Tag Archives: tobacco tea

Playing Doctor

18 Apr

Ill Aloe Vera

There is another illness in the garden. The Aloe Vera is sick. Her leaves have softened, the tips of some have shriveled, the bright green has turned brownish. I don’t know what the offender might be. I wait for the soil to dry before watering, so I know I’m not over-watering or under-watering. I don’t place her in direct sun. I have not seen any bugs on her leaves or on the soil.

My only hypothesis is that there is something wrong with the soil. My instinct said to re-pot her, so that’s what I did. I transplanted her in a bigger pot, made sure to shake off as much old soil as possible from her roots, and placed her in brand new soil.

New pot, new soil.

I cut the pieces that were most damaged. I saved them for a skin lotion. I scraped out the pulp, placed in a small container with a lid, mixed with some warm water, shut tight, and refrigerated. Aloe Vera is great for scrapes and burns. I usually just cut the tip of a leaf as needed, but given that I had to remove these leaves, I decided to keep for later.

The Aloe Vera is one of my favorite plants. They are usually pretty easy to take care of, and the relief of their pulp on scrapes and burns is immediate and better than those triple-antibiotic lotions. I hope new soil was all she needed. I will update on her condition later this week.

Update on the Basil: The tobacco tea worked! I have not seen any new holes on the leaves, and she is recuperating nicely. Yay tobacco!

Basil in recovery!

containing the contagion

9 Apr

It’s barely April, but tireless aphids don’t keep calendars. I have my first plant in quarantine. The young pretty basil has been infected. To contain the contagion, aside from removing from the other plants, I tried a tobacco and catnip tea.

A youngen herself, the Burley Tobacco plant teamed up with the teen catnip and donated some of their leaves to the cause. Before taking any leaves, I usually sit with the plant and give a prayer of permission and gratitude at her offering.


I chopped the few leaves and placed in a shallow bowl. I let them soak in water for 48 hours. I seeped through a strainer, and sprayed on the basil leaves and stems.

Since the basil is a small plant to begin with, I only used a few leaves of both the tobacco and the catnip.

Tobacco is said to be a natural insecticide. The effects are short-lived so it does not harm the plants. Do not spray on peppers, tomatoes, or any other member of the nightingale family as they are very sensitive to tobacco. Catnip is also said to be an excellent bug repellant, especially for larger bugs like cockroaches, mosquitoes, and caterpillars. I added a few leaves of catnip for an extra kick, but it would not have been absolutely necessary. I anticipate spraying the basil a couple of times in the next two weeks.

When I first bought the Burley Tobacco plant from the nursery, I thought it was more of a curiosity, a conversation piece. I had not anticipated she would be put to work. But she jumped at the chance!

I hope this tea takes care of the aphids before Mother’s Day (date of last possibility of frost for Colorado) when they will be transplanted in the garden plot.

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