Hydnophytum leaves

Hydnophytum (Ant plant/Maze plant)

We always love it when animals and plants collaborate to survive by protecting each other, right? Then you will love the story of the Hydnophytum family! This genus of epiphytic plants originates from Southeast Asia, Northern Australia and the Pacific region. These species grow on trunks and tree branches. The incredible thing with this family is that the species are called “ant plants”, and it’s super accurate! In fact, the species of this particular genus maintain a symbiotic relationship with ants. The plant forms an interesting hollow caudex which is a perfect nest for ants. The ants protect the plant and in return the ants get a nice shelter and sap. They also provide defense and prevent the tissue of the plant from being damaged. However, the colonies of ant won’t follow the plant to your bedroom, the caudex of Hydnophytum houseplants are fully empty so don’t worry! The incredible thing now is that nature is full of surprises: the empty corridors form a maze. That’s the other name of these species: Mazeplant!

Hydnophytum plant care tips

Light and placement for Hydnophytum

Hydnophytum grows best in bright but indirect sunlight but they also can tolerate a lower amount of light. The good thing with these beauties is that they don’t require natural light! So in an office with some led lights for example, she will also be very happy. Beside the light, they like high humidity, so a location with a lot of humidity will make her thrive faster!


Being a tropical plant, hydnophytum likes wet potting soil, so watering her two times a week in the warmer seasons is the best thing to do. In winter, once a week is sufficient. Be careful to water directly in the soil to keep the caudex dry and prevent it from rotting. Let the top of the soil dry between watering sessions, because the caudex can store some water.


Fertilizing during the growing season will help your Hydnophytum to grow faster. We advise you to give your green baby some PLNTS Nutrition once a month!

Hydnophytum plant

Propagating Hydnophytum

The easiest way to grow Hydnophytum is with seed. The seeds can sprout in light or darkness, but you need to keep them at the surface, so don’t bury them. If you’re impatient, it’s perfect because it takes only a week and sometimes the exact day they were sown to get a visible start of the tuber! The seed grows rapidly if you keep them moist constantly. Another way is to make cuttings. The stem can root and grow a new plant, but there will be no tuber or caudex.

Most common pests on Hydnophytum

Ant plants are not sensitive to a lot of pests, but scale and mealybugs can attack your plant, so be aware to check often the leaves and branches of your Hydnophytum to prevent any infestation. If you think that you saw something going on in your plant, but you are not sure of what it is, then you can check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests! If you are interested in biologic pest control, you can take a look at our blog: ‘Which natural and biological pest control against which pest?’.

Are Hydnophytum poisonous for your pets or children?

Hydnophytum are beautiful plants, but sadly poisonous for animals. Moreover, it’s better to prevent your children from touching her due to the berries they can grow. Be aware that the berries shouldn’t be ingested and you must be careful of that.

Hydnophytum plant for sale

At PLNTS.com, we have the cutest Hydnophytum Papuanum just for you! This green cutie caudex and gorgeous leaves will make your heart beat faster! At PLNTS.com, we cover all your crazy plant dreams!

Ciao, sono Emma, la tua guida PLNTS.com!

Ciao, sono Emma, la tua guida PLNTS.com!