The Q&A Archives: Jasmine Sambac

Question: I have what I believe to be a Jasmine Sambac that I inherited from a friend. It blooms regularly but as I was looking at the soil, I saw what looked like small cetipedes crawling. do I need to repot the plant or is this healthy?

Answer: It is usually better not to repot a plant unless it has become rootbound and really needs to be repotted.

Centipedes generally would be found in a plant that is overwatered to the point that the soil is constantly wet, or in a potted plant kept outside and sitting directly on the ground where the damp dark conditions under the pot would encourage them. They usually feed on decaying organic matter in the potting mix.

I would suggest allowing the soil to dry a bit between waterings, and if the plant is outside, raising it up off the ground an inch or two using pot feet or a few small stones or something similar. Also, if there is a drainage saucer under the plant, be sure to empty it after watering so the plant is never left sitting in water. This should help make the potting soil less welcoming to the centipedes.

A one time approach to try to encourage them to leave is to water the plant heavily and then set the container on its side. Sometimes this will cause them to crawl out to escape the "flood." After this treatment, raise the pot up and be sure you are not overwatering the plant.

I hope this helps.

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