shannong
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:37 pm

Ants on Roses

Hi,
I moved into a home and inherited several roses last summer. Some struggled but were mostly pleasant additions to the garden. I noticed near the sick rose ants everywhere, and was told that the ants have a symbiotic relationship with aphids...that this might be the problem. Well I flooded the nest and the ants seemed to dissapear however, I am discouraged to find them near almost all of the roses this spring. they are in multiple garden beds, and I am concerned the healthy roses will weaken as the first rose did. The kicker is, as far as I could tell, no aphids! I havent seen an aphid on a single thing since moving in last spring. Im confused any help for ants and/aphids? My roses and I thank you.
s

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

SOme ants DO have symbiotic relations with aphids, but it's not a sure thing to find one and assume the otherWhy so many ants I'm not sure, but they alone could do damage by tunneling (and therefor drying roots out). Ants do like drier soil, so steady wet will benefit roses AND discourage ants (as long as the soils drains; boggy is NOT good for roses).
Diatomaceous earth also discourages ants and sweetens soil, so that would help too... ladybugs are deadly for aphids if they do turn up...

Scott

shannong
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:37 pm

thanks

Thanks Scott,
I will keep the soil moist and move some ladybugs in just to cover the aphid possibility. I think you may be onto something with the water tip. My climate is hot and dry in the summer and I noticed the ants during the hottest week last year; I probably didnt water enough in general. The bed is partly sandy too, may be worth some soil restoration to discourage the ants. Thanks Again,
Shannon

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7493
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Location: Colchester, CT

Sounds like a plan. A good organic mulch (I like compost for roses) would be a discouragement as well...

HG

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