homemade dormant oil and fruit tree spray for your orchard

Homemade Fruit Tree Sprays: Organic Dormant Sprays

It’s that time of year again, for the rest of the world spring still feels a long way off. But for the fruit growers, it’s time to start your spring orchard care. On the top of the list of stuff to get done is homemade fruit tree sprays. Today we’re going to show you how to make your own dormant sprays to get your trees ready for the new year.

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How to make homemade fruit tree sprays: dormant spray #rosevinecottagegirls

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When To Spray Fruit Trees

If you are new to the world of orchard care you might be wondering when to spray fruit trees, the answer to that question is before your trees begin to bud. We like to start spraying our fruit trees with homemade fruit tree sprays like dormant oil or dormant spray in late winter and then reapply every 7-10 days.

Exactly when you spray your fruit trees is going to depend on your climate, those in the northern states may need to spray in February or March, while those of us in the southern part of the US. will need to do it much earlier. You need to apply the dormant spray before your tree begins to bud and put out leaves.

If you are new to fruit growing check out this great article from Little House Living.

Why You Should Spray Fruit Trees

One of the things fruit growers struggle with is bugs, just like the gardener bugs can be a huge problem and cause you to lose your entire crop. Sprays like dormant sprays, anti-fungus sprays, and insecticides will help your trees stay healthy and give you a good harvest.

Homemade fruit tree sprays can help you save a little money, and ensure you have the amount you need for your orchard. We have over 30 fruit trees in our orchard so buying small bottles of spray at our local farm store just isn’t practical. It’s much easier for us to make gallons of fruit tree spray at a time (and it keeps us from making dozens of trips to the store).

How To Spray Fruit Trees

Homemade fruit tree sprays are easy to make and help to promote a healthy harvest. When spraying trees there are a couple of safety precautions you should take, even if you are spraying with organic sprays.

  • Wear a shirt with long sleeves and pants to cover as much of your skin as possible.
  • Wear a baseball hat or other hat with a wide brim to shield your face from the spray.
  • Use safety goggles to keep the spray out of your eyes.
  • Use a face mask to protect your lungs.
  • Wear rubber gloves to keep the spray off of your hands.

Spraying fruit trees is a pretty straightforward operation, mix your spray according to the directions on the back of your package. Or if you are making your own spray, get the mix ready. Once it’s ready to use, fill a backpack sprayer or a bucket and trombone sprayer (if your trees are relatively short you could also use a pump-action sprayer or hose-end sprayer) to apply it to the tree. Make sure you cover as much of tree as you can and don’t forget to spray the trunk.

Homemade Fruit Tree Spray

Now that you how how to spray fruit trees, it’s time to make a homemade fruit tree spray. These are recipes that we use every year on our own fruit trees. I usually switch them up and do a different one every week just to make sure they are covered until the blooms open.

Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #1

This homemade fruit tree spray dissolves the waxy shells of bugs leaving them exposed to the elements.


5 Tablespoons Hydrogen Peroxide

2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

2 Tablespoons Dish Soap

1 Gallon Of Water.


Mix these ingredients until combined and spray the mixture on your trees.

Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #2

This oil-based homemade fruit tree spray will smother any insects on your tree (I even use this on our roses that are prone to aphids).


1 Cup Oil (if you are trying to grow soy-free be mindful of what kind of oil you are going to use many vegetable oils are made from soy).

2 Tablespoons Dish Soap

1 Gallon of water


Mix ingredients and spray on to trees.

Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #3

This is an all-purpose dormant spray/pest control for your orchard.


1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

A few drops of organic laundry detergent

1 quart of water

Mix and spray on your trees.

Spring Orchard Care

This can be one of the not so fun sides of orchard care, especially when it’s cold outside and you’re hauling a sloshing bucket of spray around. But trust me, you’ll be so glad you did! These homemade fruit tree sprays are a great way to get you on the road to a successful year and head off the bug damage you normally see.

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14 thoughts on “Homemade Fruit Tree Sprays: Organic Dormant Sprays”

  1. So these are the recipes that you spray just when it is dormant or all year round? (I just got apple and pear trees and it is May and I am looking what to spray it with now)…. then I spray every 10 days is that right?

    1. Hello Nicole, yes these are for when your tree is dormant (late winter to early spring), depending on where you live you should probably be spraying something for bugs or disease or a combination of both. We have several fungicide spray recipes here on our blog too. Yes, mam!

    1. We included several recipes to choose from as a dormant spray. You can use any type of oil for these recipes, however, we are comfortable using canola oil on our trees because we won’t actually be consuming it. This just coats the branches to smother bugs.

  2. Used your DIY tree sprays last year but need to be better about wetness. My peach tree developed shot hole disease last year. Have you had experience with this and any advice for DIY treatment as I begin this year to spray?

  3. I am researching natural soapnuts. You can make a liquid soap from them. Wondered if you have heard of folks using this soap in the dormant sprays? It has a lot of uses. Just curious as found folks using it with neem oil drops for houseplants as a repellant. Tx!

    1. Hello! We have heard of soapnuts but we have never used them before. I have not read anything about using them in a gardening environment. I know that to activate the saponification of the soap nuts you must use them with hot water so care would need to be taken to water it down with cool water or let it set. I do not know about the toxicity of using the soapnuts on edible foods or plants. It seems according to Rural Sprouts website “To protect your garden from harmful insects, dilute some liquid soap nuts into a spray bottle and mist your plants. Repeat weekly and after each rainfall.” They also say that you can wash vegetables and fruit with it that leads me to think that the toxicity is not an issue. Hmmm, it may work. I just don’t have experience with it. Let us know what you find out if you try it. Sorry I am not more help.

  4. Hello, I live in east TN and it’s the end of January. Should I be spraying now and do I need to prune before spraying? Also you mentioned spraying every 7-10 days. For how long? Last question, when does fungicide spray need to be applied in relation to dormant spray? Thank you so much! Love your website!

    1. Hello Charlene! No you don’t have to prune first. You want to use dormant sprays every 7-10 days while the tree is dormant. Once the tree comes out of dormancy you can start using a fungicide spray. I’m so glad!

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