The Q&A Archives: Do you use worm castings in your soil?

Question: Hi! I bought several of your cast-iron plants/apistrada(?) at Sky Nursery in Seattle. They were indoors in the houseplant section and rang up as houseplants, but they looked like they were potted to be sold as outdoor plants. Your tag indicates they are grown for outdoor use. I have the plants in my house, and there is something that looks like coffee grounds coming out of one of the drainage holes. It doesn't look like the rest of the soil in the pot, it looks like small granules or pellets, and when it first comes out, it looks wet, and then it dries out. I'm wondering if these are worm castings, because they look like pictures I've seen of those. So my question is whether you augment your soil with worm castings, and if not, should I assume there are worms in my potted plants??

Answer: Healthy soil contains all kinds of micro-organisms plus recognizable animal life of several types. It's possible the soil contains worms (they're considered beneficial), especially since you're seeing what looks like worm castings. These little fellas will remain in the soil; you don't have to worry about them invading other parts of your home. I'd leave them alone, but if you're concerned, you can remove all the potting soil and replace it with fresh new potting soil. Dump the old soil in your garden where the beneficial worms can do some good.

Best wishes with your plants!

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