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Soil Contamination

Q.Safe To Soil From A Pot A Palm Died In?

Zone Sydney australia | GreenJade added on September 8, 2021 | Answered

A palm on my balcony recently died, I thought due to underwatering. I’m wondering if it’s safe to use the same soil for the next plant I put in the pot? It’s very large so don’t want to waste the soil. When I pulled out the dead roots and shovelled through the soil I found some large grey curled up grubs. They weren’t moving and were very deep down in the pot. Now I’m concerned the palm didn’t die of neglect and these grubs may have played a part and might kill whatever plant I put in there next. I’m new to gardening and trying hard not to kill anything else but it would also be difficult for me to dispose of all that soil as I live in an apartment. Any guidance would be appreciated.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 8, 2021

If you can let it dry out for an entire year, then it will be safe to plant by this time next year. You can, also, attempt to bake the soil on the lowest setting for 3 hours. Generally, you want to aim for a temperature of about 150, but this is not possible with most ovens. This is what I would do, but both methods work, equally, as well.

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