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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Benefits of Horsetail as a Natural Fungicide

Are you tired of battling pesky fungi in your garden? Are you seeking a natural and eco-friendly solution? Horsetail, a humble yet powerful plant, might just be the answer to your gardening woes. With its remarkable properties, horsetail is emerging as a favorite among plant enthusiasts, urban gardeners, and sustainable living advocates.

Why Use Horsetail as a Fungicide?

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, but did you know it's also a fantastic natural fungicide? Here are some key benefits of using horsetail to protect your plants:

1. High Silica Content

Horsetail is renowned for its high silica content, crucial in boosting plant strength and infection resistance. Silica reinforces plants' cell walls, making them tougher and less susceptible to fungal attacks.

2. Effective Against Various Fungal Diseases

From powdery mildew to rust, horsetail effectively prevents and treats a wide range of fungal diseases. Its antifungal properties keep your plants healthy and vibrant, ensuring they thrive throughout the season.

3. Environmentally Safe

One of the most significant advantages of using horsetail as a fungicide is that it's safe for the environment. It poses no harm to humans, animals, or beneficial insects. You can confidently apply it in your garden without worrying about toxic residues.

4. Easy and Affordable

Horsetail is not only practical but also easy and affordable to use. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, you can effortlessly incorporate horsetail into your gardening routine. Plus, it's a sustainable choice that aligns with eco-friendly gardening practices.

How to Apply Horsetail as a Fungicide

Now that you know the benefits, let's explore the different methods to apply horsetail as a fungicide in your garden.

Foliar Spray

Using horsetail as a foliar spray is a simple yet effective way to protect your plants. Here's how:

  • Steep Dried Horsetail: Take dried horsetail and steep it in water for 24 hours.

  • Strain the Mixture: Strain the liquid to remove any solid particles.

  • Spray on Leaves: Using a spray bottle, apply the strained liquid directly to the plant leaves.

Horsetail Tea

Horsetail tea is another excellent method to protect from the roots. Follow these steps to make horsetail tea:

  • Boil Fresh Horsetail: Boil fresh horsetail in water.

  • Cool the Mixture: Allow the mixture to cool.

  • Water Your Plants: Use the cooled horsetail tea to water your plants.

Horsetail Decoction

For persistent fungal infections, a stronger horsetail decoction can be more effective. Here’s how to make it:

  • Boil the Herb: Boil horsetail in water for an extended period.

  • Dilute the Decoction: To avoid harming your plants, dilute the strong decoction before using it. The ratio of dilution should be 1 part decoction to 10 parts water.

  • Apply to Soil: Water the soil around your plants using the diluted horsetail decoction. It should be added to soil and not plants because it can burn the leaves.

The roots will absorb the diluted horsetail decoction, providing protection and strengthening from within. It may also positively affect beneficial micro-organisms in the soil, promoting a healthy and balanced ecosystem for your plants to thrive in.

Bonus Tips for Using Horsetail as a Fungicide

Here are some additional tips to get the most out of it as a natural fungicide:

- Use the decoction immediately after brewing for best results.

- Reapply every 10-14 days or after heavy rainfall to maintain its effectiveness.

- Avoid spraying in direct sunlight, as this can cause burning on plant leaves.

- Test a small area of your plants before applying the decoction to the entire garden to ensure there are no adverse reactions. Some sensitive plants may be affected by horsetail's high levels of silica.


Horsetail is a versatile and potent natural fungicide that has many benefits. It’s safe, affordable, and easy to use, making it an ideal choice for any garden.

Its high silica content also strengthens plants' defenses against fungal infections for long-term protection.

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