Isn’t it amazing?
You add vermicompost to your potted plants and watch them grow.
It’s almost like magic.
But how do you use vermicompost in potted plants?
You can use vermicompost in potted plants by adding it as a top dressing in the potting soil. Remove a small quantity of the potting soil and add 1/2 inch layer of vermicompost. Then cover it with the potting soil. Add the vermicompost every month to give houseplants a boost of nutrients.
In this post, I’ll show you ways you can use vermicompost for your potted plants. I’ll also show you how often to use the vermicompost and whether you can use it for all of your plants.
1. Add vermicompost as a topdressing in potted plants
Topdressing means you add the vermicompost into the potting soil of your already growing plants. I like to use vermicompost every 15 days to give the plant a boost of nutrients.
Vermicompost has all the macronutrients and micronutrients that plants find beneficial. It’s called a bulk fertilizer because you can add it to provide a mix of nutrients to the plants.
You can add it every few days, and it will not cause any problems to the plants, unlike using synthetic fertilizers that could burn the roots when added in excess.
Here is how I add the vermicompost to my potted plants.
- Make sure to remove an inch of the potting soil before adding the vermicompost.
- Take a few handfuls of the vermicompost and add it on top of the soil. You could also add some other fertilizer like cow manure or neem cake powder to give the soil an additional boost of nutrients and pest protection.
- You can now cover the vermicompost layer with the potting soil you took out from the top.
- Give the potting soil a good watering till the water drains out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the container or grow bag.
- I like to add the vermicompost every 15 days when the plant is in the growing stage as it helps give a boost of nutrients to the plant.
You never want to use pure worm castings (vermicompst) with your plants. it is too strong and will burn them. So you want to mix it with either peat moss or top soil. You’ll need to use 4 parts peat moss/top soil to 1 part worm castings. This will create a nice, balanced blend for your plants. – Jeff Neal, The Critter Depot
2. Amend the potting soil using vermicompost
I recommend getting good potting soil before growing plants. This soil will have the right texture to support the plant. It will retain sufficient moisture but drain out the excess.
If you have poor potting soil, it may contain too much sand or clay. This means the water will drain out too fast. Or it will stay in the soil for a long time, and you risk damaging the roots due to overwatering.
You can use vermicompost to amend such poor potting soil and improve its texture. You can mix 2 parts potting soil with 1 part vermicompost.
You can use a large bucket, tub, or plastic sheet to mix the vermicompost with the potting soil. Make sure the potting soil is dry before adding the vermicompost.
If the potting soil contains too much clay, I would also recommend adding 1 part of river sand to help drain water well.
3. Create seed-starting mix using vermicompost
You can create your seed-starting mix using vermicompost and cocopeat. The seed-starting mix does not contain soil.
Instead, you should use cocopeat that will provide the right texture for the seeds to germinate. It will retain sufficient moisture while draining out the excess.
It won’t clump like soil and give the seeds the right environment to germinate and grow into seedlings.
I suggest adding vermicompost to the cocopeat and create the seed-starting mix. The vermicompost will provide nutrients as well as beneficial organisms for the seedlings.
The seeds have their own nutrients as they germinate and grow into seedlings, but adding vermicompost will boost them. You can continue to grow the seedlings in the same seedling tray or container for a month.
How often should you use vermicompost in potted plants?
You should use vermicompost every 15 days to give your growing plants a boost of nutrients. This may vary with the plant you’re growing and the stage of its lifecycle. But this is an average you can use.
If you’re starting seeds, you don’t need to do this till the seedlings are ready for transplant. Once the plant is transplanted and growing well, you can add vermicompost to the potting soil.
If the plant is showing signs of a lack of nutrients such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth, that is also a situation you can try adding vermicompost to help the plant.
I don’t think there is any risk of adding a little bit more of the vermicompost. It’s not going to harm your plants like a synthetic fertilizer that could burn the roots.
I conducted a survey asking fellow gardeners whether they used vermicompost, compost, or fertilizer for their plants. The majority seemed to use compost while some did use vermicompost.
Which is better compost or vermicompost for potted plants?
Vermicompost is better than compost for potted plants because it has more nutrients, better texture, and more beneficial organisms. I would recommend using vermicompost when you have it available. But it’s also fine to use compost as that contains good nutrients and organisms as well.
Compost is made by beneficial organisms decomposing organic matter and converting it into a nutrient-rich material.
Vermicompost is the worm castings of worms such as earthworms as they consume and process organic matter.
Vermicompost provides more nutrients and beneficial organisms compared to compost. This study mentions that vermicompost is more powerful as a growth promoter than compost. It improves the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil.
In a nutshell, the difference between composting and vermicomposting is this – Composting is an aerobic process, where the breaking down of organic matter occurs under high temperatures. With vermicomposting, the worms in the compost basically do all the work and you’re generally not composting as much as you usually would. It’s a far more smaller scale endeavour. – Leslie Vincent, Atkins Garden Shop
Which is better fertilizer or vermicompost for potted plants?
Vermicompost is better for potted plants when you want to add balanced nutrients to the soil. It contains a good mix of macronutrients and micronutrients. It also adds beneficial microorganisms to the soil and helps improve the texture.
Fertilizer is better when you want to add particular nutrients to the soil. The fertilizer could be rich in macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. You could, of course, use a balanced fertilizer that has equal proportions of the three macronutrients.
All three. I make the first two, so they are always available to me. I use various fertilizers as needed, depending in the crop. Each of the three things you list provide different benefits. – Suzie
Is vermicompost good for all potted plants?
Vermicompost is good for all potted plants because it works as a balanced supply of nutrients. It adds beneficial organisms to the potting soil and improves soil texture.
You should add vermicompost when the plant has started growing, so it gets the required supply of nutrients. Once the plant is flowering/fruiting, it’s also good to add organic fertilizer like wood ash that has more potassium. This helps give the plant a boost during this stage.
Can you use too much vermicompost for potted plants?
You cannot use too much vermicompost for potted plants. It’s organic material that has a balanced amount of macronutrients and micronutrients. So it’s difficult to add too much of it to the soil.
I recommend you only add a few handfuls for your potted plants, as that is sufficient. You don’t need to put a lot of it to take effect. You can add the vermicompost every 15-30 days to the potting soil.
Vermicompost improves soil moisture retention, improves soil tilth, and adds beneficial microbial strains. Other forms of compost provide lots of organic content to the soil along with moderate amounts of nutrition and they keep soil loose, improving clay-like soils. Fertilizer directly boosts soil nutrition and can be targeted specifically to what your plants need, and slow release organic forms keep supplying that nutrition for a period of time. You shouldn’t pick just one. Use what your garden needs at the time of application. – Lori
Can you use vermicompost as potting soil?
You cannot use vermicompost as potting soil because it does not have the required texture to support plants, and they may fall. Vermicompost will also not have a texture similar to potting mix that uses vermiculite, perlite, peat moss, or coco coir.
I recommend you mix the vermicompost with the potting mix before using it for your potted plants. You can mix 3 parts potting mix with 1 part vermicompost for your potted plants.
What is the best vermicompost for potted plants?
Wiggle Worm Soil Builder is the best vermicompost for potted plants. It helps to slowly feed the plants for a long time. Works great for both indoor and outdoor potted plants. You can use it for any kind of plant, including houseplants, flowers, and vegetables.
Compost is one of the best materials you can add to the potting soil and ensure good health of the potted plants. You can check out more details about the basics of growing potted plants below,