How To Remove Ants From Potted Plants?

In potted plants, ants are a common problem. Getting rid of them can be difficult, but you can do a few things.

To get rid of a particular ant, you’ll need to use various methods. Finding out what kind of ant you’re dealing with will help you choose the best method for getting rid of it.

As a potted plant owner, you know that ants are more than an annoyance; they can also harm your plants. Fortunately, there are several methods for removing ants from potted plants.

Ants, those tiny crawling creatures! “How did they get there?” “How am I to evict them?” Naturally, these are the initial thoughts that come to mind. Every issue has a solution, so don’t fret.

Even though ants on your houseplants and in your pots aren’t harmful, they can be painful. You are not required to use chemicals or insecticides to resolve the issue.

Learn why your plants are being infested by this creepy crawlies and how you can get them out of your pots.

What Is The Reason For Ants In My Plants, Pots, And Soil?

Table of Contents

There are many reasons why ants are crawling around your house plants, some of which are natural, and some result from you, your home, and your location. It is essential to know why they visit your plants to get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants 1
How To Remove Ants From Potted Plants? 4

Even a tiny drop of honey on a teaspoon attracts ants and is one of the most effective ways to lure them into a container.

They have a different sense of smell than we do, so they can detect sweetness from afar. Because sugar provides them with a lot of energy, this is the case.

Sweet excretions from small insects like aphids attract ants who harvest them from the backs of the insects. This means that any other “guests” that produce sweet substances will attract ants to your plants.

Ants are nature’s sanitation workers, gathering and transporting organic matter to their colonies. So specialized that they have a whole system to find it, dispatch “collectors,” and bring it back to their headquarters.

But that’s not all; some ants are downright farmers, cultivating their food. They even cultivate fungi from organic matter, which they then consume.

In the absence of food in your pots, you may find an ant wandering around; this is because the ant is always on the lookout for new food sources and is always looking for new places where it can find it.

When ants are attracted to crumbs on the floor, or even if your pot is near a smelly food source, they may find it an exciting place to look for food as they make their way there.

In addition to drinking water, ants can detect it from afar. As long as you water your plants when the weather is gloomy and dry outside, you can’t blame them for taking a sip from your pot.

If you live on the ground floor or if ants are in your walls, it’s much easier to get ants in your pots.

If you leave flour or crumbs in your cupboards, don’t be surprised if these six-legged insects also make a detour to your pots.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: ants are not a nuisance. On the other hand, Ants are indispensable to the environment, and it isn’t easy to imagine life without them.

Ants are welcome guests in any garden, indoor or outdoor.

Their primary role in soil improvement and maintenance is to aerate the soil, encouraging the establishment of beneficial microorganisms and thus improving its fertility. Microorganisms play an equally important role in soil fertility as nutrients.

The decomposition process would not be complete without the presence of ants. They decompose animal carcasses (even large ones), which is the first step in decomposition and, therefore, natural fertilization for the plants.

Ants eat pests like termites, larvae, and small insects, such as aphids. They’re excellent predators who keep pests in check.

Because of this, ants cannot be considered a pest. Do not harm plants; they may eat decomposing matter, but they are not directly threatening your plants, such as caterpillars.

In the wild or in an outdoor garden, ants are a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem, despite being a nuisance indoors.

As far as farming goes, ants are farmers and breeders as well. They breed other insects, such as aphids, to collect the sweet excrement they produce. –

On the other hand, Ants protect aphids from predators while doing this.

However, aphids sucking on plant lymph aren’t deadly to plants. As aphid colonies grow, they can weaken the plant, making it more vulnerable to other diseases, such as fungi, molds, soot, and attacking the plant.

Ants Outdoors And Ants Indoors

Ants are a welcome sight in the garden, as long as they aren’t the “killer” variety; we’re talking about “normal” ants here.

However, things are a bit different when it comes to indoor environments.

It’s not the ant colony that’s the problem, but rather the fact that indoor plants are missing out on the benefits of a healthy ecosystem. Allow me to elaborate.

While ants and aphids have a wide range of plants to choose from in the wild, indoor plants are somewhat cut off from the rest of nature. As a result, their tight-knit ecosystem is exceptionally vulnerable to perturbation.

If you’ve got ants around your plants, you’ll soon find them making their way into your kitchen cupboards.

Indoor environments, on the other hand, are pretty different.

The Two Perspectives On Ant Problem Solving

The two main approaches to eliminating ants are violent and drastic: killing the ants.

Second, there’s an approach that’s more “humane” and based on using them as a resource rather than killing them because you can just send them on their way.

This is a morally and ethically correct decision. The first approach is simply unacceptable for many people. Killing ants is controversial for a variety of reasons beyond just moral ones.

An Inorganic And An Organic Solution

Neither solution is more difficult or less complicated than the other.

