Bonsai Soil: Are Worms Bad or Good for Healthy Growth

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: February 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. I prefer to be honest and upfront with my readers that this doesn't change my beliefs in products nor services!

If you happen to have Bonsai trees at your house, it is usual to think if worms are good for the growth of your plants. As it happens, worms can be of different types and kinds. Therefore, based on the type of worm in question, the answer might as well vary if certain worms are good or bad for the health of your Bonsai trees.

A modest number of earthworms can be beneficial to bonsai since earthworms are thought to create a lot of nitrogen when they reside in bonsai soil. Nitrogen, as it turns out, helps plants develop and keeps them healthy. Excess nitrogen, on the other hand, maybe exceedingly harmful to bonsai plants , turning them yellow and stunting their development.

Bonsai plants are fascinating and gorgeous because of their diminutive appearance, which makes them distinctive and appealing.

In this article, I will discuss whether worms are beneficial or detrimental to the health of your bonsai plants.

In addition to this, I will also walk you through all of the steps that you can follow to properly take care of your Bonsai trees .

How Are Worms Good for Your Bonsai Trees?

Worms can be beneficial to the cause of bonsai growth in many different ways. Here is a list of ways worms can favorably affect the growth of your bonsai trees.

Enhancing the Nutrients in the Soil

Like all other plants, bonsai requires nutrients in order to develop and thrive. Better nutrition results in healthier plants and faster development. Plants are less healthy and develop more slowly when they are malnourished.

Worms consume various soil components such as leaves, manure, dead roots, grass, and so on. As it happens, the decomposition of such components helps plants obtain nitrogen fertilizer from the soil, which is essential to their growth.

For this reason, bonsai plants get greater nourishment and develop faster this way.

Helping the Drainage of the Soil

Worms are constantly digging and channeling through the dirt. As a result, the soil’s drainage can increase dramatically, which is advantageous to the plant’s general growth.

Worms can also help with airflow inside the soil, which is crucial for Bonsai nutrition and development.

Boosting the Productivity of the Soil

Worms, as we all know, may enhance the number of nutrients in the soil. As a result, it improves the total drainage of the soil.

The soil’s productivity increases significantly as a result of higher fertilizer levels and a stronger drainage system, which is critical for Bonsai’s development.

Should You Add Worms To Bonsai Soil?

The soil in your bonsai pot will already have worm larvae in it. Usually, the soil or the compost contains some amount of larvae that can hatch after a while. So, there is no need for adding worms to pot soil. 

Adding an extra amount of worms can also harm your bonsai. Worms love organic materials. And they will likely reduce the amount of nutrition in the soil.

This will eventually cause nutrition deficiency in your bonsai plant. So, there is no need for adding worms to your bonsai pot soil.

How Can You Identify the Bad Effects of Worms on Your Bonsai Trees?

As we’ve already discussed, too many worms or white worm infestation can really damage your bonsai . But how do you know if the worms in your bonsai pot are killing the bonsai tree? Well, you can start by looking for some of the following symptoms. 

  • If the leaves have rough edges and unsightly patches.
  • When the tree is only lightly linked to the earth and moves around freely by contact.
  • When branches become brittle, withered, and drooping.
  • If you happen to spot a swollen bork.
  • Roots emerge from the surface of the soil.

If you have cause to assume that your bonsai tree is unhealthy , prepare a larger container for it and closely inspect its roots.

Pruning rotten roots and applying pesticides to get rid of undesirable worms can assist in rejuvenating the health of your plant.

How To Remove Worms from the Bonsai Soil?

Scrubbing the pot vigorously with a mix of nine parts water to one part household bleach is the most efficient means of minimizing the number of worms in the Bonsai soil. The bleach will disinfect the container and destroy any unhatched eggs.

If you need a quick cure until the other requirements are satisfied, soak a slice of stale bread in milk and place it on the compost pile. White worms will congregate on the bread, which may then be removed and disposed of.

If your plant has worms, take it from the pot and bathe the plant’s base with the soil in warm water and insecticidal soap for 20 minutes.

The worms will try to escape, and you may catch them and release them, or you can put them in your compost bin. This is very effective against dangerous worms.

Another efficient method of eradicating worms is to utilize an electrical device. These earthworm eradication devices conduct a low-voltage electrical current into the soil.

As a result, the stream propels the worms to the soil’s surface. The earthworm eradication process can begin as they reach the surface.

But if you want to remove earthworms then you don’t really have to do anything at all. Usually, the soil in pots is not adequate to support earthworms.

As a result, any excess number of them will simply crawl out or die out before causing any harm to your bonsai plant. 

What Kinds Of Worms Can You Find In Pot Soil?

There are basically 5 types of worms found in plant soil. You could find one or many of these in your pot soil. Let’s take a look at them. 

Red Wiggler or Earthworm 

When you think of worms, red wigglers are probably the ones that pop up in your head. These are red and have sort of sections in their body. Just dig up some soil anywhere and you’ll find these crawlies wriggling around in the dirt.

These are very beneficial for your plant in moderate amounts when it comes to potted plants. 


Potwoms are translucent or white quite thin. Just like red wigglers, these are also beneficial for your bonsai plant. Similar to red wigglers they break down the organic compounds in the soil and help produce nitrogen which is great for plants.  


Cutworms are kind of like centipedes. They are brown and have many tiny little legs. They are fond of roots and can actually damage your bonsai tree. 


These are the white worms we have been talking about all this time. These are yellowish-white and are smaller than pot worms. They also have comparatively thinner ends.

These are responsible for brown spots and can also decay plant roots. 

Grub Worms 

You should be concerned when you see these in your plant soil. They eat through roots real fast and need immediate attention from the plant owner.

If you see these in your soil quickly quarantine the plant and use insecticides. 


Worms consume dead roots, grass, and leaf litter in the soil and transform them into nutrients required by plants. As a result, they improve the soil’s suitability for bonsai by improving nutrient availability.

On the other hand, too many worms might produce an excess of nutrients, which can impede the growth of bonsai plants and burn or harm them.

If you wish to take good and proper care of your bonsai plants , do follow all the guidelines this article has discussed extensively. Navigating and exploring the guidelines on your own will help you determine the best course of action for you to ensure healthy and sustainable bonsai growth.