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How to Kill Earthworms in Potted Plants: 6 Necessary Steps

Home gardening is a good source of joy.

But the situation reverses because of worm infestation in the potted plants.

And the most common worms in the plants are earthworms.

How to kill earthworms in potted plants?

There is a series of steps to kill the earthworms. First of all, you have to mark the infected plant. Then separate it to start the killing process. Handpick the big worms and dispose of them. Then for the rest of the earthworms, soak the plant in water. Finally, repot the washed plant in a new pot.

These are the steps you should follow to kill the worms.

To complete these steps you have to know the detailed procedures.

Let’s go through our discussion to know all the details!

How to Kill Earthworms in Potted Plants

Different types of worms surround us. From toilet worms to earthworms, they cause a lot of harm to us. However, you can eradicate the earthworms from your plants in six easy steps. Check them now!

Step 1: Scanning The Plant 

The first thing you have to do is to scan the plant. This will help you to identify the plant which has earthworms. Without identifying the infested plant correctly, the treatment will become complex.

There is a possibility that all of your plants don’t have earthworms. So you don’t need to treat all the plants. Rather by treating only the affected plant you will save both money and time.

Step 2: Separating Infested Plant

The next step is to separate the infested plant. By separating you will save other healthy plants from earthworm infestation. 

If all the plants stay together while removing the worms, the worms will move on to other plants.

You have heard the word ‘Quarantine’ innumerable times in this corona pandemic period. As like a corona-infected person, the infected plant is to be quarantined. Then we will be able to begin the worm treatment.

Step 3: Plucking Up The Big Worms 

Now you have to do some hand picking. Just like killing a spider on the ceiling, you have to pluck the worms from the plants. You will be able to pluck the big worms in this method.

Use hand gloves for this work. Collect the worms and place them in a bag. Make sure that the worms don’t get away once you pick them up. We will dispose of the earthworms in the next step.

Step 4: Disposing of The Earthworms 

Once you have handpicked the big worms it is time to take them away. The earthworms are beneficial to some outdoor plants. So it is not wise to kill them.

Throw the worms in a vegetable or flower garden outside. There the earthworms will improve the quality of the soil. 

If you don’t have any such place near, you can kill the worms. Warm soap water can kill them easily. You can spray ready to use insecticides too for this purpose.

We can suggest some insecticides for your garden. Check them out!


Use these products to keep your garden insect and pest-free!

Step 5: Immersing Plants in Water

It’s time to kill the larvae and small worms now. As they are very small, we will use the submerging technique. 

Mosquito larvae in water can make you think that worms like water. But these earthworms don’t like getting immersed. 

Put the plant in a bigger pot or tub filled with cold water. This tub or pot must be bigger than the plant for drowning the plant completely. The earthworms will get out of the plant now. You can use some insecticides with the water too.

Step 6: Cleaning And Changing The Pots

Once you have made the plant free of earthworms, it’s time to take care of the pot. There is the possibility that the pot still has larvae in it. So you have to clean it.

Take the plant out of the pot and plant it in another pot. Sterile the soil too. Clean the pot of the infected plant with soap water or insecticides. Then you can use this pot again.

This six-step guideline will get rid of the earthworms from your plants.  Follow the procedures step-by-step to get a quick result.

How to Stop Earthworms from Returning in The Potted Plants

Once the earthworms infest your plants, they tend to return again and again. Simply killing them is not enough. We have to take measures so that the earthworms can not return to the plant. 

We have some advice that you can follow to prevent the future infestation of earthworms:

  • Make drainage holes below the pot of the plant. It will help prevent the soggy soil, which is a familiar environment for earthworms. 
  • Take enough care of the plants so that they are healthy. Sick and wick plants are more prone to earthworms.
  • Don’t take your indoor plant outdoors for sunlight or fresh air. Because they can get worms from other plants there.
  • Change the pot of the plants every spring. This will prevent worm eggs from hatching.
  • Before taking a plant indoors, soak it in a soap and water solution. Continue this process for about twenty minutes to get the optimum result.

Earthworms are bad for plants. The effect of plants on human health is very beneficial.

So you should take care of plant health too. You have to be careful about worms and insects. Follow our advice to make your gardening experience hassle-free.


Question: Are earthworms beneficial for potted plants?

Answer: Earthworms are not beneficial for potted plants. Though they are very helpful for soil, they can be harmful to your indoor plants. The soils in the pot do not have enough food for the worms.

Question: What will earthworms eat?

Answer: Earthworms mostly live on the food they find inside the soil. They eat roots and leaves for getting nutrition. They also eat some living organisms. For example fungi, rotifers, bacteria, etc. are their food.

Question: Do earthworms bite you?

Answer: No, earthworms won’t bite you. They don’t bite or sting. But they can cause serious health hazards if they get inside the body. The earthworms get inside the body through different openings of the body.


We have discussed all the ways to inform you about how to kill earthworms in potted plants. Now you can keep your plant earthworm-free.

One last tip. Don’t make the environment of your home garden damp. This environment increases worm infestation. 

Have a good day!