Q. My rhizomatous begonia houseplant has been invaded by ants!
How do I get rid of the ants and save the plant?
Ants are usually found in plants that have spent some part of the year outdoors. It is always best to remove the pests, if spotted, while the plant is still outside, but sometimes they sneak in. This is the case with ants who can come inside as eggs in the soil.
If the number of insects is limited, you may be able to remove them by immersing the entire pot in tepid water for 15 minutes so that the ants come to the surface. You may need to repeat that soaking if more ants hatch, until they are gone.
If that is not enough, you will need to replace the soil of your plant, gently brushing it away from the rhizome and roots so that no eggs remain. Re-pot in a peat-based mixture and a thoroughly clean pot. The plant may looked sad for a little while put should spring back as longer days and warmer weather approaches, and it could be the best alternative for your plant.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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