Using cinnamon in the garden: benefits & uses
Ground cinnamon is a very popular spice for cooking. But have you ever heard of the benefits of using cinnamon on plants?
Many people only know cinnamon as a spice used in the kitchen. This spice is made from the dried bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum). The extremely thin bark either falls off by itself or is peeled off the tree manually. It is then dried by placing several pieces of bark on top of each other. After drying up, the bark rolls up into cinnamon sticks that we all know and use for baking. The cinnamon sticks can then be ground into cinnamon powder. This powder can be used as a base product for ecological plant protection and pest control alternatives. In the following, we will examine how cinnamon can be used against some pests, such as ants.
Cinnamon can do more than just smell like Christmas! It can be used as a nature-friendly pesticide, a repellent against annoying insects or to promote root growth in plant cuttings.
Cinnamon for mould on plants
It has been scientifically proven that cinnamon has a positive effect against fungal pathogens. The components in cinnamon powder showed a development-inhibiting effect on grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) and various species of Phytophthora when tested under laboratory conditions. Spraying a solution of ground cinnamon and water onto already infected plants can also alleviate symptoms of fungal infestations.
How to use cinnamon against mould on plants:
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 5 litres of warm water
- Let it steep for a few hours
- And done: your cinnamon fungicide is ready
Due to its development-inhibiting effect on fungal pathogens, cinnamon can also be used on seedlings, directly after germination. Cinnamon can help protect seedlings against rot and therefore increase their reproduction rate. To do this, you do not necessarily need to prepare a cinnamon extract as described above. You can simply sprinkle some ground cinnamon over the seedlings.
Ground cinnamon can also be helpful against mould on substrate surfaces. Here, it is also sufficient to scatter the powder onto the substrate. You should also water it slightly.
Cinnamon against ants and other pests
Sprinkling ground cinnamon onto substrate surfaces is also a way to get rid of dark-winged fungus gnats (Sciaridae). The reason for that is, that the aromatic powder breaks the gnats’ cycle. This way, they cannot hatch or reproduce. You can learn more about how to get rid of dark-winged fungus gnats in this article.
Cinnamon can also be used against ants (Formicidae). It has a deterrent effect on various ant species both as a powder or in the form of an oil. Although this effect has not been scientifically proven for all types of ants, cinnamon is said to have a high potential as a repellent for ants. It is definitely worth a try. In order to get the best possible effect, any traces of pheromones have to be removed. A pungent and highly odorous cleaning product is ideal for erasing the odour of ant trails. Afterwards, you should spread the cinnamon powder or oil, whichever you choose, to get rid of the ants in lines that are about 5 cm wide. Scattering some cinnamon at the entrance of an anthill, could even cause the colony to relocate. You will find more information on getting rid of ants with cinnamon in this article. Alternatively, you could also use organic ant repellents. They do deter and fight off ants but are harmless for humans, animals and other useful insects.
Cinnamon as a rooting agent and growth stimulant
Depending on the species, cinnamon can also be used when propagating by cuttings. Ground cinnamon can be applied onto the surface of the cut. It is supposed to accelerate the repair of the wound and stimulate root formation. The combination of these two effects makes cinnamon a great alternative to rooting hormones that have been prohibited for good reasons.On the other hand, scientific studies have shown that cinnamon can also have a growth-inhibiting effect on certain plants, for example tomatoes and garden cress. You should therefore be careful not to cause accidental opposite effects, when using cinnamon in the garden.