Earthworms in potted plants-You can add earthworms in potted plants, but you must use the correct amount and type of earthworms to ensure that your plants stay healthy. The best worms to use in potted plants are night crawlers, red wigglers, and pot worms. Too many earthworms might be harmful to the plant’s health.
Worms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all have varied effects on soil and plants. If you use the wrong ones, your plant’s health will suffer. Unless you use soil from your yard or the potted plant has been outside for a long period, worms are unlikely to be found in potted plants. Castings are left behind by worms and supply nutrients to the soil.
Night crawlers, red wigglers, and pot worms are three forms of earthworms that are beneficial to plant health.
The night crawler is the most well-known earthworm; it is a brownish-grey worm that is generally found in a yard or garden, or on the cement after heavy rain. They’re more correctly called Canadian or European night crawlers.
Because they burrow in soil and carry nutrients as they go, night crawlers are topsoil and subsoil inhabitants. Their continual movement aerates the soil and supplies oxygen to the roots.
The red wiggler is an earthworm that is related to the night crawler. These wiggly animals are not the same as their cousin when it comes to plants and soil. The red wiggler is a worm that decomposes organic matter.
They’re in charge of keeping the garden and plants clean and healthy. They will devour items that are dead or dying, such as leaves and roots. The castings produced by the decomposition of organic waste are nutrient-dense. Aeration is also aided by the red wiggler.
The name “red wiggler” comes from the color of the wigglers. They have a yellow tail and are red-brown in color. They can reach a length of 2 to 3 inches. Because it is warm and moist, they will mostly stay in the topsoil and thrive in a potted plant setting. They are also more easily reproduced than other worms.
Pot worms are only found in pots or potted plants, as their name suggests. Topsoil worms are small microscopic worms that live in the soil. They aerate the dirt by burrowing and eat decaying stuff such as bacteria, fungi, and humus, just like the night crawler. Composting is not a strong suit for these worms.
These white worms have a stringy texture. Most of the time, they will appear in your potted plants in large numbers, perhaps a couple of thousand at a time. Plant life will not be harmed by their presence, despite their vast numbers.
The following worms are harmful to your potted plants:
Cutworms and grub worms
The larvae stages of several adult beetles, butterflies, and moths are known as grub worms and cutworms. Caterpillars are another name for cutworms. Because they eat live organic matter such as healthy leaves, stems, and roots, both grub worms and cutworms will quickly destroy your plants.
Grub worms are huge, white or grey worms with six front legs. They reach a length of 2 to 3 cm and curl into a ‘C’ shape.
Cutworms occur in a variety of colors and sizes, with some even appearing furry or spiny. They always have three pairs of legs and various appendages. Some of them are poisonous or stingy, so use caution when handling them.
Millipedes attack your plant only when it is sick or dying. These nasty crawlies may be more bothersome to you than they are to your plant. They are most at ease in the highly moist atmosphere of a potted plant. Millipedes have a brownish-black body with a 1-inch spherical, rigid body and many legs.
Nematodes are segmented earthworms that are exceedingly small and difficult to notice. Their bodies are slim and white, with pointy tips. Because they prey on bacteria, fungus, and other soil-damaging insects, most nematodes are beneficial to the plant.
Parasitic nematodes are the ones that cause harm to the plants. They can get access to a plant’s inside or inflict damage on the outside by attacking all of the plant’s sections. You can see unusually stunted growth or dead spots. They are most commonly found in outdoor plants and gardens.
How to get rid of worms?
You’ll need to get rid of some of the earthworms in the potting soil because there are too many of them. There are a few simple techniques to get rid of earthworms and pests in your potted plant.
- Putting too much water in your potted plant.
- The soil is being dried out.
If you can’t get rid of an excess of worms or bugs, over watering your plant may help. If it doesn’t solve the problem, try immersing your pot in soapy water for 20 minutes. Pests and worms will rise to the surface, making identification easier.
You can try letting the soil entirely dry up if your plant can withstand less watering. Worms and pests will emerge from the soil in quest of moister ground as a result of this.