Here is a recipe for an organic insecticide that we have used with some success in the nursery to control Amaryllis as well psyllids (that cause those unsightly ‘bubbles’ in the leaves of many plants, notably citrus, Erythrina (Corral Trees) and Hypoestis (ribonbush)).

We got this recipe from Strilli Oppenheimer and Dawid Klopper, who have used the recipe in the Gardens at Brenthurst.

Please note that this is an insecticide and is non-selective, so will kill the good guys along with the baddies.

We try to spray our Clivias, Crinums and Nerines every 7 to 10 days. Use with care.


  • 4 Large onions
  • 1 Head of garlic cloves
  • 1 Handful of HOT chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon of dish-washing liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil


  1. Finely chop up the onions, garlic and chillies
  2. Add to 3 litres of boiling water, allow to stand overnight
  3. Strain and add the dish-washing liquid and cooking oil
  4. Mix 150 ml of fresh water to each 250 ml of the tea.
  5. Spray.

We substitute a tablespoon of Biogrow’s Bioneem or Pyrol for the tablespoon of cooking oil.

Just one more warning: do not wipe your eyes or touch any sensitive body parts, before washing your hands very well, during or after, cutting up the chillies. It may be very painful if you do!