Myrmecodia beccarii house plant in 12cm pot. Rarely offered ant plant

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myrmecodia beccarii

Myrmecodia is often known as an 'ant plant' and it is a species that has adapted to co-exist with an animal species. This plant develops a swollen stem which contains hollows and chambers which act as housing for ants. 

  • It is endemic to tropical mangroves of norther Australia.
  • The plant itself grows high up in tree branches where nutrients are scarce.
  • The ant colonies are thereby protected from the elements and from predators because there are spines on the plant.
  • In return, the ants provide a defence for the plant itself because they will swarm to defend their home if something tries to eat the plant.
  • The ants also provide nutrients to the plant by leaving their waste matter within the caudex, or swollen stem. 
  • This co-existence is known as symbiosis. 
  • Here in the UK, these are happy to be treated as houseplants and they do not actually need ants!
  • Place in a medium light position.
  • Keep out of bright light.
  • Water regularly but never allow the plant to sit in soggy compost as this can cause rot.
  • Use a free-draining compost mix.
  • Currently growing in a 12cm pot.

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