My Swan Plants have a lot of ants on them. There are a few eggs and a caterpillars, but now the caterpillars have gone. Is it the ants causing this & how do I get rid of the ants?

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Hi Tracey

Yes Ants and Aphids can cause trouble with a young swan plant. If your plant is inside in a pot then sit the pot inside a decorative pot without drainage hole and sit this pot in a deep saucer of water. The ants can’t cross the water to get to the sweet sap of the swan plant. If your plant is outside then control by washing the ants off with plain water is all you can do.

The caterpillars leave a young swan plant (even an older plant) to turn into a chrysalis somewhere near by on the underside of a branch so the cocoon looks like a leaf (that is why they are shaped the way they are. This way they look less attractive to birds. Being this late in the season it may be what has happened.

Happy gardening

Maria Palmers national garden consultant

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