Centipede-like worms in soil around gardenia

Asked November 13, 2018, 11:20 AM EST

I have these approximately 1 inch centipede-like worms in the soil around my potted gardenia. First, are they harmful to the plant (I have read opposing views). Second, should I kill them or otherwise eradicate them and if so, what pesticide or other method should I use? Thanks in advance.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

This looks like a millipede. They have 2 legs per body segment. Millipedes like dampness and feed on decaying organic matter in the soil. They do not cause damage. No chemicals are recommended.

An easy way to remove the millipedes is to repot the plant. Use a soilless mixture which is a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This soil mix drains well and does not hold a lot of moisture. See our website on repotting houseplants http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/pottingrepotting-houseplants