Keeping Earthworms in Potted Plants? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-06-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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I was wondering if keeping earthworms in potted indoor plants would make any sense. Or perhaps, if they could survive. I certainly don't want to kill any earthworms by trying!



I heard of a startup company that is creating fertalizer out of earthworm poop which made me ponder the idea of keeping worms in my potted plants. Of course I really don't know anything about worm care (and now I'm getting images in my head from 'Dumb and Dumber' ...worm farms in a store called 'we got worms')...



Anyone know anything about the subject?? Opinions?
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#2 Old 06-06-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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here is a good article about vermiculture: http://www.taunton.com/finegardening...omposting.aspx and of course gotta cover bases with wiki. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worm_farm



for your question, i don't think it will work in just a potted plant. the worms have to be fed and the stuff they eat would probably not make your plants happy, so the above links describe how to get compost from worms (red wigglers are the preferred species for good compost), basically u need a bin and availability of scraps to feed them, seems pretty easy and the benefits from the resulting compost are numerous in the garden.

.....however! some people do not consider worm compost (or any other animal fertilizer) as vegan since it is a byproduct of an animal and keeping worms to work for you is considered by some unethical. i am not of that opinion and as long as the worms are well taken care of i think its a great way to eliminate waste and grow healthy plants.
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#3 Old 06-06-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtgorilla View Post

I was wondering if keeping earthworms in potted indoor plants would make any sense. Or perhaps, if they could survive. I certainly don't want to kill any earthworms by trying!



I heard of a startup company that is creating fertalizer out of earthworm poop which made me ponder the idea of keeping worms in my potted plants. Of course I really don't know anything about worm care (and now I'm getting images in my head from 'Dumb and Dumber' ...worm farms in a store called 'we got worms')...



Anyone know anything about the subject?? Opinions?

I had earthworms accidentally get into my outdoor potted plants, but I don't know what their ultimate fates might have been. Presumably they would migrate out the way they got in if things weren't to their liking. I don't think I would ever try to deliberately introduce them to indoor potted plants, though. I don't think conditions would be healthy for them indoors, and they might climb out the drain holes and end up dying in your house.

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#4 Old 06-06-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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My mother has a huge rubbermaid tub full of worm slaves. She claims they have "favorite" things to eat and tries to give that to them often. The worm poop they give her in return really make the flowers and plants thrive. Once, some kind of bug invaded and it was a fierce battle between bugglings and wormies and the wormies were losing, so my mom dumped the entire container and then sifted through it, finding each worm, washing the bugglings off of it, and putting it back into the (cleaned) rubbermaid container with fresh dirt and a generous helping of their "favorites". Took her days to finish it. That's when I started joking about her being their slave rather than the other way around.



Yeah, that has nothing to do with the OP, but I felt like sharing.
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#5 Old 06-06-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Terracycle has been doing this for years; they collect old plastic bottles, clean them & outfit them with spray-tops, and sell worm tea (I think it's already diluted though). I think there's a element of helping high school students somewhere in there, like compensating them for collecting the bottles or something.



Do you just gather up put the food in one corner and gather up handfuls from another place & take out the worms by hand? Maybe if you had a backyard, you could just have a designated area, or even bury a wire cage, fill with dirt & food, and let the worms decide for themselves whether to stick around or not. I'm sure there'd be a lot who would stick around for the easy access to favorite food.
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#6 Old 03-28-2010, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtgorilla View Post

I was wondering if keeping earthworms in potted indoor plants would make any sense. Or perhaps, if they could survive. I certainly don't want to kill any earthworms by trying!



I heard of a startup company that is creating fertalizer out of earthworm poop which made me ponder the idea of keeping worms in my potted plants. Of course I really don't know anything about worm care (and now I'm getting images in my head from 'Dumb and Dumber' ...worm farms in a store called 'we got worms')...



Anyone know anything about the subject?? Opinions?



First of all, a couple of worms in a potted plant is not enough to produce the amount of worm poop/castings desired to make your plants grow healthier. You should raise these worms and let them reproduce so you have enough works working for you.

Also, do you know what type of worms they are? Red Wiggler worms are the best for vermicomposting (this is the process of composting with worms so you can produce worm castings and worm tea as fertilizer for your garden) however, you need to keep this type of composting worms in a bin which will serve as a home to them if given favorable living conditions.. This is because there was a study that it is not good to release Red Wigglers to the environment since they are non-native and there was also a study stating that red wigglers can do harm to our environments eco-system.
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#7 Old 09-23-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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I recently dug out some soil from my dieffenbachia plant only to find the dirt loaded with earthworms.....and I do mean loaded.  I have NO idea how they got there since I have never put the plant outside.  I would say yes they can live in pots.  They are certainly thriving in my plant soil.  I have only had this plant a year or so, started from a water rooting.  Hope that helps.  I do put coffee grounds in this pot after I make my coffee.  I don't know if this has made them multiply so fast.  They are good size too.  Average length is about 4-5 inches. 

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#8 Old 10-27-2012, 02:36 AM
 
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Since the worms that are best suited for vermicomposting are surface-dwellers or very shallow burrowers, I would not imagine them doing well in a potted system. As someone else also mentioned, you would need a lot more than you could fit in a pot for any benefits to be had. 

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