Home PestsAnts

How To Keep Ants Out of Potted Plants

Ants 1

Ants are industrious creatures and while they can be beneficial for the ecosystem, an infestation in your potted plants can quickly become a nuisance. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective methods to keep ants out of your potted plants, what attracts ants to your plants in the first place, and how to maintain your plants to prevent future infestations.


To keep ants out of potted plants, maintain good plant health to avoid attracting ants, use natural repellents like rosemary, lavender, thyme, mint, citrus peels, or cinnamon, create a barrier by elevating your potted plants, and use natural insecticides like diatomaceous earth or a soap solution. If an infestation occurs, eliminate other pests, soak the soil, replace the soil if necessary, use natural deterrents, and consider using ant baits.

Understanding Ant Attraction

Ants are attracted to potted plants for a variety of reasons. Potted plants can provide a food source for ants, shelter from the elements, and an environment conducive to nesting. In particular, ants are drawn to plants infested with aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects, which produce honeydew – a sweet substance that ants love to feed on.

Prevention: The Best Cure

The best way to keep ants out of your potted plants is to prevent an infestation in the first place. Here are some effective methods:

1. Maintain good plant health: Healthy plants are less likely to attract aphids and mealybugs, which are food sources for ants. Regularly inspect your plants for pests and treat as necessary.

2. Use natural repellents: Planting ant-repelling plants like rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint around your potted plants can deter ants. Sprinkling substances like citrus peels or cinnamon can also be effective.

3. Create a barrier: Elevating your potted plants on stands or risers can make it more difficult for ants to access them.

4. Use diatomaceous earth: This natural insecticide can be spread over the surface of your soil to deter ants.

5. Apply a soap solution: A mixture of dish soap and water sprayed around your plants can act as an ant deterrent.

Responding to an Infestation

Despite your best efforts, you may still find ants in your potted plants. If this happens, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take:

1. Eliminate pests: Use an insecticidal soap or pyrethrum spray to eliminate aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.

2. Soak the soil: Submerge the pot in a mixture of water and dish soap for 15-20 minutes to flush out the ants.

3. Replace the soil: If the infestation is severe, you may need to repot the plant with fresh soil.

4. Use natural deterrents: Essential oils, coffee grounds, cinnamon, chili powder, and citrus juice can all help to deter ants.

5. Use ant baits: Ant baits can be placed around the plant to attract and eliminate ants.

Remember, consistency is key when dealing with ant infestations. Regularly inspect your plants, keep them healthy, and use preventative measures to keep ants at bay.

In Conclusion

Ants can be a nuisance when they infest potted plants, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can effectively keep them away. Remember to maintain your plants’ health, use natural repellents and barriers, and respond effectively to any infestations. With these strategies, you can enjoy your potted plants without the unwanted company of ants.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *