The Q&A Archives: Ants On Wisteria Vine

Question: Wisteria vine planted in summer of 1999. Was doing very well but as of 6/16 is has yellowing leaves and the tendrils appear to be dying its covered with ants. We didnt see any around the root area and they dont appear to be on the other plants on either side. Would soapy water sprayed on the plant get rid of the ants? Or is there something else we could use?

Answer: Usually, ants are attracted to the growing tips of plants that have been attacked by aphids. Aphids are soft bodied sucking insects and they release plant juices the ants like. You may also see mold growing on the plant juices leaking at damaged areas. You can knock the aphids away with a strong spray from the garden hose or you can use insecticidal soap according to the label instructions. If however ladybugs are present they will do the job for you in a remarkably short time. Aphids are often attracted to plants that have been oversupplied with nitrogen and thus have excessively tender new growth, so be sure you are not overfertilizing the vine. Otherwise, aphid problems are usually more severe in early summer and then taper off on their own.

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