Let’s start with an inorganic specimen first, please.

Take a tablespoon of N-Diethyl-Meta-toluamide-based insect repellent, one of many options.

Following the directions on the bottle, squirt a small amount of the product into the water.

Mix thoroughly.

Spray your plant from at least 12″ (30 cm) away.

The room needs to be ventilated.

Isn’t this a piece of cake? However, it is slightly toxic and can cause vomiting and nausea. Children and pets may still be affected, even if you’re unlikely to ingest large quantities.

In addition, the mycorrhiza, tiny fungi that live in symbiosis with roots and allow them to absorb nutrients, are damaged by most chemical repellants. In a nutshell, you’ll harm your plants if you do this.

How To Get Rid Of Ants In Container Plants?

Choose from lavender, thyme, or yarrow essential oils, depending on your preference.

  • Spray some water into a spray bottle.
  • Drop some into the bottle (at will, but about five will suffice).
  • Spray the plants from about 30 cm (12 inches).
  • Use it as a soil spray.
  • Spray it inside and outside the pot.
  • Close the window to keep the aroma in the room.
  • Plants are not harmed, children or animals are not in danger, and the air is filled with a pleasant fragrance.

The Case Against Chemical Pesticides

You might think, “I’ll just use a pesticide to get rid of this problem,” but this decision has serious repercussions:

It kills the ants, which are highly beneficial to the ecosystem and individual species.

The production of these chemicals affects the environment.

Pesticides contaminate the soil in which plants are grown. When pesticides are used, the soil becomes polluted, but it also becomes less fertile.

Pesticides seriously harm plants’ immune systems, weakening them.

6 Natural Ant Control For Potted Plants

Are ants drawn to sweet and organic foods? Then don’t use it as a magnet for them! Clean up after yourself; don’t leave food crumbs on the floor or the counter after a meal. The ants may be doing the spring cleaning that you’ve put off for far too long if you see many of them.

Most people are eschewing these antiquated practices, including gardening and farming.

Repotting Plant To Deter Ants

The presence of ants in the soil of your houseplants indicates that there is a food source in the soil that they enjoy. The roots of your plants may be eaten away by tiny pests.

As a result, ants can be interpreted as a sign that your plant isn’t doing so well. The soil in your pots should not be disturbed by ants unless they have a good reason.

Repotting your plants means placing them in an entirely new container free of contaminants. A fungus is likely to be the source of the problem.

During this process, if you notice any pests in the soil, then change as much of the soil as possible, and if you suspect that the soil has a fungal infection, you can sterilize the soil naturally using organic activated charcoal; sprinkle a thin layer in your pot, and this will take care of the issue.

In addition, this is a long-term solution because it prevents the growth of fungi and molds for an extended period.

Lemon Juice In The Saucer

Do you have any ants in your pot? Once you know where they’re coming from, simply block their path. Do you know how? Let me let you in on a secret: ants love sweets, but they despise highly acidic ones.

Ants are highly sensitive to chemical substances and are thus easily fooled. Lemon juice is a simple, low-cost, and highly effective ant repellent. You won’t find an ant within a few feet of them. As an alternative, vinegar is an option.

Drop some lemon juice on the path they take to get inside, and they will simply stay away.

If you do it early in the morning, you won’t impede any ants from entering the house. Those stranded inside will keep going back and forth without a way out.

Lemon juice can be used to keep ants away from your pots.

Squeeze the lemon.

Put it into a small spray bottle.

To use, simply spray it on the pot.

You should do it first thing in the morning before they awaken to keep doing it.

Ants will avoid the area because of the strong odor.

Alternatively, a few drops in the saucer will suffice (like azaleas, caladiums, and Japanese iris, most succulents like slightly acidic conditions).

The outside of your pot should only be sprayed if your plant prefers slightly alkaline soil.

Any citrus scent (such as bergamot) will put them off, but not orange if you don’t have lemon (they love it).

Use citrus essential oils if you want a long-lasting effect. A few drops will last for several days.

Cinnamon Sticks (Or Powder)

Insects can’t stand a lot of smells, but they can’t stand most of them either. People they dislike are pretty nice to us, which is a blessing! With this method, you’ll get rid of the ants and freshen up your room simultaneously.

If you don’t have any cinnamon sticks on hand, go out and get some.

Leaving a cinnamon stick in your pot is as simple as putting one on the soil and forgetting about it.

Ants will avoid it at all costs if they can help it. As a result, aromatherapy will benefit you and your loved ones.

There is an alternative, but it doesn’t last as long as cinnamon sticks.

In The Saucer

Putting water in your saucer will create a “moat” like they used to do with medieval castles, making this a simple solution.

