How to Get Rid of Termites in Potted Plants? Organic Ways

Many times when people see their potted plants drying up or dying for no reason, they do not understand the cause behind it.

They feel that their plants are drying up due to a lack of water or they are not doing proper maintenance. They pour more water or use chemical sprays, which worsen the situation.

If the plants begin to dry out or die without any reason, then your potted plants may have termites.

Termites can infest both indoor and outdoor potted plants but indoor plants are more prone to termite infestation because they do not get enough sunlight.

In this article, I will tell you why termites attack potted plants and how you can identify this infestation with the help of some signs.

Along with explaining the causes and signs, I will also explain how you can get rid of termites in potted plants using very effective organic methods without harming your plants and how you can protect them from termites in the future.

So let me first tell you why termites attack potted plants.

Why Termites Attack Potted Plants?

Indoor plants usually get termites because they do not get enough sunlight and in such a situation, when the roots do not get enough nutrition, they start drying and dying and a type of moisture is created in them.

Once moisture comes into these dead roots, termites thrive in that moisture.

Another reason for termites in indoor plants is that you already have termites in your house.

If there is a termite infestation on walls, ceilings, or floors, it will most certainly attack indoor plants.

Because indoor plants contain more moisture than outdoor plants so you should keep your plants in the sunlight daily for few hours, it will protect them from termites.

Although termites are more likely to infest indoor potted plants, termites can also attack outdoor plants.

Now you must be thinking that plants get sunlight outdoor then why do termites attack them?


If your plants are adjacent to the soil ground, water will seep out of them and moisture will start coming to that particular place because air cannot pass through the pot and the ground.

In such a situation, termites start thriving in that particular moist area, and they reach the roots of your potted plant as roots contain moisture, after a few days you will observe your plant is wilting.

I would suggest you keep your potted plants on a cemented surface and where you keep them, be sure to clean the area once or twice a week. Do not let moisture come around the pot.

Signs of Termites in Potted Plants:

If you want to get rid of termites in potted plants, then you have to first make sure whether it is a termite infestation or not?

So let’s take a look at its signs.

Plant Wilting:

When termites enter potted plants, it feeds on the roots of the plant, causing the leaves to dry up and wither. After a few days, they die.

Small Holes on Surface of Soil:

Sometimes termites eat the roots of the plant and come out of the soil surface and damage the main branch of the plant.

When the termite comes out of the soil, there are small holes which are also called pinholes in the language of pest control.

Mud Tubes Around The Pot:

Termites reach your pot through mud tubes, through these tubes they also carry food to their colonies. If you see this kind of mud tubas around the pot, then understand that your plant has been attacked by termites. Sometimes these mud tubes are also visible on the outside surface of the pot.

Sudden Rotting of Leaves:

This is the first sign when the termite eats the roots, the essential nutrients do not reach the leaves, due to which the leaves start rotting and drying up. Gradually the entire branches of the plant rot.

Pot Water Not Drying Up:

When termites start eating the roots, the roots die and they are unable to absorb water, due to which the water remains in the soil and the plant also starts dying instead of growing.

Change in Soil Color:

When the termite is in the pot, it also leaves its excreta in the pot, which together with the soil changes the color of the soil. The color of the soil changes from brown to light red.

With these signs, you can easily find out whether termites have attacked your potted plants or not.

Now I will tell you some very effective organic methods, with the help of which you can easily get rid of termites of potted plants.

Natural Methods to Get Rid of Termites in Potted Plants:

Here I will tell you only those organic methods that are best for potted plants and kill termites effectively without killing your plants.


Nematodes are a type of worms that are good for plants. In organic farming, they are used as natural insecticides in plants.

Compared to other natural methods, nematodes work best on infestations associated with potted plants.

Where other natural methods do not fully reach the roots of the plant, nematodes reach the roots and feed on the termites until termites are completely killed, they feed on the termites as well as increase their numbers.

How to Use:

Step 1: First of all you can buy these worms on Amazon at a very inexpensive price. You have to mix these worms with water and pour them into a spray bottle.

Step 2: Now you have to spray them in the soil of infested potted plants and spray them thrice a day, you will start seeing their effect within 48 hours.

Note: Do not spray the nematodes on leaves or branches Spray only on the soil surface and do not expose the pot to sunlight immediately after spraying.

Cardboard Bait:

This natural method is also very suitable for killing termites in potted plants. In this method, we use wet cardboard to attract termites, when they start accumulating on them, then these cardboard baits are taken away from the house and burnt.

How to Use?

Step 1: First of all, you have to cut long strips of cardboard, after that soak those strips in water, if you want, you can also use vinegar spray or saltwater, so if they eat it and go back to the plant, then there too They will die.

Step 2: You have to keep these wet cardboard strips around the pot, keeping in mind that you keep them a little away from the soil. And you also have to keep in mind that do not let these strips dry, spray them as soon as they dry.

Step 3: In 48 to 72 hours you will see that termites have accumulated on these strips. Once termites have accumulated, you can take these baits away from the house and burn them somewhere.

Note: Do not throw these cardboard baits in the dustbin or anywhere else as these termites can spread in your house from there.


Sunlight also kills termites in potted plants, but how effective it will be on that infestation depends on how much the termite has eaten the roots.

You can kill these termites with sunlight at an early stage of infestation, if the plant’s roots are 70% damaged, it will get worse if exposed to sunlight.

How to Protect Potted Plants from Termites?

If you have brought indoor plants, just keep in mind that keep them in the sun for 20 to 25 minutes a day. If there is no sunlight in your house, then you must use a dehumidifier.

You should also fix leaks, wall cracks, or holes in your house from time to time and do not store old newspapers, cardboard, books in your house. These things also attract termites and it does not take long to reach the potted plants from there.

To protect outdoor potted plants from termites, do not place them on a soil surface, instead, you can place them on a cemented surface. And the place where you keep them must be cleaned once a week and do not allow moisture to grow there.

You can spray neem oil on your plants once or twice a week, it keeps the plants healthy.


When termites come to potted plants, they attack especially the roots first and in such a situation, people use many natural methods to get rid of them like vinegar, saltwater, borax powder, etc. but they do not know that all these natural methods are useless because termites penetrate deep enough into the roots that these methods can’t reach.

Nematodes, cardboard baits, and sunlight are the three most effective ways to get rid of termites from potted plants as they pull the termites out of the roots without the need for chemicals or liquids.

I hope you have liked this article, if you have any suggestions or questions in your mind, then you can share them with us in the comment box below.



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