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Copper Fungicide vs. Neem Oil: Which One Should You Use for Gardening?

If you’re passionate about gardening and plants, then you must know how important it is to keep them safe from infestations. Pests and fungi are the biggest threat to your garden as they can infect fresh plants in an instant. That’s why it’s a common practice to use pesticides to save garden plants from different types of diseases and infections. 

Both copper fungicide and neem oil are quite effective in terms of protection against pests and infections. But the biggest question is, which one should apply to your garden? You can find your answer here as we analyze copper fungicide vs. neem oil in this article. Let’s learn all the ins and outs of these two pesticides to determine the winner of this comparison. 

Copper Fungicide vs. Neem Oil Which One Should You Use for Gardening

What Is Copper Fungicide?

In simple terms, copper fungicide is a liquid solution that helps plants to prevent fungal diseases. It’s one of the most frequently used methods for controlling fungal diseases. As the name suggests, the solution is made of copper and other chemical substances. 

Copper is a metal that is quite effective in its liquid solution in killing any harmful fungal diseases in plants. When it’s dissolved, it can penetrate the tissues of the plants and eradicate the harmful fungus. This specialized copper solution protects your plants from various types of fungal diseases like downy mildew, anthracnose, or powdery mildew. Copper fungicide also works as an important tool to manage organic diseases in vegetables

How Does Copper Fungicide Work? 

Copper fungicides can reach a plant’s tissue and remove any potential fungi that can cause harm. This solution works by making a reaction between sulfuric acid and copper, resulting in an enzyme that can kill any fungi pathogen. 

One important fact you need to know is that copper fungicide works best as a preventive measure than damage control. Many people think that applying copper fungicide to an infected plant can be helpful, but that’s not the case. This liquid solution is ineffective against plants that are already infected by fungus. 

Fungal infections such as powdery mildew can affect your plants in highly humid seasons. So applying copper fungicide before the weather reaches a high humidity level can save your plants from any fungal infections. 

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Is Copper Fungicide Safe for Humans? 

For gardening purposes, you’ll be using copper fungicide in small amounts. This type of low dosage won’t be harmful to humans at all. But keep in mind that this is a toxic chemical, and you should be cautious. You might have long-term health problems if you’re exposed to a large amount of copper fungicide for too long. 

When applying this solution to the plants, always use sufficient protective gear like gloves, masks, and aprons. Don’t let the chemical touch your skin, as it might cause skin irritation. After applying copper fungicide, it’s recommended to isolate the area for extra protection. 

Proper safety gear should always be worn when handling copper fungicide

How to Use Copper Fungicide? 

You can apply copper fungicides just like any other pest control method. All you have to do is read the instructions on the package and apply accordingly. Typically, most copper solutions come in a ready-to-use condition. But if you have to make a mixture, you’ll need to add 1 to 3 teaspoons of copper fungicides for every gallon of water. Once the solution is prepared, you can spray them directly into the plants.  

After applying the solution for the first time, wait for another seven or eight days before you re-apply the copper mixture. Another important tip, you shouldn’t apply copper fungicides in hot weather. Make sure the leaves are wet before you spray the mixture, as copper can be more effective in wet leaves. 

Pros of Copper Fungicide 

  • It can be your first choice to control fungal diseases in your garden. It works as a great preventive tool to save your plants from some of the most destructive fungal infections.
  • Copper fungicides are also useful as fertilizers. This mixture can give the soil the proper nutrients for your plants to grow and thrive. 
  • If you’re using it on fruits and vegetables, it can increase their quality and taste as well. But you have to apply the right amount of mixture to get the best result. 

