notgreenfingerd
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:42 pm

Ant Infestation of Container Garden Pot

Hello. i am vey new to any kind of gardening and hope sombody can help? i have a small crab apple tree in a container in my garden and recently it has been invaded by ants who are eating it alive!! can anybody tell me how i can go about solveing this problem??

User avatar
Jess
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: England

Hi :D

I have just advised someone else on this forum about ants in a pot.

If growing anything in a pot the ants have easy access through the drainage holes to the nice warm soil inside. Take the tree out of the pot, wash off any remaining soil and repot in fresh soil in a container lined with landscape fabric. This allows the water to drain freely but stops the ants getting in via the bottom of the pot. Simple! :D
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

And then, once you've repotted the plant, place diatomaceous earth around the surface perimeter to prevent ants from crawling up the side of the container and across the soil to your crabapple.

Happy gardening.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Funny that I have not thought of using landscape fabric, of which I have a good supply. Have thought of screen and mused over other solutions. Feel like such a dummy for not considering the landscape cloth.

Thanks,

Alex
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
Jess
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: England

hendi_alex wrote: Feel like such a dummy for not considering the landscape cloth. Alex
:D Don't! It always seems to be the easy way that takes the longest to think of. It is a well known method in the hort. business where one is dealing with large numbers of containers. I remember the day I was told and felt such an idiot for not having thought of it myself.
I seem to have revealed a 'trade' secret now. :wink:

It is useful for stopping all sorts of bugs getting in. Invariably when you empty out a pot you find slugs, snails, centipedes etc. have made their home in the bottom amongst the crocks and soil.
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

petalfuzz
Green Thumb
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

You could also sprinkle cinnamon on the bottom of the planter and the top of the soil. People recommended putting some in the compost pile, but I tried it around the baseboards of my home office and haven't seen any ants since! (and they were grossly swarming before that)

chio88
Full Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:41 am

petalfuzz wrote:You could also sprinkle cinnamon on the bottom of the planter and the top of the soil. People recommended putting some in the compost pile, but I tried it around the baseboards of my home office and haven't seen any ants since! (and they were grossly swarming before that)
That was something new! Thanks! :)

kkme
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:55 pm

ants in pot with strawberry plant

Do any of you have an idea of how to deal with ants that have infested a strawberry plant in a pot? They are in the soil but also all over the leaves and stems. It is supposed to produce all summer but I have gotten few strawberries due to the ants.

Thanks!

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

I like the landscaping fabric suggesting!

I have done the drowning method. You might try that with the strawberries. You could do the Dawn soap and water wash on the leaves, then drown the little boogers out. Just do a heavy water and you will see then leaving the sinking ship. Keep at this until you think you are OK.
Have fun!
Susan

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

things ants don't like

I'm pasting back in a post I did a week or so ago, re keeping ants away.
In general ants don't eat your plants. If you are seeing leaf damage and ants swarming around, it's most likely that there are aphids. The aphids secret a sweet substance ("honeydew") which attracts the ants. So look closely on undersides of leaves for aphids. If that's the case, if you get rid of the aphids, the ants will go away. But here's ideas for keeping the ants away:

One category is powdery things that clog up their spiracles (breathing pores), if they try to walk over them. This includes chalk line, baby powder, cleanser powder (like comet), bone meal. Make a ring of powder around what you want to keep them away from and they won't cross it.

Another category is strong smelling things, including vinegar, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, peppermint oil or other mints, cloves, garlic. Sprinkle your strong smelling stuff on and around what you want to protect from the ants. (Be careful with the vinegar, don't put it on your plants, it can burn or even kill them, if directly on the plant)

Then there are ways to kill the ants if you are feeling more aggressive (they defintely don't like that): pouring boiling water down into the ant hill, diatomaceous earth around what you are protecting, boric acid powder,
Then people have suggested windex + ivory soap, Shakely's Basic H, and simple green. I'm not sure which category these fall in...
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Mon May 07, 2012 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

We started to get those little sugar ants in the kitchen. I spread the cinnamon and later that day here comes the missus (the, shall we say, LIGHTER green of the two of us :roll: ) with her ant traps. She starts looking for the ants, high and low, can't find them. She puts out the traps anyway, but agrees if we don't see ants anymore, I can take the traps out.

They're gone already... 8) :mrgreen: Try the cinnamon...

AND the fabric. Alex is right; GREAT tip, Jess...

HG
Scott Reil

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”