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Ahhh! Help Me ! Ants!

This is a discussion on Ahhh! Help Me ! Ants! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So here is what happened. Yesterday I was at a local orchid society picnic and ...

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  1. #1
    Meg25's Avatar
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    Exclamation Ahhh! Help Me ! Ants!

    So here is what happened. Yesterday I was at a local orchid society picnic and in a plant swap I acquired an un-named dendrobium. This morning I picked it up and noticed a few ants underneath the pot. I took it downstairs to the basment to check out the situation. I couldn't get the plant out ofthe pot so I had to crack the pot. And with that ants exploded everywhere! I ran it outside and hosed it off. I pulled as much of the pottting media off of the roots- it was one of those wood thingies ( for lack of a better word) that I commonly see dendrobiums potted in. Now I need to re pot the plant ( it turns out it is actually two plants) I know nothing about these guys so suggestions about potting mediums would be greatly appreciated. I also don't know what kind of light, etc. it wants. I had planned on posting a wuestion anyways about general culture- but this happened! - Meg

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    opps here is the picture- i hope
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    WolfinKW is offline Wolf - I bite but only when asked.
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    I'm wondering about that myself. I have a couple of the inherited noids that have become ant colonies... Should I go about ridding my little buddies of them? Or should I worry about it. These plants don't have aphids or mealies or critters other than the ants. It's fun squirting them with the mister and pissing them off though.

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    Forrest is offline Senior Member
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    Most Dendrobiums like bright light and intermediate temps. You can pot it up in a bark mixture, or mount it on a piece of wood or cork. I prefer mounting my orchids as for me they are easier to take care of like that and imo look better.

    As far as the ants go I use the little traps that you can buy in the grocery store. I spread them throughout the greenhouse. Those seem to work ok, but I need to replace them everytime I get a new infestation.

    Edit: here is a link to the AOS beginner culture sheet for Dendrobiums Culture Sheet Link

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    First off - those look like nice plants. The roots look very good from what I can see in the picture.

    I've been on this lava rock kick since early this spring. I've moved almost all of my Dends to it. So far, they seem the happiest I've ever seen them. Despite being a very careful waterer, I've always had problems with bad root on these things when I grew them in bark. That problem seems to be solved now.

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    They were both in one pot - should i pot them up seperatly?

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    I would. I'm not a big fan of putting two plants in one pot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfinKW
    It's fun squirting them with the mister and pissing them off though.
    Wolf, yer killing me.



    Most of the time ants will just make nests in the bark mix; they seem to find the humidity and coolness perfect for their larvae. They don't eat roots or anything, so if you're growing orchids for yourself and find an ant colony or two in your bark, well, so be it. A lot of times, a good flush-through with the hose is enough to get rid of them.

    Here though, where plants are going out for sale, ant colonies in the plant Madame X just bought to complement the color of tonight's wellington at table would obviously not do, so they need getting rid of. Once a month during the growing season I put insecticide in the dosatron and water everything with it. That keeps them away.

    Ants also "farm" aphids, meallies, etc., literally moving them around from plant to plant to give them access to the most tender growths. The ants feed off of the honeydew these insects produce. I've actually stood there and watched them do it (time was plentiful back then...). So it's a good idea, I think, to just get rid of them when you find them. They may not be an immediate problem yet, but no reason to wait around for one to develop.

    Here's more info.

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    :::Arching eyebrow just so:::
    I'm so glad that We amuse you, Louis. LOL
    And yes having ants crawling on the table with the wellington amid the Grande Baroque Silver and the Waterford would just be appaling am sure.


    well I've dosed everything with Bayer tree and shrub systemic mixed at half strength which was recomended somewhere either here or the other forum to which I've not been in a while. So I guess I'll get rid of the little ants.ests:

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfinKW
    And yes having ants crawling on the table with the wellington amid the Grande Baroque Silver and the Waterford would just be appaling am sure.
    That actually really happened. The lady said that hundreds of ants swarmed out of the pot during dinner; her guests became distraught and stood, and she was mortified beyond belief.

    She chewed me out so bad I will never, ever, let something like that happen again. Ever.

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