How to Make Organic Pepper Spray for Plants

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A spray made from hot peppers such as habanero, cayenne and others works well as an insect or deer repellent on plants. Organically grown habanero and cayenne can be used fresh or dried to make an organic pepper spray. Habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense) is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, and cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum Longum group) is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11. The chemical in peppers that repels insects is capsaicin, which gives the peppers their hot, spicy flavor.

Warning

  • Wear gloves and goggles when spraying plants with pepper spray.

Insect Repellent

Spraying plants once per week with a hot pepper spray repels many insects and other pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic or rubber gloves
  • Chopping knife and board
  • 4 or 5 fresh organic hot peppers
  • Bucket
  • 6 drops dish soap
  • Sieve

Step 1

Put on plastic or rubber gloves, and finely chop the organic hot peppers. Four or five peppers should make about 2 tablespoons of chopped peppers.

Step 2

Place the chopped peppers in a bucket.

Step 3

Add 1 gallon of water.

Step 4

Add six drops of dish soap, which helps the spray stick to leaves.

Step 5

Leave the bucket overnight.

Step 6

Stir the mixture in the bucket.

Step 7

Strain the mixture through a sieve, and discard the chopped pepper residue.

Tip

  • Spray a small area of a plant and wait for 24 hours to test for sensitivity. If there's no reaction, spray all plant parts. Reapply the spray after rain.

Warning

  • Pepper spray repels beneficial insects such as bees.

Deer Deterrent

Deer don't like the taste of hot pepper and are discouraged from eating plants sprayed with pepper spray. The strong-tasting residue left by a hot-pepper deer-deterrent spray makes it unsuitable for use on food crops.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • 5 tablespoons cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Step 1

Pour 1 gallon of water into a bucket.

Step 2

Add 5 tablespoons of cayenne powder and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Step 3

Mix the cayenne powder and olive oil into the water.

Warning

  • Fine mist sprayers can become clogged by particles of cayenne power. Use a large droplet sprayer set to its widest setting.

For more information on making organic pesticides, see "How to Make Garlic Pesticide" and "How to Make Orange Oil Pesticide."

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