Staghorn fern invaded by ants

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by slnewton, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. slnewton

    slnewton New Member

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    My Staghorn has recently been invaded by ants an I am unsure how to proceed. Has anyone had this problem before? Does someone have any advice on how to get rid of the ants without harming the Staghorn? Thanks in advance for your help!!
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Do you know what species of Platycerium (staghorn fern) it is? Some species have a symbiotic relationship with ants. P. ridleyi and P. madagascariense are often cited but there may be others. Another possibility is the ants are there to farm a honeydew producing pest such as scale. Are there any pests on your plant? Or perhaps the ants are just using the shield fronds as a nest. Does the fern look any worse off with the ants present?
     
  3. slnewton

    slnewton New Member

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    Unfortunately I am unaware of the species of staghorn. I do know that it has never had ants before, this is why I am concerned. The ants have only been there a few days, 3-4, so thus far it looks fine. I am trying to be proactive in ridding the ant problem. I will see if I can figure out the species.
    Thank you
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    You can reply with a couple of photos - maybe someone will know it, and we can see the ants too, and how many you're talking about. Attach photos and files
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Don't be hasty in getting rid of the ants; they may be beneficial for the plant. More information is needed.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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  7. slnewton

    slnewton New Member

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    Wow I never knew there were so many types, this is quite the eye opening experience.
    Someone, sorry I don’t remember who asked for some pics, you all are much more educated than I in this field. You can probably classify my staghorn better than I. The one is my plant, the other is an up close of the ants. You all are great, Thanks!!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2018
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Your plant does not appear to be either of the two known to be associated with ants. Therefore I would assume it would do no harm to remove them. Since I have no experience growing these plants I defer to someone who does. However I did notice the following in the Care and Feeding section (Care and Feeding of Platyceriums) in the website above:
    Then there is this suggestion: Submerge Staghorn To Rid Fern Of Ants.

    I wonder if there is a pest other than the ants that is hidden under the shield fronds.; there are a number of fertile fronds that are yellow. There appears to be much information in the quoted site. Perhaps you'll find some ideas on how to improve the overall health of the plant.
     
  9. slnewton

    slnewton New Member

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    Thank you for the link regarding care and feeding, it has been a bit on the hot side here and I do need to get some supplements for the stag. I’m sure I can find some good advice in these articles, thank you.
     

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