that I am going to use. Do you have any advice for pests on melons and cucumbers? Would garlic water work without flavoring the melons and cukes? I'd very much appreciate your help on this. Thanks! Voted Up, Useful, Shared and Pinned.

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 4 years ago from Colorado Author

grandmapearl - Thanks for stopping by! Choosing a natural means of pest deterrent really depends on what type of pests you're dealing with. Though garlic works to stop a wide range of pests, it might not cover the particular pests you're dealing with on your melons and cucumbers. The good news is that it never hurts to try. Garlic won't alter the flavor of either melons, cucumbers or any veggie for that matter.

grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Thank you Joe, I will give garlic water a try. It's good to know it won't alter the flavor of any veggie. I have tons of garlic this year, so this will be a very good use for the extras! Thanks.

Gina145 profile image

Gina145 4 years ago from South Africa

I don't like to use chemicals, so this sounds worth a try.

I've been using fish emulsion to feed my plants and it attracts flies something awful. I wonder whether adding a bit of garlic water would help keep them away.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

Great article. I´ll be making it tomorrow. I´ve heard a lot about the benefits of using garlic in the garden. Thanks for this very easy recipe. Have a nice day!

Smith Rex 3 years ago

Amazing!! i am certainly going to try it and will save money too. I hope it is slug deterrent as well.

idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 3 years ago from United States

Wow, that's an organic and natural pesticide indeed! I don't like to use chemicals too for my plants, and I'm quite excited to try this one -- and it's totally easy to make. thank you! :)

liesl5858 profile image

liesl5858 3 years ago from United Kingdom

I've heard of washing up liquid is useful for watering plants to kill insects but I haven't heard of this one so I will give it a try. Thank you Joe Macho for sharing a fantastic hub.

Jennsinkona 3 years ago

Aloha! Just made my first batch and I was wondering where would be best to store the gallon?

Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

The natural pesticide explained in the hub sounds great. never thought of garlic to be so useful. Thanks for your hub and the useful information.

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 3 years ago from Colorado Author

Jennsinkona - Store it in the fridge.

Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili Bisson 3 years ago from Canada

Fantastic tip...thank you! I wonder if it works on slugs?

iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

I've bookmarked this hub. I've been wondering how to make a pesticide which is also safe for my tomato plants. Thanks for the hub and for your added information you posted on the comments. Up and useful.

Jennifer Attwell 2 years ago

Will definitely be trying this

Geri 20 months ago

Will garlic powder work as well as a clove of garlic?

Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 20 months ago from Colorado Author

Geri - Since garlic powder has been processed and dried, it will have lost a lot of its potency. I've never tried it, but I feel that it won't be the same as fresh garlic.

Sherry faram 2 weeks ago

I make garlic water to keep the possums out of my yard. It works a treat. Touchwood my yard has been possum free for about 2mths now.

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