The Q&A Archives: Worms

Question: What do you recommend to eliminate worms from the soil in a palm houseplant?

Answer: I guess the obvious question is what kind of worms? If you used garden soil to pot up your palm you may have red wigglers or earthworms. Both are considered beneficial but if you want to remove them from the soil you can unpot the palm, remove the soil from around the roots (along with the worms), then repot in fresh potting soil. If the worms are slender and white, they may be potworms. These guys are beneficial, too, in that they help decompose organic matter (which is what potting soil is made of). If you have small maggots rather than worms, they could be the juvenile stage of fungus gnats which live and breed in moist potting soil. You can control these fellas by placing a barrier between the potting soil and the flying adults. Use chipped bark or decorative rock to exclude the gnats and keep them from breeding in the soil. Hope this provides enough information for you to deal with the worms in your houseplant's soil.

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