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Drown Ants Nesting In Potted Plants

This is a picture of my sickly Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen). She stays inside with me. She hasn't been doing well, lately. Maybe it's the company she keeps. Somehow, I sorta doubt that.

I gave her a drink of water and promised her, come tomorrow, I would bathe her, feed her, and give her a nice new top dressing. (I think she feels pretty when I put a new dress on her).

A minute after giving her water, I noticed ants crawling from the base of the pot. I was sure they had set up housekeeping and that there were hundreds in the pot. I was right. I took Miss Agla outside and sat her in a shop vacuum cleaner tank. I filled the tank with water.

You should have seen the hundreds of ants scurrying away. Most every one was carrying an egg. Future generations to kill Miss Agla. Not if I can help it. She will stay in the lethal water bath, overnight.

I have posted several tips on ThriftyFun. Some were mediocre, some were darn good. I think this is the best tip I have ever offered. No poisons, no expense, and a sure fire way to get rid of ants in potted plants. If there is any drawback, it would be that the procedure may have to be repeated in a couple months, should a new hoard of ants make another nest in the pot. Submerging plants occasionally is good for them, anyway, ants or not. It helps close in air pockets that form in the soil.

When you are doing everything right for your plant, and it still won't respond, check for ants. I should have checked Miss Agla a month ago. No real harm done, though. I caught the ants in time. Within a month, she should be looking as a prize specimen worthy of a blue ribbon.

(Don't tell her I referred to her as a 'specimen'. She is very sensitive, (You know how ladies can be)).


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April 18, 20160 found this helpful

Miss Agla is looking better, already. No more ants rummaging around in her lower parts.

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April 18, 20160 found this helpful

The yearly battle begins.

This is my first year to grow Allium Christophii, Star Of Persia. I've read they are often lost due to over watering, which can cause bulb rot. I have been keeping this one (5) a little on the dry side. The ants love this arrangement.


After giving it water, hundreds of ants started pouring out. This is one of many scenarios that will be played out this Summer.

I stated earlier, that submersing plants in water overnight would do no harm. In most cases, it would not.

With bulbous plants, some precaution should be taken. First, the bulbs should be planted in a quick draining medium. After submerging the pot in water, leave it only until no more ants can be seen leaving. Then allow the pot to drain well.

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful

Hello !

To take good care of the Aglaonema it is better to forget its surname Chinese evergreen. China will not make you think of the constant warmth and the very high humidity rate of the country Aglaonema comes from that is the tropical forest of South America.


Hope this will help you keep your Aglaonema fit for many many years to come.

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks, Catherine

I had my doubts about this plant originating in China, even southern China. I do know that it is a tropical plant and needs a tropical like atmosphere, including humidity. I was not aware that it needed very high humidity. Thanks for your kind advice. I will remember your words this Winter when my home tends to be a little on the dry side.

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