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Earthworms around the Roots of my plants….Should I be worried?

Have you ever pulled out a plant, only to find that there are Earthworms among the root ball?

If you are pulling out the plant because it has died, you may have made the assumption that the worm somehow played a role in the death of the plant.  If you did so, you’ve mixed up cause and effect.

The reason why you often find worms around plant roots is because the roots of plants and earthworms both are attracted to two things.  Moisture and Food.

In some cases, the plant may have suffered because you’ve overwatered it, and the roots do not like the amount of moisture that surrounds them (Especially in slow draining soil), but that moisture level is still okay for the worm to thrive.  Don’t make the mistake that your plant perished because Earthworms happened to be hanging around it’s roots….your plant perished because you overwatered it.  Plain and simple.

Worms eat decaying material.  They do not eat the roots of thriving plants.  Leave the dead plant in the ground long enough for the decay process to begin, and the worms will eat the decayed roots.  Did the worms kill the plant here?  Nope.

***Caveat:  I want to be clear that I am talking about earthworms here…..Nightcrawlers, Red Wigglers and the like.  I’m not talking about the various pests (Hornworms, grubs, etc) that get clumped in as “They are all worms because they are all long and relatively thin and travel slowly.

 

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