White worms in potted plants can be a common problem for indoor and outdoor gardeners alike. These worms are usually the larvae of fungus gnats, a type of small flying insect that thrives in moist soil. How to get rid of white worms in potted plants? While these worms are not harmful to humans or pets, they can cause damage to the roots of plants and disrupt the growth and health of the plants.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods to get rid of white worms in potted plants, ranging from natural remedies to chemical treatments. In this response, we will discuss some of the most effective ways to eliminate these unwanted pests and keep your plants healthy and thriving.

What Causes White Worms In Potted Plants?

How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Potted Plants

White worms are a common problem in potted plants, with many potential causes. Here are a few of the most common:

Improper Watering

Potted plants need water only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Over-watering can cause root rot, which is white worm food.

Fertilizing Incorrectly

Too much fertilizer can encourage white worms and other pests and diseases. A balanced fertilizer is best for potted plants.


White worms like to eat insects, so if your plants are infested with them, they will be happy to dine on your worms too! 

Poor Drainage

If there’s insufficient drainage in the potting soil, water will collect and become stagnant, leading to root rot and white worm growth. 

Lack of Light

White worms do best in bright light but will survive in moderate light, too, if they have food and shelter available. 

Temperature Fluctuations

Pots and plants like warm temperatures, but sudden changes can be too much for white worms to handle. 

How Do You Get Rid Of White Worms In Potted Plants?

How Do You Get Rid Of White Worms In Potted Plants

There are various ways to get rid of white worms in potted plants. Some methods are less harmful to the plant, while others may be more harmful. Here are some of the best methods:


This method is effective on small plants but can damage larger ones. Aim the jet of water at the base of the plant where the worms are hiding and wait a few seconds for them to die.

Use An Insecticidal Soap

This is an effective method for killing white worms, but it can also harm other insects in your garden, so use caution. Mix 1 teaspoon of soap per gallon of water and spray the solution onto infested plants. Make sure to rinse out any leftover material thoroughly.

Use Bordeaux Mixture

This mixture contains copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, and sulfur, killing white worms and other pests. Add 1 tablespoon per gallon of water and pour over infested plants. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, and then rinse off.

Use A Horticultural Oil

This is an organic pesticide that will kill white worms, aphids, and other pests. Apply the oil directly to infested plants and rinse it off afterward.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that will cause white worms to dehydrate and die. Dust the earth over infested plants and wait for them to die. Make sure to remove all dead worms before watering the plant again.

Add Garlic

Garlic is known to repel many insects, including white worms. Add 1 clove per gallon of water and mix in before watering the plant. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.


White worms are repelled by vinegar. Add 2 cups of white vinegar per gallon of water and pour over infested plants. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Burn Sage Leaves

Sage is known to have insecticidal properties, which will kill white worms as they crawl on the leaves. Please make a small fire in a metal container and place sage leaves on top until they smoke. Let them burn until they are ashless, then pour out the ashes into a jar or container and use them as needed against white worm infestations in gardens or herb gardens.

Burn Oats

Oats are also known as “the worm weed” because of their ability to repel pests such as white worms. Fill up a bowl with oat straws and set it on fire; once the straws are burning brightly, carefully remove them from the flames and use them against white worm infestations elsewhere in your garden or pot.

Use Dish Soap

Soak some cotton balls in dish soap solution and place them on top of infested plants; these balls will act as natural barriers against pests such as white worms, which will eventually die from contact with a dish soap solution. Rinse off any residue afterward.

Faq About Getting Rid Of White Worms In Potted Plants

Are White Worms Harmful To Plants?

White worms come in various shapes and sizes, some of which can harm plants. Among the most common white worms is the earthworm, which aids in the aeration of soil in gardens and plants. Other white worms, such as cutworms, can harm plants by eating their leaves or stems.

Will Worms Eat My Plant’s Roots?

The question of whether worms will eat a plant’s roots is a complex one that depends on a variety of factors. In general, however, worms are beneficial to soil health and are unlikely to cause significant damage to a plant’s roots.

Are White Worms Good For The Soil?

Some people believe that they aerate and fertilize the soil as they travel through it, while others think their presence can do more harm than good. Studies have shown that when white worms are present in high numbers, they can deplete the soil of oxygen, leading to the death of plants. Additionally, they can also spread harmful bacteria and fungi.

Where Do White Worms Come From?

The white worms come from the soil. They are earthworms that live in the soil and eat decaying organic matter. They are beneficial to the environment because they help break down organic matter and recycle nutrients into the soil.

What Are Tiny White Worms?

The tiny white worms are nematodes, a type of roundworm. Nematodes can harm plants and animals, but some species are beneficial. They are typically less than 1 millimeter long and can be seen with the naked eye.


Getting rid of white worms in potted plants is essential to ensure the health and growth of your plants. Prevention is the key to avoiding these pesky worms in the first place, so it’s important to avoid overwatering, improve drainage, and keep your plants clean. If you do notice white worms in your potted plants, there are several effective solutions available, such as using sticky traps, applying natural remedies like neem oil or hydrogen peroxide, or using chemical treatments like insecticides.