Worm Castings Can Be A Game Changer For Indoor Plant Growth, Production

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By David Wall, Mount Pleasant Master Gardener

We’ve all heard about the benefits of using worm castings (much more refined than saying worm poop!) in our gardens. Well, that should go double for indoor plants. Actually, worm castings can be a game-changer for growth and production.

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Similar to animal manure, worm castings provide bacteria and nutrients (a lot of them!) to your indoor plants, they can actually be considered a superfood! Many buy worm castings, while others make their own corm composter, or else buy one. With my schedule, I just find an individual who sells them!

Worm castings contain an almost endless listing of nutrients. You can start with a mixture of animal bacteria, compost, enzymes, plant nutrients, and remnants of plant matter, including over 50% more broken down leaves and plant matter than regular topsoil. On top of that, they contain several plant-essential minerals like nitrates, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Then, there’s the borax, carbon, zinc, manganese, copper, cobalt, iron, and nitrogen.

One of the more interesting aspects of worm castings is that with all these ingredients they won’t burn the plants with too much of any one or group of the ingredients, particularly nitrogen, as it’s in a slow-release form. The castings are covered with a worm secreted mucus that prevents a fast nutrient release.

And the benefits just keep coming. Soil, when mixed with worm castings enables the soil mixture to hold on to moisture while resisting erosion and compaction. So, you spend less time watering and worrying about the possibility of excess water induced root rot. Worm castings even offer a resistance to chewing insects such as aphids, and other hard-shelled plant bugs by dissolving their exoskeletons

How much to use? Try ¼ cup of castings for every 6-inch diameter of your container. Unlike chemical fertilizers, a little extra won’t hurt.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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