Ask a Question forum: WORMS? in pothos house plant? HELP

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Name: RADishGAL
Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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radishgirl
Dec 22, 2017 1:45 PM CST
I have a neon pothos hanging in my house near a window, it's doing well. Today I watered it and noticed small little worm looking things. What are they? How do I get rid of them?

I'm really grossed out. Pictures below.
Thumb of 2017-12-22/radishgirl/b84276

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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Dec 22, 2017 4:36 PM CST
Those look like millipedes to me. They live in decaying organic material - mulch etc. They are essentially harmless.
Porkpal
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 22, 2017 6:05 PM CST
I agree with Porkpal. Close your eyes and ignore them. Doing anything drastic like replacing the soil might get rid of them, but may also kill the plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
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Zuni
Dec 23, 2017 12:17 AM CST
Ew, how did they get into your house, in a hanging pot, though? Where did the soil come from? Could they have hatched in the soil?

I'd take them to someone who can tell you for sure what they are. Local nursery, or your local Extension, etc. And then decide if you need to take measures, like some kind of pesticide, etc. (which can be organic and still be effective)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 23, 2017 6:04 AM CST
If you can somehow get them on to a piece of white paper like printer paper, and try another photograph, it may help. I know, ew, but that way the camera focuses on the critter instead of the plate. If you cannot do that, can you see how many legs they have, if any? If they have legs on every segment then no need to count hundreds of them, but if there are only three pairs of legs near the head, or no legs, it would help narrow down the ID.

Good question as to how they got into a hanging basket if they're not the larvae of some flying insect or already in the potting mix or plant.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 23, 2017 6:55 AM CST
Many potting mixes are not completely sterile and harbor a variety of fungi, bacteria, and small insects. Nearly all of them are harmless and usually go unnoticed. If the Ew factor really gets to you, you can try flooding the soil to drive them out as they search for oxygen or you can use a systemic pesticide as a soil drench to kill them.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: RADishGAL
Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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radishgirl
Dec 23, 2017 7:46 PM CST
I bought the pothos from Steins Garden Center, it is in the original pot and soil from the store.

This is the first time I saw the worms when watering. They didn't seem to be alive.

I am thinking they were there when I bought the plant, that plant is the only plant in the room.

I was thinking about repotting it in new soil and cleaning off all the old soil.
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Dec 24, 2017 6:49 AM CST
Hold off re-potting til the Spring, now is when they are resting and shouldn't be disturbed.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 24, 2017 11:25 AM CST
If the centipedes are not alive, then I suggest you do nothing.

I understand the impulse to remove all of what you to believe is infected soil. However, doing that will damage most of the tiny root hairs that do most of the work. To make an analogy, it would be like replacing all of your blood because you have an infection.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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