Looking for a “green” alternative to all of those nasty, chemical laden weed killers (aka – herbicides)? It is as easy as opening up your jar of coconut oil!
Coconut oil contains an abundance of fatty acids (known as pelargonic acid or nonanoic acid) that impair a plant's ability to photosynthesize and eliminate waste through transpiration. Unlike systemic herbicides that are absorbed into the plant and kill from within, coconut oil coats the outer skin of the target plant reacting with the waxy outer membrane and dissolves it. By doing this, the weed is unable to retain moisture and ultimately withers and dies.
The active component in coconut oil is sodium lauryl sulfate, which is often extracted and used as a surfactant in detergents and commercially prepared coconut oil herbicides.
Here is how you can make your own coconut oil herbicide!
- Measure equal parts coconut oil and cheap vegetable oil.
- Pour the two components into a saucepan and place it on the stove over a low heat. Apply heat just until it the oil liquefies.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and turn off the stove.
- Whisk the coconut and vegetable oil together until it appears uniform in appearance.
- Pour it into a spray bottle.
- The two oils will separate as they cool, so it is necessary to vigorously shake the bottle before spraying the solution.
Spray the weeds with the coconut oil solution until all parts of the plant are thoroughly saturated. The oil's normal viscosity is enough to hold it onto the leaves with no further assistance. Apply it every day for one to two weeks, depending on the toughness of the weed. It is best to apply the solution until the weed suffers noticeable damage such as wilting.
Stop applying the coconut oil solution once the weed wilts. Pull up the weed by the base several days after the stem and leaves wilt. Spritz the hole left by the weed one or two times with the coconut oil solution just in case any of the root fragments are still viable. Fill in the hole left by the weed.
How easy is that????
Wondering where to purchase coconut oil? Head over to my Products I Love page! You will find links there.