Ants all over my new rose!

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)April 26, 2010

I went outside today to check on one of my container roses. It was a bare root rose that I just planted about a week ago. I moved back the pine mulch that I had mounded over the canes, and there were tons of tiny black ants all over the mulch!

What can I do to protect my rose against these pests? Will they kill my new baby rose? Or are they just after the mulch. I use that fine pine mulch.

Thankyou

Cathy

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

A kind of tiny black ant loves to nest in potted plants, indoors or out. They make chambers in the soil with waterproof roofs. I don't think they will hurt the rose, other than reducing rooting space, and they don't sting. However I would spray with a residual ant spray on the mulch, the pot rim and sides, and the pavement under and around the pot.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:35PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I have those Ortho Max granules that I can sprinkle around the pot and on the mulch. Will that do?

Thankyou!
Cathy

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:06PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Stick it in water. Drown the little creatures.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:33PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I can't because it's a half wine barrel, much too heavy to do! Maybe they are coming down from the oak tree next to it? I didn't see any evidence of that though. I have long planters near the tree too and the ants don't bother anything in there. Hmmm. I wonder what is attracting them? I used Al's basic mix for the container, pine fines, perlite, MG potting mix (I didn't have any peat so I figured the potting mix was mostly peat anyways), a handful of Epsoma lime, and bonsai soil which contained Turface as an ingredient.
Thanks for the ideas though.

Cathy

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 6:05PM
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markiz37

Cathy, the only thing that helps me is raising the pot off the ground, putting it on a stand or a rock, or a couple of bricks. Could you do this?
Lana

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:13PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Would that keep the ants out of the roses? Wouldn't they just get in anyways?
I thought about raising it off the ground before I planted the rose, but thought better of it, because the rose is going to stay outdoors all year long. I can't lift to bring into a shed. I thought that having contact with the ground may help with overwintering a little bit (not much but a little lol) and wrapping and stuffing full of oak leaves. If it dies (hope not) I've got two backups that ARE going in the shed.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:14PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Are there aphids on the rose bush? Sometimes ants will farm aphids for the honeydoo.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:56PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I didn't see any aphids on it. Hmmm... Maybe they just liked the damp cover of the mulch.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:49AM
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scottys(z6NY)

Yes, try sprinkling ant killer granules around the base of the rose and also around the ground around the wooden container. It will do the job and will not harm the rose bush.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:48PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Just wanted to update you, the granules seemed to help. All the ants are gone! I'll keep watch though for a while.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:53PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

That's great to hear Kentstar!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:20PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I like to use bait. It seems safer to me than regular sprays, and I understand that the queens live way underground. Ants will burrough into the wood of the rose, and kill it. Usually they get started in a dead or almost dead cane, but they are able to do damage in my garden --- Tulsa zone 7.
Sammy

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 9:37AM
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Saurabh25

have heard somewhere that ants, if they dont harm your rose, help soil in decomposing.

But thats just another article i read, obviously ants in the pot is annoying.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:28PM
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susan4952(5)

I like the Grant's Ant stakes. They work really well.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:50PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

We've always had good luck with Grant's Ant Stakes (but make sure pets/children cannot access them -- and cannot get to ant granules).

Once the ants are gone, buy a big package of CINNAMON STICKS, AND STICK THOSE IN THE SOIL. They will discourage ants.

Jeri

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:40PM
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