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What are these insects in the soil of Jade plant?

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Since repotting several of my Jade plants two have developed these white worm-shaped creatures. They are about 2mm long, have legs and antenae. They are found moving in and out of the soil on the top and in the water tray underneath so the soil is clearly riddled with them. The plants are otherwise healthy but I am concerned this may not last. Can anyone identify these creatures and tell me if they are harmful to the plant? If so, how can I get rid of them without using pesticides?



are they possibly a form of larvae, i recently found similar and they eat rotting plants. If yours are healthy maybe they are just a type of larvae in the water!!

x x x

11 Oct, 2009


Sound like springtails to me. If they are, they will not harm your plant at all as they feed on algae and other microscopic detritus. What they do like however is moist conditions all the time which suggests that you are keeping your plant a bit too damp (all the time)?

Leave your plant to dry out for at least a week between waterings indeed, as the day length gets shorter, you could increase the dry period between watering by up to three weeks. This should solve the problem.

A photo if possible would be the surest way of id of course.

11 Oct, 2009


yes i'd go for springtails too. they are fascinating critters too.

11 Oct, 2009


Thanks for the advice I will try leaving it to dry out. I tried to take a photo but couldn't zoom in close enough for a clear view. When I lift the plant pot they initially appear to jump a cm or so - does this still sound like springtail?

11 Oct, 2009


Definitely, that is how they get their name.

11 Oct, 2009


They are indeed fascinating creatures. If you google them, I swear that some of them are among the few insects (well, almost insects) that can be described as cute!

The globular ones anyway!

11 Oct, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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