Garden help needed- ants in roots of coneflower

Krissykat12August 3, 2014


I have a coneflower plant in a container on my patio. Today, while potting it up, I noticed tons and tons of black ants around the roots. I think they're living inside the root ball, but i'm not sure. I don't have any ant colonies on my patio, so there's nowhere else for them to be living.

Are these ants a problem? Will they harm my coneflower plant? If so, how should I treat for them without harming my plant?

Thanks so much!


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Ants, generally, are not a problem. However, a large colony around a plant can create one. The simplest means of getting rid of them would be to unpot the plant and wash all of the potting soil off the plant roots, ie. clean it up really good, and then repot in clean soilless mix.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:42AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you dont mention any harm to the plant...

ergo.. ipso .. presto ... no remedy required ...

in fall .... plant it in the ground... or repot it ... i would do neither in august...


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:14AM
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To contradict Ken, I would say...the only problems I've seen is that A) the ants displace most or all of the soil (frequent problem) B) sometimes it's the type of ant that farms aphids on roots....

A good overnight soaking (over top of pot in a gallon or 5 gallon bucket) should cause the ants to vacate. Probably even an hour soaking...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:17AM
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