This is a simple solution, but there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

Succulents, for example, can suffer root rot if they are kept in a saucer that is constantly drenched in water. You may have two options for other plants, especially if they prefer dry soil:

Stack a giant saucer on top of the plant’s saucer to pour water into the ring around it. You can keep the plant dry while keeping the ants at bay by doing this.

To prevent the roots from drying out, place the pot on a short platform such as stones or bricks.

Observe that even if they are not directly in contact with the water, succulents do not like the humidity that comes from the saucers. Other dry-loving plants, such as thyme, orchids, and sago palms, do fine with these solutions.

Mint Essential Oil Deters Ants

Mint’s stringy scent is also not fond of ants. Add a few drops of mint essential oil to the saucer to keep ants (and mice) at bay while refreshing your room (or the pot).

Marigolds For Ants

Certain plants repulse some insects. Perhaps this is why geraniums are so prevalent in Alpine cottage window boxes: They’re known for repelling insects. Marigolds, on the other hand, are repulsive to ants.

To be honest, many insects, including ants, find marigolds unbearable. A pot of marigolds can be kept in the same place as your other plants, or you can plant them around your home (which is why they are so common on the borders of buildings).

It’s a beautiful way to keep ants away from your pots.

Preventative Measures

  • The best way to avoid an infestation is to remember its causes.
  • Keep your potting soil moist and avoid drying it out.
  • Refill the pot every few years with a new batch of mix.
  • If you notice that the mixture has become water-repellent, soak it.
  • Insects that excrete honeydew should be on the lookout for and eliminated.

The ants in your garden are suitable for your plants and flowers. Don’t set out to exterminate all ants because they prey on destructive insects. For the plant’s sake, you need to get them out of your potted plants.

Keep your plants well-maintained to avoid ant infestations, and remove any unwanted plants as soon as possible rather than letting them wither away in a pot.

Use Pot Feet

The worst ant infestations I’ve had occurred when the pot was placed directly on the ground or a deck. Lift the pot off the ground with your bare feet. As a result, the bottom of the pot gets plenty of air circulation.

Essential Oil

Set the pot on a saucer or larger container and fill the base container halfway with water. Add a generous amount of essential oil, such as peppermint. Optional oils include citrus and cinnamon.

A water barrier is created between the ant and the pot’s entrance.

Plants That Attract Ants

Ants are drawn to these ant species because they are attracted to them. As a result, if you have them in your garden, they can attract ants to your crops.

  • Peonies
  • a desert willow that grows wild parsnip
  • Clematis ‘Stonecrop’
  • Roses\Pentstemon

The nectar of wild parsnips and desert willow attracts ants to the flowers of peonies.

On the other hand, Clematis, roses, small stonecrop, and penstemon entice aphids. The honeydew produced by aphids attracts ants, which eat the aphids.

White Ants In Potted Plants

White ant-like bugs, known as termites, can be found in potted plants from time to time.

Termites will eat the nutrients in the soil and wreak havoc on the roots of the plants, causing them to die.

On the other hand, termites don’t attack potted plants when the soil is dry, unlike ants. When the weather is dry and sources of moisture are depleted, moist soil attracts termites.

A pest controller should be hired if you find termites in potted plants in your home.

For the most part, termites are responsible for a great deal of the costly damage to your home. Undeterred, they have the potential to destroy your house.

If you have termites in your yard’s potted plants, your yard has termites that aren’t visible.

The bottom of the plant pot is where these termites will burrow into the plant.

Termites are attracted to potted plants in the summer because of the water that seeps out of the soil through the pot’s bottom and into the air.

Change the soil in your indoor potted plants to get rid of termites. A plant-safe termite killer spray is also an option.

However, it is possible that the spray will not reach the termites due to poor soil penetration. So, it’s best to remove the old soil and replace it with new, termite-infested soil.

If termites are found in potted plants, your yard will need a thorough termite treatment.

Termite-resistant mulch can be used in place of standard mulch in beds.

It’s also critical to get rid of termite-infested wood from your property.

Termites will infest your home soon. In other words, if you see termites in your outdoor potted plants, act quickly to get rid of them.


Can Ants Kill Plants IN Pots?

Dead plants are rarely the fault of ants. Occasionally, a plant’s root system can be disturbed by too many ants in the soil, causing it to die out.

If the roots are young or fragile, they can easily be damaged by their tunnels in the soil. The bacteria carried by ants can also harm the plant.

Why Are Ants In My Potted Plants?

Various factors can cause an ant infestation in or around your potted plants. Aside from the insects that produce honeydew, which ants eat, there are a few other possible explanations:

Water can’t soak into the dirt, and it can go into a fresh soil mix. If this occurs, the dry soil will be riddled with holes. A place like this is ideal for ants. Changing the soil is necessary if you notice that it is not absorbing water. The roots are vulnerable, so be careful.

Homemade compost is a great place for ants to live and hide because it is almost always warm in the center. Before using compost, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for ants and avoid using it if you find any.