Cons of Copper Fungicide  

  • Applying copper fungicides to an infected plant won’t be helpful. This mixture doesn’t have the ability to cure a plant that is already infected by fungus.  
  • It’s a toxic chemical that can cause harm to both people and animals. So applying copper fungicides with proper safety gear is a must. 
  • The toxicity of copper fungicides can also negatively impact good insects and bees that help balance the ecosystem. 
  • If this mixture is applied too much or too often, it can make the fruits and vegetables tasteless. 
Copper fungicide is toxic so wear protective clothing when handling

What Is Neem Oil?

Neem oil is one of the most familiar and popular pesticides among gardeners. It’s a vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of an evergreen neem tree named Azadirachta Indica. Neem oil contains an element known as azadirachtin which works as a natural insecticide and removes any unwanted insects. It’s also an ancient way to control pests and diseases in plants. Since neem oil is 100% organic and completely free from toxicity, most gardeners frequently use it in their plants. This oil is eco-friendly and totally safe for bees, birds, and humans.  

How does Neem Oil work? 

One of the biggest strengths of neem oil is its non-toxicity and effectiveness. When a plant is drenched by neem oil, the roots absorb the substances of the oil. As a result, elements like azadirachtin get into the plant’s system and disrupt the life cycle of bugs. Neem oil works best at removing pests and diseases such as aphids, mites, whiteflies, mildew, anthracnose, etc. Neem oil is considered the best tool for crop protection as it also contains a high amount of fertilizer components.   

Credit: Easy Simple Gardening via YouTube – click here to watch directly on YouTube

Does Neem Oil Kill Fungus?

The answer is yes, it does. In the copper fungicide vs. neem oil comparison, both are quite effective at removing fungus. Elements like azadirachtin contained in the neem oil stop the fungus from spreading in the plants. In fact, neem oil is quite useful against fungal diseases like powdery mildew, black spots, scab, and rust. So organic solutions such as neem oil can be an excellent choice as a fungicide as well. But they can’t cure a plant if the fungal disease is in an advanced stage. 

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How to Use Neem Oil? 

Using neem oil the right way can significantly increase its effectiveness. But you need to be cautious because too much neem oil can potentially kill your plants. So always try to apply the oil on a limited number of plants at first and look for any negative reaction.  

When using neem oil, remember not to apply them at a high temperature as it can cause substantial damage to the plants. That’s why it’s advised to spray the oil when the weather is cool, or the sun is down. Always follow the packaging instructions while mixing neem oil with water, and make sure the water-to-oil ratio is correct. It’s suggested to use this oil once a week, but you can increase the dosage depending on the plant’s condition.

Pros of Neem Oil 

  • Neem oil has the ability to remove both pests and fungi. So it’s quite versatile and can be used as a pesticide, miticide, or fungicide. 
  • Neem oil is a non-toxic solution. it’s fully environment-friendly and won’t kill any bees or helpful insects.
  • It’s 100% biodegradable. That means the soil of your garden won’t be contaminated by neem oil. 
  • Neem oil also makes the soil fertile by providing sufficient potassium and nitrogen. Thus, your plants can have proper growth and development. 

Cons of Neem Oil 

  • Even though it’s very effective as a pesticide, neem oil only kills chewing insects. It means that the insects have to ingest the oil by themselves. Small fungi and insects can be unharmed by the neem oil.   
  • If neem oil comes in direct contact with human skin, it can have a negative impact. For instance, it can create skin irritations like rashes and different types of allergic reactions.
  • It’s a highly dense oil that can suffocate the leaves. An excess amount of neem oil can cause the leaves to fry in the presence of sunlight. 

Final Verdict 

Honestly, there is no clear winner in copper fungicide vs. neem oil. Both of them have different specialties and uses. For example, copper fungicide is amazingly effective in preventing fungal infections. On the other hand, neem oil performs brilliantly as an organic pesticide. 

So it all comes down to your preferences. If you want to take preventive measures against fungal infections, your best option should be copper fungicide. But if you like to use an organic solution to cure typical pest-related diseases, you must go with neem oil. But both of these options will be beneficial for your garden plants if you can apply them in a proper manner.

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