Plants with crop protection properties

Plants with crop protection properties

Moringa leaves

(c) Patrick Maundu, World Agroforestry Centre

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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 NameInsecticidalInsect repellantNematicidalFungicidalAnti bacterialAnti Viral
African Marigold xx 
Bersama Abyssinica x     
Castor oil  
Catunaregam Spinosa x    
Chineese Lanternx x   
Cork Bush (Mundulea sericea) - RotenoneX Use Prohibited by some org certifiers     
CrotonX also kills snails and fish     
Custard appleX incl grasshopper     
Eucalyptus x    
Fat Hen (Chenopodium album) x    
Feverfew (contains pyrethrin)x x   
Finger milletxx    
Goat weed (Ageratum conyzoides)xxx x 
Jatropha X (incl mollusks)   x 
Lantana x    
Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia)     
Marigold, Mexican   
Monkey orange      
Moringa olifera     
Oleander Whole plant is poisonousX (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
Last updated on:
Wed, 10/02/2019 - 08:49