Sumfin81
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:51 pm
Location: Fontana, CA

Ants in my fukien tea

I am trying to get rid of a ant infestation in the pot of my fukien tea. They have made a nest, when I water, 100's come out carrying eggs... its bad! :shock:

Is there a good pesticide to use to get rid of these or should I just repot it?

Can I repot it now, and if do what is a good soil mixture?

Help please!! :!:

maveriiick
Senior Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:06 pm
Location: Toronto

If you have ants you likely have aphids, which are worse (look for very tiny green blobs ~ 1mm in size on leaves/stems). I would cover the soil and spray down all the folliage with high pressure (within reason of course) water from say the sink of the shower head to remove as many pests as possible. Fukien tea is apparently sensitive to pesticides so I would recommend Neem oil, which I use on mine.

Fukien Tea trees are notorious for getting pests and said to be difficult to keep and maintain. I use a humidity tray with a fan to keep air movement around the plant which keeps mine happy. ***Water only when the soil is practically bone dry.

You can alternatively drop the pot into a water submersion for 15 minutes to flush out/drown all the ants, or better yet a submersion with neem added to water.

I'm a relative newbie, but these suggestions are based on my readings and personal experience.

FLBonsai
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:15 pm
Location: Florida

maveriiick wrote:If you have ants you likely have aphids, which are worse (look for very tiny green blobs ~ 1mm in size on leaves/stems). I would cover the soil and spray down all the folliage with high pressure (within reason of course) water from say the sink of the shower head to remove as many pests as possible. Fukien tea is apparently sensitive to pesticides so I would recommend Neem oil, which I use on mine.

Fukien Tea trees are notorious for getting pests and said to be difficult to keep and maintain. I use a humidity tray with a fan to keep air movement around the plant which keeps mine happy. ***Water only when the soil is practically bone dry.

You can alternatively drop the pot into a water submersion for 15 minutes to flush out/drown all the ants, or better yet a submersion with neem added to water.

I'm a relative newbie, but these suggestions are based on my readings and personal experience.
I made the mistake of using some pesticide on a young apple tree I had. Within 24 hours the ants and the tree were dead. I highly suggest using water to flush out the ants. A few other of my plants started attracting ants but I faithfully flushed them and they eventually gave up. Only use pesticides when flushing the critters isn't enough, besides I'd rather not kill anything if I do not have to :D

Andy D
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Minnesota

I've been using just a regular ready-to-use insecticide on my fukien tea for aphids and it hasn't been detrimental to its health (so far... I hope i didn't just jinx myself). So i think that you can just try something like that.
Andy

Sumfin81
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:51 pm
Location: Fontana, CA

~Update~

I have been using 1/2 a tspn of neem oil in 1/2 a gallon water sprayer to water my plant and drench the leaves. I investigated and found aphids and ash flys that the ants were feeding on. I also found a small hole in the trunk of my tree from which the ants were coming. (More later)

I spent a couple weeks moving my plant between the indoors and the outdoors and I managed to control the fly problem, which in-turn has helped a little with the ant problem. My boss does not want the plant in-doors while the flies are present, so I figured that was my top priority.

The aphids are still present but only on the very bottom section of the back branch and I have been faithfully blasting them off when I am watering. This seems to be the best I can do, and it is working. Slow, but steadily decreasing the number of aphids present.

The ant hole... Well I tried a few things. First, which was admittingly the dumbest, I tried to stuff the hole with tissue and tape it down. All that did was make my tree ugly for a few days. Next I got some non sticky putty (silly putty) and pressed it onto the outside of the area where the hole is. This slowed the ants down, but in a few days the burrowed through the putty. So I did quite a bit of reading about the neem oil I had been using, and came to the conclusion that I could hit them hole hard and at worst I would only hurt part of my plant if any part at all. I got a coffee stir from the kitchen and used it as a dropper. I put 3 or 4 really large drops of pure neem down the hole. 2 weeks later, the tree is doing great still and there has not been an ant since. It seemed like a risky gambit at the time, but it worked and paid off big time.

Thank you all for the advice and keep it up! :)

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”