Ant plant

Hydnophytum papuanum; Maze plant

Why we love Ant

No other plant looks quite like Ant. There’s a fascinating story behind his unusual looks, making him a real talking point.

Easy care
Most light conditions
The patch promise

Give him a growth boost by treating him to a liquid feed once a month in spring and summer.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Hydnophytum papuanum


Ant plant; Maze plant

Air purifying


Plant height


Pet/Baby safe

Mildly toxic if ingested

Nursery pot size


About Ant plants

Why the name Ant plant? It’s all to do with that bulging base. In its native home, in the forests of SouthEast Asia, the Ant plant is home to ants. That base is full of winding tunnels, a perfect ant home. Nutrients from ant waste are absorbed by the plant, making it a good deal for everybody concerned.

The plant grows in the crevices of large trees, so it doesn’t actually have any ground roots to pull nutrients from the soil. The ants are essential to its survival.

There’s no need to worry about your living room being infested with creepy crawlies. Ants won’t move in to a domestic ant plant. Instead, the plant will take its nutrients from the potting soil. To keep it healthy, try to emulate its native conditions. Keep it moist and give it the kind of dappled light it would see through the forest canopy, i.e. not direct sun.

Did you know?

The ants also serve as a form of protection, swarming to warn off anything that attacks their plant home. Like tiny, six-legged bouncers.

Please note the second image shows detail of the plants internal structure.

Need a pot? Fits great in: