How to Make an Anti-Desiccant for Plants

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Things You'll Need

  • Pine oil

  • Garden sprayer

Anti-desiccant sprays help pine needles retain moisture.

Anti-desiccant sprays help living plants, particularly evergreens, retain water during freezing weather or summer droughts or following transplantation. Anti-desiccants can also preserve needles on Christmas trees and wreaths. Many natural anti-desiccant sprays contain pine oil, a natural, nontoxic ingredient that also helps plants grow and repel insect pests. You can save money mixing your own anti-desiccant spray.


Step 1

Mix one drop of pine oil with 1 quart of water in a garden sprayer.

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Step 2

Spray anti-desiccant evenly over the tops and undersides of leaves or needles once in late fall and once in late winter, when temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the plants are dormant. In addition, spray the anti-desiccant before a predicted drought and after transplantation.

Step 3

Wash the sprayer with warm soapy water after applying the anti-desiccant.


Mulch around your plants to insulate the roots and prevent moisture loss.

Store remaining anti-desiccant in a cool place in an airtight plastic or glass container.

Spray anti-desiccant on jack-o-'lanterns to make them last longer.


Do not apply anti-desiccants in freezing weather or when the weather report forecasts precipitation in the next few days.

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