Make Garlic Spray for Pests and Plant Diseases


The mythology behind garlic is long and storied. From vampires to devils to werewolves, garlic is purported to do anything and everything. While those stories may just be myths, garlic is both a great plant to grow in your garden, and a great plant to use on your garden. It’s a common plant used to repel bugs in the garden as well.

Garlic bulbs consist of numerous segments called cloves, which can be separated and planted. A biennial usually grown as an annual, garlic boasts many antibiotic and pest preventive properties as well as many health benefits when consumed.

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Benefits of Garlic Spray

Making garlic spray

In my opinion, the biggest benefit of garlic spray is that it means you are NOT using other, more toxic pesticides in your garden. It’s an eco-friendly, green way to treat pest and disease problems.

The pungent smell that garlic is well-known for will kill or repel many of the more annoying garden pests, though it may also scare away some beneficial bugs as well.

But what makes it work so well against pests? The answer lies in the sulfur compounds found in garlic cloves. You might recognize sulfur as a powerful standalone fungicide, but when paired with allicin, a compound within garlic, it confuses insects by interfering with their sensory receptors.

If you have a case of powdery mildew or downy mildew, garlic spray can also treat it, which makes it a very versatile garden tool.

Making Garlic Spray

Here’s what you need to make your own garlic spray:

First, separate your bulbs  into cloves — but don’t peel them. Put all of the cloves into a high quality food processor or blender and add 1 cup of water. Pulse or chop them well.

After they’re nicely chopped, add in the remaining water and your dishwashing soap. If you were using a food processor, transfer to a blender and blend until the mixture is completely liquefied.

It’s important to make sure it’s completely liquid, because you’ll be using a spray nozzle to apply and even small chunks will get caught in the nozzle. Plus, you want to get as much of the garlic to mix with the water and soap as possible.

After a thorough blend, strain through cheesecloth to catch any last chunks of garlic that would clog your spray nozzle. You can strain a few times if you want to be absolutely sure that your final mixture is 100% liquid. Put the mixture into a glass jar for storage.

When you want to use it, mix 1 part of your concentrated garlic mixture with 10 parts of water and add to a bottle with a spray nozzle top.​

Note: most bugs don’t like garlic including beneficial insects.


While the basic recipe outlined above works just fine, many gardeners like adding in extra ingredients to boost the pest-repelling properties. The most popular additions include:

  • Neem oil
  • Hot peppers
  • Mint

All of these have unique characteristics that make them good additions to a garlic pest spray. Keep in mind you can also buy a commercial garlic spray and then customize from there as well. The most popular sprays are from Garlic Research Labs (what a great name) and this cold-pressed garlic spray.

Here’s an example of how to make garlic spray with a mint addition:

Using Garlic Spray In The Garden

If you need to spray, you should time it for the early evening. This way your plants are dry and there is a greater likelihood that the insects you want to get rid of will be out in full force.

Just use a standard spray bottle and coat the vegetation of your plants as evenly as you can. Be sure to get the underside of the leaves, as many more annoying bugs like to hide there.

I like to use a pressurized pump sprayer to make sure I get even coverage over all of my plants. It makes it a lot easier to deal with a larger garden.

Re apply your garlic spray at least once a week — and after a rain — to make sure its pest-repelling properties are put to full use.

If you are spraying plants that you’re going to eat soon, wash them thoroughly before consuming…unless you like a garlic and soap-flavored garden!

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy using this cheap and eco-friendly spray in the garden, and let me know what you like to add to your garlic spray recipe in the comments below.

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Kevin Espiritu

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7 thoughts on “Make Garlic Spray for Pests and Plant Diseases”

  1. Hi there
    So are you giving the recipe from above, or your own?

    You only give amount for how much mint.
    If you are making half the above recipe then it says 3 garlic bulbs, but yours shows only a few cloves which isn’t half of the above recipe.
    Please could you put quantities down?

    • Our recipe recommends a quarter pound of garlic (which is all the cloves from 3-4 whole bulbs of garlic), a quart of water, and 4-5 drops of dishwashing liquid. You’ll also need a blender or food processor to prepare it, some cheesecloth to strain out the remaining garlic bits, and a jar to store your garlic spray concentrate in.

      The video we’ve included is another person’s recipe which utilizes mint as well, which is why we didn’t include the exact recipe in the article – we don’t actually have it! However, while watching the video, she said she uses three cups of mint leaves (with stems attached), and then she dumped a batch of garlic in. It might be a head of garlic, it might be less, it’s hard to say. She also uses a couple teaspoons of cayenne pepper and an unmentioned amount of water. Her recipe requires cooking, which ours doesn’t.

      If you want to make a no-cook garlic spray like ours, just follow the recipe we’ve included. If you want to use fresh mint, you will need to heat it to extract the mint essential oil. Alternately, you can do a no-cook method and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to our recipe. You can also add neem oil if you’d like, and cayenne pepper or other hot peppers also work well to prevent a number of pests. What additives you choose to add to the basic garlic-water-dishsoap option is up to you!

  2. Hi I just like to ask if i could use your study about this garlic spray for my research in garlic vine as alternative fly killer since garlic vine and garlic is related. Hope you might not get mad for using your experiment study

  3. Is this an effective spray for aphids? What do you think about using it inside the house for an overwintering pepper plant… does it dry and smell better, or am I going to fumigate the house as well? Hm. Might keep a few other pests away as well…

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