Plants with crop protection properties

Many plants have plant protection properties.

This datasheet contains gives an overview of documented plant species and their properties for plant protection. 

Plants with crop protection properties

Very many wild and domesticated plants have plant protection properties in some measure. Some of them are part of the rich indigenous knowledge in some parts of Africa, but others are less commonly known. The following table gives an overview of the documented species from two sources (see below) and their properties for plant protection. 

When making plant teas from these plants, please note that some have stronger effects than others and that botanicals are often difficult to dose exactly right, so you may not be getting the full benefit from any one plant tea preparation.

For more reliable plant protection please see our new list of registered biopesticides, some of which are much more effective than conventional spray chemicals. Also they are easy to dose correctly.


Plant Name Insecticidal Insect repellant Nematicidal Fungicidal Anti bacterial Anti Viral
African Marigold  x x  
Bersama Abyssinica  x          
Castor oil    
Catunaregam Spinosa  x        
Chili x x        
Chineese Lantern x   x      
Cork Bush (Mundulea sericea) - Rotenone X Use Prohibited by some org certifiers          
Croton X also kills snails and fish          
Custard apple X incl grasshopper          
Datura x x x x    
Eucalyptus   x        
Fat Hen (Chenopodium album)   x        
Feverfew (contains pyrethrin) x   x      
Finger millet x x        
Garlic x x x x x  
Goat weed (Ageratum conyzoides) x x x   x  
Jatropha  X (incl mollusks)      x  
Lantana  x        
Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia)          
Marigold, Mexican     
Monkey orange           
Moringa olifera         
Oleander Whole plant is poisonous X (also rodents )      
Onion    mildly     
Plectranthus barbatus           
Rain tree (Rotenone) X prohibited           
Red Mahogany  X also rats           
Red sunflower (tithonia rotundifolia)           
Resurrection bush           
Rubber hedge (Finger Euphorbia)       
Snow berry        
Soyabean stems           
Stab grass, Andropogon spp           
Sugar apple Annona sp.           
Sunnhemp (Crotolaria)         
Sweet basil    mildly    
Sweet potato  aphids      x    
Syringa (Melia Azedarach)  x    
Tephrosia (rotenone)  X prohibited by some organic certifiers         
Tobacco    x  
Wild basil    mildly     
Quassia amara       


          There are other plants with medicinal and plant protection properties not listed and probably many not yet discovered.

Information Source Links

  • Elwell. H. and Anita Maas1995: Natural Pest & Disease Control. Mambo Press, Gweru, Zimbabwe. ISBN: 0-7974-1429-0
  • Stoll, G 1986: Natural Crop Protection in the Tropics. AGRECOL Margraf Publishers, Switzerland. ISBN: 3-8236-1113-5

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