The Q&A Archives: ants in tropical plant

Question: Would you be so kind as to tell me how I can get ants out of my tropical plant? I don't know the name of it but I will try to describe it for you. It is about 7 feet tall with green spikey leaves. They are about two inches wide and about one foot long. They grow at the top of the plant. I have it in a large pot and I just noticed the dirt has gone up towards the trunk and I took a shovel and moved the dirt and it was full of fire ants. How can I get rid of them without having to transplant it to another pot to bring in for the winter?

I also have a banana tree. What should I do for it for the winter months?

Answer: The only quick and easy solution for getting rid of fire ants in the soil of your Dracaena is to unpot the plant, hose the soil off the roots and wash the pot out, then repot with fresh potting soil. The chemicals that kill fire ants will also harm your plant. Wish there were an easier solution, but repotting with fresh soil is the best approach. You wouldn't want any hitchhikers in the soil when you take your plant indoors!

A banana tree should be hardy in your growing region. If the weather gets cold enough to kill the tops of the plant, cut them away in the early spring and the roots will send up new stems.

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