Excessive watering can attract ants during the sweltering summer months.

Are Ants Bad Or Good For Potted Plants?

The presence of ants in your potted plants may indicate more severe issues, such as the presence of other pests to which ants are drawn. Ants are drawn to the honeydew trails left by these pests, which the ants eat.

Because of their sheer numbers, ants can overwhelm and even kill these insects when they come across them. From this perspective, if you look at ants, they can help defend your plant.

Ants can also assist the plant’s root system by excavating tunnels in the soil, which improves drainage and air circulation. But ant infestations can spread various plant diseases, so it’s best to keep the population as low as possible.

How Do I Kill Ants In My Flowerpots?

You can keep ants away from your garden by placing a small pot or pan of soapy water where you intend to plant. After 30 minutes of sitting with the lid removed, pour off the water and repeat if necessary.

Placing a saucer or dish underneath the pan or pot can help kill ants. Alternatively, fill a bucket with soapy water and pour it into the flowerpot. In addition, the ants should be kept away from the plants because they often eat nectar.

Can Cinnamon Get Rid Of Ants In Potted Plants?

Apply a strong cinnamon spray. Leave it until nightfall. Ensure you don’t use this method regularly and apply it to areas less likely to be ant-infested.

Why Do Ants Infest Potted Plants?

Ants in pot plants are usually not harmful, but they can damage the plants when they eat beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps.

Disease-causing bacteria, such as botulism, can be carried by some ants, damaging the roots of your plants. Ant colonies may even invade houses and attack humans in the worst-case scenario.

How Do I Kill Ants Without Killing My Plants?

Sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon around your plants. This may repel ants without hurting them. Place food-grade diatomaceous earth at nests and trails.

These fine powders are made from fossilized hard-shelled algae called diatoms, dehydrating ants, slugs, and cockroaches.

Do Ants Damage Plants In Pots?

Plants are little affected by ants, except by soil disturbed around plant roots and deposited on the earth’s surface during nest-building activities.

The excavated soil can bury low-growing plants, which can inconvenience lawns. Plant roots in containers and pots can also be disturbed.

What Kills Ants But Is Safe For Plants?

Although you can kill ants on your plants with a nontoxic solution consisting of equal parts white vinegar and water with a bit of dish soap, vinegar can harm the vegetation because of its acidity.

Do not use such a mixture near your plants or soil.

How Do You Keep Ants Out Of Potting Soil?

It is relatively easy to eliminate ants from the potting soil. Water the plant until the water, runs out of the drain holes.

Continue watering until the ants leave the pot. If you flush the soil like this, you might need to fertilize the plant.

Will Vinegar Keep Ants Away?

All grocery stores carry white vinegar, which is a cheap and effective way to kill and repel ants. It is also a natural cleaner.

Clean hard surfaces with a 1-to-1 vinegar/water mixture anywhere ants are likely to travel, including floors and countertops.

Is Cinnamon A Good Ant Repellent?

An excellent way to kill ants is by using cinnamon. An ant that inhales cinnamon suffocates and dies.

Cinnamon essential oil is also a natural insect repellent. To get rid of ant trails, spray a few drops of cinnamon oil mixed with water around doors, windows, and cracks.

Why Do Ants Like Potting Soil?

Along with searching for food, they frequently pollinate certain plants, consume insect eggs, disperse seeds, and provide food for other giant insects, birds, lizards, and frogs.

Ant colonies build nests to lay eggs and raise their families because they need a place to live.

Can Baking Soda Get Rid Of Ants?

One part baking soda to one part powdered sugar is needed to cause them to burst. Baking soda kills ants by drawing them in with sugar.

What Is A Natural Repellent For Ants?

In areas where you have seen ants, sprinkle cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne, cloves, or garlic. You should also treat the foundation of your home in the same manner.

Bay leaves can also be placed in cabinets, drawers, and containers to keep ants away.

Will Ants Eat The Roots Of Plants?

Is it true that ants eat the roots of plants? The garden ant does not consume plant roots. Since the soil is generally looser around the roots, they often tunnel through them or build their nests there, but they do not eat them.

Why Is My Garden Overrun With Ants?

Nectar from flowers and plants is the main reason ants are attracted to your garden. Ants are also attracted by insects such as aphids. Insects are eaten by ants, which reduces the number of insects.

How Do I Get Rid Of Ant Hills In My Garden?

It is practical to sprinkle cornmeal or baby powder on ant mounds to eliminate ants. Experts also recommend pipe tobacco tea for eliminating ants.

The tobacco should be soaked in water overnight and then poured into the ant mounds with gloves.

Therefore, It is simple to get rid of ants in potted plants because each method yields different results; you must select the best one.

Check out this guide if you’re having trouble getting rid of the ants.

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