What Are These Black Dots On My Plant?!

One of our Gardenio members contacted us with a problem that we think a lot of people might encounter, so we thought to share it with you all! 

         
Courtesy of Gardenio Member

If the leaves on your plant are starting to look eaten up, and out of nowhere these small black dots start spreading across the leaves, it’s most likely you got the case of good ole' fashioned worm poop, or, "castings".

You can tell it's not a fungus cause it's not in the leaves themselves. Usually that means it's a pest, and tiny black balls scattered around are typically indicative of worms. They're probably coming out at night. What a weird job we have. Lookin' at worm poop. 

The castings aren't bad for your plants! In fact, Worm castings are really good for soil, they market the hell out of worm casting compost in gardener circles. But they are unsightly, and indicative of worms that may otherwise be eating your greens. 

But don’t worry, we got some actions that you can take to get these buggers out!  

Biological: 

If you feel like making and maintaining a birdhouse, that's a thing you can do! Birds eat worms, and in quarantine times, it might be a fun project! I've been noticing birds coming out more recently.

Mechanical: 

You can make your own super easy DIY insecticidal soap. Make a mixture of 2% soapy water. So that's five tablespoons in a one gallon water jug, or a heavy single tablespoon in a one quart spray bottle. Natural soaps (ie: castile, animal fats) work better, but Dawn soap is also classically used. There are riffs on this; ie: add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to repel chewy insects. I like to spray the solution on the leaves closer to morning time so the leaves can dry out through the day. This method will trap existing worms as they come on, and repel future ones.

Chemical: 

We're an organic gardening company, so only organic solutions here! There's a naturally occurring bacteria called BT Thuricide. We don't love Amazon, but you can get it by tomorrow. It's in concentrated form, and it smells real bad, BUT, it deters a lot of bugs like caterpillars and worms and snails. It will be good to have on hand, and it lasts a long time. You'll need a little spray bottle to go with it as well. In the future, you'll be able to buy all this straight from Gardenio, in the amount you actually need it.


Hope everyone enjoyed these tips and if you wanna start growing your own plants, become a member of Gardenio! Also follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our emails for more information on how to keep your plants nice and healthy!