Grubs In Garden Pots: What To Do About Grubs In Container Plants

Grub In Soil
(Image credit: Aleksandr_Kravtsov)

Grubs are nasty-looking pests. The last thing you want to see is grubs in your container plants. Grubs in potted plants are actually the larvae of various types of beetles. Before they hatch in late summer, grubs in garden pots feed on plant matter, including the roots and stems of your beloved plants. Controlling grubs isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of effort on your part. Keep reading for tips on how to get rid of grubs in flowerpots.

Controlling Grubs in Containers

The most effective way to eliminate grubs in potted plants is getting rid of the infested soil. This won’t hurt the plant if you work carefully; in fact, your plant may benefit from repotting, especially if the roots are crowded in the pot. Here’s how to eliminate grubs in container plants:

Put on a pair of gloves, then spread a sheet of plastic or newspaper over your work area and remove the plant carefully from the pot. If the plant is rootbound, thump the pot gently with the heel of your hand. If the pot is breakable, loosen the plant by sliding a trowel or table knife around the inside of the pot.

Once the plant is safely out of the pot, brush the potting mix off the roots. Be sure any grub-infested potting mix is removed. Gather up the newspaper or plastic and dispose of it securely in a sealed container. Never place grub-infested potting mix where the pests can get into your garden.

Scrub the pot thoroughly using a solution of nine parts water to one-part household bleach. The bleach will sterilize the container and kill any eggs that haven’t yet hatched. Rinse the pot thoroughly to remove all traces of bleach, then allow it to air dry.

Repot the plant in a container filled with fresh, good-quality potting mix. Place the plant in a shady, protected spot for a few days before moving it back to its permanent location.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.