After I watered one of the plants using a saucer I found white worms swimming in the water. I could not identify them and I am looking for help to figure out if this is potentially harmful to my plants.

There is one much bigger than the other, mature I guess, It has a distinctive white head and a pink tail, the rest of the body is transparent. I can see through.

Below pictures are taken from the saucer water i used, it is filled in water, and i have kept the worm here since then. It appears they did not try to escape.

Also i noted they wave but they don't seem very good at swimming or moving.

thanks for help, this is quite disturbing.

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the small black balls inside the worms are not natural color, they are dirt he ate (i guess)

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This last picture shows that small worms are gathering around a ball of dirt (soil), i believe there is some sort of transparent slime that keep things altogether. But this is hard to demonstrate in picture.

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bottom of the pot after i took off the plants.

bottom pot

i grabbed some soil in my hand to demonstrate my worms.

worms in my hand

The root system of the plants.

root system

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    Excellent clear illustrations; also, if could provide length of large one, or include a scale of some sort in an illustration to show size it would be helpful. – M H Aug 1 '20 at 14:16
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    thank you @MH for your input and corrections. I have tried to add more pictures with the scale. Hope this helps. – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 14:33
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    You are very welcome! Yes, the illustrations showing length are very helpful, And please avoid contact with hands or skin in case they aren't interested in plants only! Maybe if possible check to see if the plant's roots have little, perhaps tiny, nodules on them, as they could be very detrimental to your plants, and the specific plant species could also be helpful. But 27mm is about double the length of larger types of plant nematodes! – M H Aug 1 '20 at 14:59
  • oh yes, i would not dare take them bare handed unless i know what it is, i used sticks or plastic gloves. It might be just some regular worms as benn suggested that i grew in this pot by mistake. I kind of like the idea to have worms in my pot, though the population is already so huge....I guess removing by hand is a soft measure that wont last long, so maybe i will just buy new soil and re pot the plants in it. Those are hemp. I ll keep those worms and put them into another container, I hope they will be happy there. – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 15:37

The small worms are probably baby worms from the bigger one. It seems to be an earthworm, either Lumbricus or Eisenia, hard to tell from this picture.

Generally, earthworms are not welcome in plant containers. They eat dead material, which is good, but when that is finished they may start eating live roots as well. This is obviously not good for the plant. I hope you can remove them easily.

  • Hi benn, thank you for your inpu. I am skeptical this is elsenia because the kind of worm i have does not have rings. I am checking for lumbricus. – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 14:34
  • I checked here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbricus for lumbricus. The colors does not match, but perhaps it is not an important feature to differentiate ? Also, the worms i am having seems to love water. Can lumbricus survive under water for hours ? – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 14:42
  • You're welcome, Lumbricus is very cosmopolitan i.e. they are found all over the world. So big chance this is one here. They can have different colors and shapes, is influenced by environmental factors. Sometimes you see very big and fat ones (with rings) and sometimes they are smaller and more smooth. – benn Aug 1 '20 at 14:52
  • ok thank you. Might be that indeed. I was afraid this was oligotech (but did not want to talk about it my main post to let people think by themselves). I will see how lumbricus breed, maybe that could help me differentiate. – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 14:54
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    I think you had it correct! I took off the plants from the pot to look into it, and this was a swarm of worms. I just started my very first vermipot!!! fyi i added some more pictures. – mh-cbon Aug 1 '20 at 15:31

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