This natural orange spray is simple to make and an effective way to prevent aphids from taking over your favorite plants.
Arizona is one of only four citrus producing states in the nation. Citrus groves in Pinal and Maricopa counties produce an abundance of lemons, tangerines. oranges and grapefruit in the winter and early spring.
Most homeowners have some type of a citrus tree in their backyard garden – for us it’s lemon, lime and tangelo. It’s pretty common to find people bagging up citrus to give in neighborhoods all over the Valley as well.
I have to confess... I’m a bit of a citrus peel “hoarder” (is that even a thing??!) I keep all of the peels from our citrus varieties and toss them into a big glass dish. Once it’s full of peels, I transfer them to a medium stockpot making sure to rip them in smaller pieces as I go.
The citrus peels are a wonderful natural bug killer spray that is safe to use in your home and garden. It’s especially helpful as a guard against aphids.
Throwing this spray together is incredibly simple, provided you have leftover peels (any citrus will do). Once you strain the liquid, cool and pour into canning jars. Transfer to a spray bottle at the ratio of 50:50 (orange ring spray to water).
Use as a spray in your garden once each week making sure to reapply if it rains.
Natural Spray with Orange Rinds
Things you will need:
- leftover citrus rinds (oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruit or limes)
- waterproof gloves
- spray bottle
- medium stockpot
- saucepan with lid
- pint or quart canning jars for storage
The active ingredient in citrus is d-limonene, which is also in other citrus fruits. Use the rinds of your favorite citrus to put together this simple spray.
- Remove the white portion of the citrus rinds using a paring knife (if needed). Cut the orange 9or, citrus0 rinds into smaller pieces.
- Place the rinds in a medium stockpot and cover. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the rinds to soak for 12 hours.
- Strain the orange rind solution and addd to pint or quart mason jars for storage. To use in the garden, add your solution to a spray bottle in a 50:50 ratio – orange rind solution and water.
- Spray directly on your garden plants once each week, taking care to reapply after a rain.
Optional: feel free to add 1 Tbsp of castile soap to your spray bottle for extra killing power.
I added a table spoone of backing soda to my boil will hurt my garden
I live in northern Minnesota, and with 4 feet of snow on the ground right now, this would be one of the last places that should need help with a citrus tree!
Thank you so much for your natural recipe to kill aphids. I’m hoping you might be able to give me a little more help.
I’ve owned an 8′ tall Tangerine tree for about 15 years. Yesterday I realized it has aphids — something it’s never had before (but I’m pretty sure it got from a tree rose). I will make your natural aphid killer, but am wondering if I should apply it the same indoors as you would outdoors.
Spray it on the tree once a week? Or one time and watch to see if bugs come back? Does the spray hurt citrus trees at all? Do I spray the leaves, top and underneath, and spray the trunk, too? Silly as it may sound I love my Tangerine tree and become sick and sad when it isn’t doing well.
Thank you for any help you can give me, and thank you, again, for your recipe!
Hi there! I am originally from MN too (though Southeast – near Rochester!) I believe you still have snow too right now as I have been watching your weather!
Aphids are thick here too – Arizona has a LOT of citrus. Aphids have a love for citrus here – especially young trees that are growing. They go for the young shoots/leaves because those have more sap.
As for the natural aphid killer – You can spray it indoors and outdoors the same. I would spray it on there once a week – no, it won’t affect the tree. I would spray the leaves – and try for the underside as that is where aphids love to hide. You may want to prune off the shoots that are infested (they love to go for new, young shoots/leaves).
Good luck and let me know how it goes!