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White things living in my soil!!They can LEAP!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by The Apprentice on September 12, 2006 08:56 AM
i HAVE BEEN GROWING A PLANT THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME BY MY MUM FOR MY HOUSE,I WATER IT DAILY AND USE MIRACLE GROW AND IT HAS TURNED INTO A BEAUTIFUL PLANT BUT WHEN I WALKED IN LAST NIGHT AND TURNED THE LIGHT ON THERE WERE lOADS OF THESE TINY TINY DOT SIZED(.) WORM LOOKING THINGS BURROWING THROUGH MY SOIL AND IVE NOTICED SOME OF THEM LEAP,THEY HAVE BEEN THERE FOR A WEEK OR TWO I RECKON COS THErES SO MANY OF THEM,THE SOIL I USED WAS BRAND NEW SOIL SO I DONT NOW HOW THEY GOT THERE BUT THE FUNNY THING IS THAT MY PLANT IS STILL GROWING AND LOOKS HEALTHY AND GREEN SO WHAT THE HECK IS THEIR PURPOSE ?ARE THEY TRYING TO EAT MY ROOT SYSTEM OR ARE THEY LIVING OF THE NUTRIENTS IM PUTTING IN MY SOIL?THEY MUST LIVE ON SOMETHING,ITS MAINLY NIGHT TIME I NOTICE THEM UnDER A BRIGHT LIGHT WHEN I SCOOP THROUGH THE SOIL.i HAVE FLUSHED MY PLANT BUT THAT DIDNT SEEM TO WORK SHOULD I TRY RE POTTNG IT,THE PLANT HAS BEEN GROWING IN THE SOIL FOR 7 MONTHS AND RECENTLY I ADDED ANOTHER TOP LAYER OF SOIL.cOuld it be because i leave the plant beside an open window in my kitchen?Id appreciate AnY info on this as i love my plant and wo [scaredy] uld hate to get rid of it.Iv been reading about Gnats,could it be something ike that?PS sORRY FOR WRITING IN CAPS

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The Apprentice.
by kennyso on September 12, 2006 09:13 AM
maybe try to repot it, removing all the soil and give the bare roots a good soaking in water to move any remaining bit of old soil. I think they may be the larvae of fungus gnats, I've seen those before (only once thank God) and I just threw it out (it was a seedling) I think as long as you don't have anymore old soil it should be ok. and maybe try to water every other day or even once a week or when the soil starts to feel dry. Water until there is water coming out of the drainage holes. Don't think it's because it's next to a window. I've never seen those in the potted plants ouside.

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by The Apprentice on September 12, 2006 09:16 AM
thanks for the info,much appreciated.Im doing what you said as we speak,its my only hope.Cheers

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The Apprentice.
by Star Dancer on September 13, 2006 04:55 PM
Apprentice,

Fungus gnats are an indication you are keeping the soil too moist. The larvae feed on decaying organic matter, such as bark, that is found in some soil mixes. Gnats are an annoyance but not harmful to your plant. Place thin potato slices on the soil to attract the larvae, then discard them after a day or two. Adults live only about 5 days so even if you do nothing, they will soon die off if you allow the soil to dry out more between waterings; how dry depends on the species of plant. A thin layer of fine peat moss is also effective at preventing further infestations.
by DowntoEarth on September 14, 2006 04:42 AM
You could have an infestation of "Springtails" They jump and scurry around in and out of the soil real fast when the soil is disturbed or watered.
Springtails won't harm your plant, they are just gross little buggers to see!

You can flush them out by watering the soil enough that it spills out over the rim of the pot, then just add any new soil that was lost. You can also add a few little drops of a mild dish soap to the pot as it's filling up, wait, then flush the soil again with just water, the semi soapy water should kill them. Keep the soil dryer if you can.

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