discolored leaves and ants on sedum

My sedum autumn joy plants lower leaves are turning black or discolored and look like they have saw dust on them and are a little shriveled up. the leaves aren't growing like the healthy plant next to it and they have little black ants crawling around them. Is there a dust, spray, or something else I can treat this problem with? The plants have been healthy for 6+ years without out a problem. They are spaced apart in full sun. Thanks
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

It sounds like your sedum has developed a root rot problem. The shriveled and blackened leaves are symptomatic of that. The sawdust, however, is unusual. The ants crawling on the plant aren't causing direct damage to it, but might be farming aphids which could be sucking plant sap.

It might be worthwhile to dig up the plant to examine the roots. If they are soft and mushy or brown rather than creamy white, you may need to take cuttings of the stems to start a new plant. Since sedum roots readily in soil, that's a better solution than trying to revive a sick plant with root rot.

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