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5 Benefits of Worm Castings for Indoor Plants

Worm Castings for Indoor Plants

Avoid: Worm castings = worm poop. But "casting" is a more polite way to describe the digested waste of your garden-grade earthworm, so we'll stick with it! Worm castings, unlike animal manure, provide plants and plants with rich nutrients and healthy bacteria, and are the secret superfood to help your indoor plants thrive. Five benefits of worm castings for indoor plants and how to make your own worm compost.

Nutritious plant foods

Worm castings contain a mixture of bacteria, enzymes, remains of plant material, and broken down animal manure (and other existing compost). These castings are rich in plant nutrients and contain 50% more humus (broken leaves and plant material) than regular topsoil. Castors also contain plant-essential minerals such as nitrates, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. They contain manganese, copper, cobalt, borax, zinc, iron, nitrogen and carbon.

Safer than chemical fertilizer and animal manure

Worm casts are ready to use soon, well… you know… doing their business. Best of all, castings do not burn plants due to excess nitrogen like other chemical fertilizers or animal manures. Worm castings contain 5% more nitrogen than regular garden soil, but in a slower-release form. The casts are covered in mucus, which the worm secretes as they digest, which slowly releases nitrogen. (I know, I know, gross but cool.)

The bottom line here is that you won't be over-fertilizing your houseplants by using too many worm castings, which is a foolproof way to keep your plants thriving.

Improved water retention

A system of worm castings mixed with soil helps the indoor plant retain moisture. Castings form mineral aggregates that resist water erosion and shrinkage while increasing water retention. Because of this, by using worm castings for indoor plants, you can reduce the amount of time you have to water them, which also reduces the risk of root rot.

Natural insect repellent

Since we all hate pesky chewing insects like aphids, whiteflies and other tough pests, you'll be happy to know that worm castings are also a natural insecticide. They contain a digestive enzyme called chitinase, which destroys these insects by dissolving their exoskeletons (…yeah).

Cost effective (WIY: Warm it Yourself!)

You can buy worm casting products at a garden store (one brand is called Worm Power). But are you brave enough to make your own worm compost? By making your own worm compost, you'll save money and be more sustainable by composting your green kitchen scraps.

They are very simple to put together and there are plenty of guides to choose from. Some of the basic materials used to make your own worm casting tank are:

Plastic tank

Garden soil

Green materials (vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings)

Brown materials (newspaper, corrugated cardboard, dry leaves)

Red wiggler worms

With the above materials, you can quickly build a simple worm composter. Heck, you can make one this afternoon.

How do I use worm castings on my indoor plants?

Use worm castings like any other type of fertilizer. Use ¼ cup of worm castings for every six inches in diameter of your container/pot. Or sprinkle a few teaspoons on the base of the stems and water well. Again, adding a little extra will not harm your plant (unlike chemical fertilizers).


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