En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 17, 2011

From: Hillsborough, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pests, Soils, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worms pushing out of the opened ends of the container. Can this plant be saved. It looks great!

ANSWER:

We always try to begin by finding out what plant the common name our correspondents ask about. In our Native Plant Database, we found Dyschoriste linearis (Snake herb), but since you mentioned moving your plant indoors and this one is native only to Texas and Oklahoma, we don't think that is what you have. So, we went searching on the Internet, and discovered Sanseviera trifasciata, snake plant, native to West Africa, and therefore not in our area of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown.

This article from Texas A&M Horticulture on Sanseviera trifasciata refers to it as a house plant. Very few native plants will tolerate the indoor conditions that house plants live in. Pictures.

We can, however, attempt to address the problem of the worms. If they are earthworms, they are a valuable addition to a plant, aerating and enriching the soil in which they live. Information and pictures of earthworms.

That pretty well exhausts our intelligence on "worms." Since you intend to repot anyway, we suggest you dump all the dirt out of the existing pot, and examine the worms. If you establish that these are, indeed, earthworms, we wouldn't want to bring them in the house, but they are valuable, nevertheless. Perhaps you could move them to a plot of soft, nutritious, moist soil and let them grow and move into your outdoor garden. The only way you could have earthworms would be if your plant was originally planted in "outdoor" dirt, instead of sterile potting soil, as house plants usually are. By the same token, if there are other kinds of worms, they would have to have come with the plant, since they have not been in contact with other soil. In that case, I would take a sample worm to the nursery from which you purchased it and ask about it. We would hesitate to move any plant with "wildlife" in it into our house.

 

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Are century plants (Agave spp.) poisonous?
September 24, 2008 - About 2 weeks ago, I was poked in the arm by a Century Plant, which caused a pretty big bruise to form. I didn't think much of it at first, but now, 2 weeks later, the bruise hasn't healed at all. S...
view the full question and answer

Semelparous: plant that dies after reproduces. Agave and bamboo.
May 15, 2007 - There is a term for a plant who lives its life (usually more than 2 years) sends up a spectacular flowering structure, and then dies. what is that term? a certain plant that falls into that category...
view the full question and answer

Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014 - I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Agave americana in Comfort TX
November 09, 2009 - We have lost a huge agave americana and are not able to find out what to do for our others. The one we lost was rotted or eaten (beetles?) at the base and the whole thing just fell over. We have a l...
view the full question and answer

Life span of the century plant (Agave spp.)
June 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful century plant that is blooming. what will happen once the bloom is done? What is the life span of the plant?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center