Your potted plants are beautiful, but one day you notice the soil moving. When you discover earthworms in potted plants, you probably want to know how to get rid of them. Before you do that, it is important to consider that worms are beneficial to your soil. However, keeping potted plants healthy means being in control of everything going on inside the pot. You can get rid of those earthworms for a more precise growing environment. I’ve dealt with earthworms in my potted plants several times. I will walk you through everything you need to know about these frustrating but beneficial invaders. More importantly, I will share techniques for getting rid of them for good. Removing worms is not difficult, but you can’t just sit and catch them. Whether you want to kill the worms or catch them and release them into your yard or outdoor garden beds, you can do that.
How do you get rid of earthworms in potted plants? You get rid of earthworms in potted plants by using insecticide. Although there are also natural forms of worm control, the only guaranteed removal method is to get rid of all the worms. Additionally, you can take preventative steps such as using sterile soil to stop worms from getting in.
How To Get Rid Of Worms In Potted Plants Naturally
When deciding how to get rid of earthworms in potted plants, you have to make a choice. First, you can scrupulously prevent any chance of them happening. Using sterile soil and pretreating with insecticide is an option, but it’s not exactly natural.
Secondly, there are natural pesticides. You can use these to kill the worms, but that won’t get rid of them. The worm carcasses will still be in the pot.
While that makes an okay food source for plants, you’re still using pesticides. Moreover, a bunch of dead worms could cause a stink. No one wants to live with that, and digging out every little dead worm is both time-consuming and probably damaging to your plants’ roots.
Finally, you can opt to go the all-natural route. This method will take more effort, but it will leave you with worms for the garden and no nasty chemicals in our plants. Follow the steps below to get rid of those worms naturally.
Steps To Get Rid Of Worms In Potted Plants Naturally
To get rid of your worms safely and naturally, you will need a few simple things. First, get a bucket large enough to place the whole plant pot inside with room to spare. Fill it at least halfway with water. A dog washing tub is great for bigger plants.
You will also need some mild, plant-safe detergent such as Dawn dish soap and a net or sieve to catch worms as they escape. If you prefer, you can catch them with your hands instead, in which case I recommend keeping a container nearby to toss them inside.
You may also need some extra potting soil. I suggest using sterile potting soil to avoid the chance of more worms getting into your plants. Once you have your materials, follow the steps below.
- Identify the worms. It is important to know whether you are dealing with actual garden variety worms or insect larvae that look like worms.
- Please take all the affected pots and isolate them. You don’t want worms moving into other plants before you can remove them.
- Depending on the type of plant in the pot, you can let the soil dry completely between waterings—worms like a warm, damp environment.
- Remove the root ball from the pot.
- Soak your plants in soapy water. Worms may live underground, but they still need to breathe. Thus they come to the surface when it rains. Moreover, they dislike soap. By submerging the dirt (not the stem and leaves) for about twenty minutes, your worms will do everything they can to escape.
- You may need to add more soil to your pots after soaking a root ball as some will come off in the water.
- Grab a net or sieve and catch those worms. You can throw them out in the yard or toss beneficial worms into a compost bin.
How Did Worms Get Into My Potted Plants
Getting rid of earthworms in potted plants is fine, but how did they get there in the first place? Unless you put worms in your pots on purpose, there are only a couple of ways they could have gotten inside. Sometimes worms come in through compost o potting soil.
The other way that worms get into potted plants is from the garden. Do you take your plants outside? Some people water indoor plants outside or take them out in the warm months for natural light.
If there are worms in the soil around your pots, they can climb up through the holes that let water out. Keep pots on a table for watering and treat your root balls before bringing them in for the cool months to avoid this issue in the future.
How Do I Keep Worms From Eating My Plants
Although most beneficial worms don’t eat live plants, they may resort to chewing on roots if there’s not enough dead organic vegetable matter (leaves and stems) to feed the worms. This is another good reason why you should know how to get earthworms out of potted plants. When worms eat your plant roots, they may harm the plant.
There are a couple of practical techniques for dealing with this issue. You can get rid of the worms by using insecticide or the natural method I shared above. Alternately, you can always take preventative steps to keep them out.
It helps if you don’t take indoor plants outside. Most often, garden worms crawl into plants when they spend sunny days on a porch or garden path. Regardless, once you have worms, you can safely keep them in the pots if they have enough to eat.
In addition to making sure your pots don’t get overpopulated, you can feed the worms. Allow plant leaves to stay within the pot, and use compost to feed your plants and worms.
If you want to prevent worms in your plants, I recommend PureCrop1 Organic Agriculture Concentrate from Amazon. This multipurpose product is a biostimulant, surfactant, fungicide, and insecticide. With all those uses, PureCrop1 is still safe around pets, children, and even bees. Best of all, this all-in-one is made from one-hundred percent organic and plant-based ingredients. Learn all about PureCrop1 by clicking here.
How Do I Get Rid Of Grub Worms In My Potted Plants
If you have Grub Worms, you need to get rid of them. These particular problem pests feed on plant roots. Worse still, they grow into beetles that eat plant leaves. An infestation of grub worms is a danger to your gardening efforts.
When you identify Grub Worms, it is vital to use a good insecticide on them. This is one type that you don’t want to catch and release. I strongly suggest sprinkling or spraying any potted plants you find with insecticide to prevent losing your plants. Additionally, you may want to treat the plants nearby to catch any you may have missed.
Check out Garden Safe Brand Insecticidal Soap for those problematic pests. This OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed product can be used right up to the day you harvest fruit or vegetables, and it kills on contact. Have Amazon deliver to your door quickly by clicking here.
What Are The Red Worms In Potted Plants
Red Wrigglers, also known as Eisenia foetida, are worms that help turn organic waste into usable soil. While you may opt to learn how to remove these non-earthworms from your potted plans, they aren’t doing any real harm. In fact, many composters and gardeners buy Eisenia foetida to help amend the soil.
If you practice vermicomposting, these are the worms you want. The color and squirmy nature of these worms make some people uncomfortable. They are vaguely snakelike and weird-looking.
You can easily identify this variety by simply looking at them. Red Wrigglers are two to three inches long, and they are a reddish-purple color. More importantly, these worms are good for your plants and won’t hurt them.
The downside to having Eisenia foetida in your potted plants is that they are prolific breeders. An excess of worms can crowd a pot making it hard to survive and eventually displacing soil. You will need to monitor carefully and redistribute Red Wrigglers from time to time if you keep them.
Prevent Eisenia foetida in your potted plants by adding AgroMagen, GrowSafe Bio-Pesticide from Amazon. AgroMagen will help kill insects, mites, and even fungus for healthier plants. More importantly, this OMRI-listed pesticide is non-toxic and safe for both people and pets. Plus, AgroMagen offers a superb one-hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. Read the reviews for yourself by clicking right here.
Earthworms can be beneficial to potted plants, but it’s important to learn how to get rid of them as well. Depending on how natural you prefer your indoor plants, worms can mess with the balance you’re cultivating. Choosing to remove the worms is safe.
Like most insects, earthworms cannot survive insecticides. However, you can also opt to catch and release for better outdoor soil. Worms are part of the natural soil cycle, and they’re great for compost and garden beds.
You don’t have to leave earthworms in your potted plants if they make you uncomfortable. These wriggly little soil helpers aren’t for everyone, so knowing how to remove them is a crucial indoor gardening skill.