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Mo (Zone 6a)
Aug 13, 2016 9:31 PM CST
|This is my first flower that I've grown. The only other flowering brom I've had was already flowered when purchased and was kept inside. My brom is outside during the summer. Today while I was admiring the gorgeous pink flower, I noticed there were ants crawling up and down the stem as well as on the flower. Having read about scales and such, I looked closly to see if there were any other pests that may have attracted the ants, but didn't see anything. I noticed a few of the little purple buds looked like they were drying up, brownish looking at their base. Since this is my first flower, I wasn't sure if this was normal or not. Do I need to get rid of the ants or are they actually doing the right thing, like with peonys?
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Aug 14, 2016 12:27 PM CST
|It is unlikely that the ants will harm your Aechmea or are a sign of any other pests. That said, I would suggest you can avoid pest and other problems by keeping your Aechmea inside on a moderately sunny windowsill. This plant does not require a great deal of sunlight, so it is commonly used as an indoor plant. Their flowers typically last for about 3 months before they gradually start to brown and die back.
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Aug 15, 2016 10:37 AM CST
|Having ants put aphids &/or scale on plants to farm their honeydew is a risk when putting plants outside. Ants also sometimes build a nest in potted plants.
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Aug 15, 2016 10:52 AM CST
|I'd suggest if you plan to bring your plant indoors; spray it heavily with a garden hose to get rid it of all the ants before moving it inside.
A couple of years ago I placed three of my Bromeliad's in the crotches of trees in the yard. When we moved a few months ago I thought I'd bring the plants with me to our new home but ants had taken up residence in them, lots of ants and I didn't want to deal with having to try to get rid tons of ants before the move so I just left the plants in place for the folks we sold the house to.
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