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Ants on the Plants?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by PAGardener on July 02, 2005 12:34 AM
I have large black ants crawling all over my Castor Bean plant. They are not small like sugar ants or huge like carpenter ants, just a good-sized black ant. Are they harmful to the plant and if so, how do I deter them? Or, are they maybe beneficial to the plant and I should leave them be?


by RugbyHukr on July 02, 2005 01:38 AM
there are 2 major causes of ants:

1. aphids -- ants ranch them for honeydew

2. nectar

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by The Plant Doc on July 02, 2005 10:57 PM
Ants are much more benifical then harmful to plants. They tend to eat other insects which are trying to make a snack of your garden.
Did you know the beans of the castor plant are VERY VERY poisonious? It is not a plant to have around if there will be any children around, as one bean can kill a child.

Mike Maier

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by PAGardener on July 03, 2005 03:07 AM
Thanks, Mike. Yes, I know about the Castor Bean poison. It's actually one reason I was wondering about the ants. Seemed to me that with the plant being so toxic that ants wouldn't survive eating it, if thats what they were doing.

by tkhooper on July 03, 2005 08:11 PM
I just harvested 3 yellow snapdragon seed pods. Did I get seeds no I got sugar ants. Did those little suckers steal my seeds? If so there is going to be a war. A big war.

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by atreus on July 12, 2005 06:07 AM
I went on hols last year to Madeira and pulled seeds from just about every plant I could find. Then today I posted a photo of the only plant that germinated and found out it was the Castor Bean plant.
It seems to me that ants will patrol their territory regardless of up, down, or sideways. I am assured that aphids will not sustain themselves from this plant, and unless the plant is in flower they are probably just doing what ants do...patrolling opportunistically [Smile]

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