How to Get Rid of Worms in Plant Soil?

The GardenSpring |

It’s fun to watch insects in the garden, but not so much when they’re cavorting in the soil of your houseplants. Worms that work outdoors have many benefits, such as aerating the soil and providing nutrients, but when they stay in a potted plant, they eat the roots.

Earthworms can be confused with common earthworms because at first glance they look the same, but there are several different types of earthworms.

So in this article, you’ll discover how to get rid of worms in plant soil. Let’s start.

Why are there worms?

The insects most commonly invade potted plants by crawling through the drainage holes of most pots.

Whether the plant has been outdoors for an extended period of time or has been watered, it is likely that the insects have climbed in at this time.

It is also possible, although less common, for insects to develop overnight in potting soil.

Depending on where the potting soil was purchased, worms may have been picked up and taken up residence in the new pots.

There are many different types of worms that can be found in potted plants, with different advantages and disadvantages, but it is a good idea to get rid of them.

First, determine what type of worms you have and consider how they were produced.

  • Earthworms: Common earthworms are ideal for outdoor gardens, but not for potted plants.
  • Pot worms: Small white worms, good for the soil, but can grow quickly and cause problems.
  • Red earthworm: A garden-friendly earthworm, good for aeration and rich in nutrients, but can quickly become overgrown in small pots.
  • Grub: A dangerous worm in the larval stage, they are useless in any garden or pot and should be removed immediately.

Do you need to worry about worms in pots?

Earthworms have long been known as friends of gardeners, so finding them in a potted plant is probably not a problem.

However, in the limited space of a potted plant, you can’t get the same benefit from them, so you may want to make an effort to remove them.

Earthworms in the soil of potted plants are only useful when there are rotting plants.

Earthworms eat them and return their guts to the soil as nutrients, but it is difficult to find enough decomposing material.

If the decomposing material cannot be found, the worms have no choice but to look elsewhere for food.

If this area is rotten, the roots cannot grow and the plant will suffer, especially if there are more than a few earthworms.

How to get rid of worms in plant soil

It’s easy to say goodbye to earthworms that have taken up residence in your potted plants, plus they won’t harm them.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to get rid of earthworms in potted plants and restore your soil.

  • Look at all the plants in your house and outside to see which pots have worms. You may be able to see some in the soil, in the leaves, or through drainage holes under the soil. If you can’t see them, wait until dusk when worms are most likely to be present.
  • Separate houseplants that are infested with worms from other plants in another room to avoid infestation, and plan to leave them there for two to three weeks. This is also a good idea when bringing newly potted plants indoors, in case they have pests or diseases that aren’t visible at first.
  • Pick up each insect, remove it and collect it in a container or bucket. You can use tweezers or your hands if you are not picky. Search the ground as much as possible and remove them.
  • Good worms should be exposed outdoors, such as in compost piles, flower beds, or vegetable gardens to do a good job. If you think you have creepy worms, such as grasshopper larvae or pinworms, get rid of them immediately.
  • Fill a bucket or tub with enough cold water to fill the pot. Fill the pot so that the soil is completely saturated. The worms will then come out of the soil and you can collect them and release them outside in the garden.
  • Clean the pot, discard the growing medium and sterilize the pot with a 10/90 solution of bleach and water and allow to dry. Transplant the plant into new soil, shaking off excess soil from the base of the plant.

Say goodbye to indoor worms

Insects are not friends you want in a pot, because you can benefit from them in the garden.

If you have visitors to your houseplants, you should be able to solve the problem without harming the worms themselves, although the solution is lengthy.

If you have a garden or outdoor composting area, you can either take the worms there or let them find a new home outside in the soil.

This way, the worms can do what they are supposed to do and the compost can be used as fertilizer for houseplants, which in turn benefits the worms.

Regularly inspecting your plants not only keeps the worms at bay but also allows you to solve problems before they arise.

Thus, it is the job of the master gardener to ensure that the plants remain healthy and happy at all times.

Why are there insects in potted plants?

There are many different types of insects that can occur on houseplants, but the most common is the adder beetle.

These insects usually come when the soil is moist, so it is important to let the soil dry out between waterings. They will not harm the soil or the inhabitants of your home but should be eradicated if possible.

Photo by Sippakorn Yamkasikorn on pixels

How can I get rid of mold on houseplants?

Mold grows on houseplants when the soil has been previously contaminated or there is too much moisture and no opportunity for it to dry out.

If you find soil on the plant or in the surrounding soil, you should replace it with new soil and thoroughly clean the pot or container to prevent further spread.


How To Get Rid of Worms In Potting Soil? (2021, October 18). Gardening Mentor.

Posted by:Gwen. (2022, March 8). How to Get Rid of Worms in Potted Plants. TheFragrantGarden.

Leave a Comment