How To Kill Pathogens and Bad Bacteria in Your Houseplant Soil

How To Kill Pathogens and Bad Bacteria in Your Houseplant SoilPreheat oven to 200°F

  • Think layer of soil in metal/glass pan with a depth of no more than 4 inches
  • Moisten soil but do not drench
  • Remove plant debris, rocks, sticks. Break up dirt clumps. Soil should not be compacted but kept loose to allow for aeration
  • Cover with aluminum foil and poke a hold for a thermometer
  • Bake the soil until the temperature reaches 180°F. Keep the temperature at 180°F for 30 minutes. The temperature should not exceed 200°F as it will kill the good bacteria and create unwanted toxins (nitrogen breaking down into ammonia) that can harm the plant. If it gets to hot open the oven door to bring the temperature down. 
  • After 30 mins, remove from the oven and wrap the soil into a thick layer of dry paper towels. This will let the soil cool slowly which results in an even sterilization of the soil.
  • Store in a clean bucket or other container

Will kill fungus gnats, nematodes, spider mites. 

Target Temp

Organisms Killed when Temp Sustained for 30-minutes


water molds (oomycetes)


most plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses, worms, slugs, centipedes


plant pathogenic bacteria, soil insects


weed seeds


heat resistant plant viruses and weed seeds

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published