I realized late last night that there are lots of small white creepy crawlers in my peace lily pot. It's so thoroughly infested with these creatures some are even coming out of the drain holes.

I have 3 questions:

  1. What type of crawlers are these?
  2. Are these pests harmful?
  3. If yes, how can I get rid of them?

enter image description here

  • We're going to need pictures or a very thorough description of the crawlers in question to answer any of those questions – GardenerJ Nov 1 '15 at 15:32
  • I added the pix can't you see it? – Joseph Wit Nov 1 '15 at 15:32
  • So there is. It didn't load the first time for some reason. Never mind – GardenerJ Nov 1 '15 at 15:33
  • What did you use as a potting medium/soil? Have you emended it in any way? – Bamboo Nov 1 '15 at 15:35
  • I had an issue at first with the pic but then went through second before you asked – Joseph Wit Nov 1 '15 at 15:36

Well, looking at the 'compost' in the pot, its obviously full of decaying matter - the creatures you're seeing appear to be millipedes, which feed on decaying matter. They don't cause trouble in open ground, but a population as high as this in a pot isn't desirable.

First, you need some decent potting mix, so if you've got some already, you can proceed now to deal with the problem. Turn the plant out of its pot, get off all the soil you can (and millipedes), and if there's still lots left round the roots, soak the rootball in a bucket of water till you're able to gently extract the roots from the remaining soil. While you're waiting, wash and sterilize the pot, or use another, clean pot. When all the soil's gone, repot using the clean, (preferably good quality) potting compost. As you've exposed all the roots, put a layer of compost in the bottom of the pot, checking the level isn't too high, and dangle the roots of the plant above the compost, so the bottom ones are sitting on the compost, spread them out a bit, and then keep adding soil, gently pushing it around the roots as you go, until you're up to the crown of the plant. Firm down gently, water thoroughly, allow to drain down.

  • so for this peace lily what would you be recommending the best potting soil – Joseph Wit Nov 1 '15 at 22:12
  • Difficult for me to recommend - I'm in the UK, and I know exactly what to recommend here, but I'm guessing you're in the States and I don't know enough about what's available there. – Bamboo Nov 2 '15 at 12:01
  • 1
    I'd use a very good quality (Westland) multi purpose compost mixed with John Innes No. 2 - same company makes a houseplant potting compost too - you just need something that's more soil like and less rubbishy/woody. – Bamboo Nov 2 '15 at 12:11

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