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Ants in containers

Posted by maca9 New Zealand (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 7:53

Hi All

I have potted dwarf citrus.

Some in 5-1-1 and some in off the shelf mix which is "similar" to 5-1-1. i.e. Heavy in bark. Relatively free draining.

My problem is that a number of my plants, when I repot them or simply have a look at the rootball due to the tree not performing that well I find the soil particularly around the bottom of the rootball is riddled with ants.

Hundreds of ants carrying around eggs and white larvae type things.

It seems to be worse in the 5-1-1 mixture but certainly not only the 5-1-1.

Are there any suggestions to help me get rid of them?

It certainly appears in my short experience that any plant who is riddled with ants through the rootball and container soil is not doing well and root development seems minimal.

Any help appreciated.



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ants in containers

Immerse the pots in a tub of water for 10 minutes.

RE: Ants in containers


The local garden centre told me today that ants definitely will not affect the rootball?

Any thoughts?

RE: Ants in containers

Well I'm not that experienced, but what comes to mind is over or under watering. Or the pot is getting too hot. Use light colors, or protect the pot. Hey I have a question, so do you guys put a slice of beet on your burgers in Kiwi land?
:) I see you removed that reference to being in New Zealand??

RE: Ants in containers

  • Posted by maca9 New Zealand (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 7:28

Haha. Yeah we often do have beetroot on burgers.

The kiwi burger at mcdonalds has beetroot for sure.

I didn't remove the NZ reference just didn't remember to add it that time.

We are all still recovering from being on the wrong side of the greatest comeback in Americas Cup history. Well done Oracle USA!

RE: Ants in containers

Off subject, I know, but the Oracle fortune change was related to the change of the skipper. When he was interviewed after the race it was obvious from his accent he was from your neck of the woods. Al

RE: Ants in containers

Maca9, I have noticed same issue. Last month I moved a container and noticed many ants under the container while others emerged from the drainage holes. Some ants also carried eggs with them. I wondered if these ants would harm the plant roots but the local garden center people said not to worry. Has anyone else experienced this?

RE: Ants in containers

I often get ant colonies in my compost piles. They always have lots of eggs they rush to carry off They are not the small ants that get into the house, they are much bigger and run up my pants and bite. When I run into them when turning a compost pile, I suddenly find I need to do something elsewhere. Within a few minutes they will vacate the area, and I can comeback and finish working the pile. They seem to be drawn to something in the decomposing vegetation in the compost pile. On maybe it is the warmth that attracts them. Al

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