Updated: October 5, 2022

Dish garden plants are a popular choice for those who want to have a miniature garden indoors. However, these plants can be susceptible to nematodes, which are microscopic worms that can cause significant damage to the roots of the plant. Nematodes are commonly found in soil and can be difficult to control once they have established themselves. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of nematodes on dish garden plants.

Identifying Nematodes

The first step in getting rid of nematodes is to identify them. Nematodes are microscopic worms that live in soil and feed on the roots of plants. They can cause stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and wilting of the plant. To identify nematodes, you can take a sample of soil from the pot and examine it under a microscope. If you see tiny white worms wriggling around, then you likely have nematodes.


Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to nematodes. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Use sterilized soil: Sterilized soil is free from harmful pathogens, including nematodes. You can purchase sterilized soil from your local garden center or sterilize your own soil by heating it in an oven at 180°F for 30 minutes.
  • Quarantine new plants: When you bring home a new plant, keep it in quarantine for a few weeks before introducing it to your other plants. This will give you time to inspect the new plant for any signs of nematodes.
  • Rotate crops: If you have a vegetable garden, rotate the crops each year to prevent nematode buildup in the soil.


If you already have nematodes in your dish garden plant, here are some treatment options:

  • Remove infected plants: If only one plant is affected, remove it from the dish garden to prevent the nematodes from spreading to other plants.
  • Soil solarization: Soil solarization is a process where you cover the soil with clear plastic and let the sun heat up the soil. This will kill any nematodes present in the soil. Leave the plastic covering for 4-6 weeks for best results.
  • Neem oil: Neem oil is a natural pesticide that can help control nematodes. Mix 2 tablespoons of neem oil with 1 gallon of water and spray it on the soil and leaves of the plant.
  • Beneficial nematodes: Yes, you read that right! There are beneficial nematodes that can help control harmful nematodes. You can purchase these beneficial nematodes from your local garden center and introduce them to the soil.


Can nematodes harm humans?

No, nematodes are harmless to humans.

Can I reuse soil after treating it for nematodes?

Yes, you can reuse soil after treating it for nematodes. Just make sure to sterilize it before using it again.

Can I use chemical pesticides to control nematodes?

Yes, you can use chemical pesticides to control nematodes. However, be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and wear protective clothing when handling pesticides.

In conclusion, nematodes can be a nuisance for dish garden plants, but with proper prevention and treatment, they can be controlled. Remember to identify nematodes early, take preventative measures, and treat infected plants promptly to prevent their spread. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a healthy and thriving dish garden.