Ants and containers

Pots, hanging baskets and container gardening

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Ants and containers

Postby JohnD » 12 May 2006 13:21

We have several large terra cotta tubs with plants that have survived outdoors for a few winters. Now some of the plants contained have died and we have found those pots are riddled with ants nests. Can this be the cause of the plants dying and if so how do we keep the ants out effectively?
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Postby gardening_guru » 14 May 2006 14:41

Hello John,
I would be surprised if the ants are responsible for the death of these container grown plants. Ants can cause root damage when they tunnel under herbaceous plants in borders and I also think they might eat some softer root types. But responsible for the death of a plant previously happily growing in a container, I doubt it. I suspect they are just using the container compost for nest building, this will have caused some root disturbance but not enough to kill the plant. Can I suggest you stand all containers in future in large saucers of water (I have some plastic ones in my garden about 2ft in diameter) See if the ants are so keen about nest building in your containers when they have to swim backward and forward to the nest!

Hope I have been of some help,

George aka The Gardening Guru
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