Ants in Your Orchid’s Potting Medium: What Should You Do?

Question of the Week:

“Hi Ryan,
I’ve been enjoying your emails, so much great
information about orchids that I didn’t know! ants
After many years of shift work and unable to join an Orchid Society, I’m self-taught, so I have learned the hard way. At the moment I am having trouble with ants. Is this why the blooms are not lasting as long as they use to? What is the best remedy for these little trouble makers? We have had a lot of rain for months here on the east coast of Australia.”

Cheryl Molloy
Sunshine Coast, Australia


Ryan’s Recommendation:

Hi Cheryl,

You’re not the only orchid grower out there that’s had to battle with pests! The good news is that ant infestation is treatable; the not-so-good news is that ants on your orchids can indicate the presence of other pests. There are some simple ways to get rid of ants and other pests you may not have noticed. The trick is being able to identify the pest so that you know what course of treatment to give…

The thing with ants is that they in and of themselves are not actually harmful to orchids. They’re not interested in eating blooms or leaves, but they are attracted to the sugary honeydew substance that some orchids like Cymbidiums naturally secrete along the flower spike. However, some pests like aphids, scale, and mealybugs also excrete a similar substance that ants find to be a tasty snack. So the presence of ants sometimes also indicates that these other pests are munching on your orchids.

How To Get Rid Of Ants…

How do you get rid of the ants? There is an easy solution! Here it is… Green Thumb Club Members Only
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