Keeping Ants Off Flowering Vines, Vegetables and Flowers

Ants On Flowering Vines
climber plant and ants 1
(Image credit: SuriyaKK)

Nothing can ruin the beauty of a lovely flower vine faster than a parade of little, black ants crawling all over the blossoms, and the same goes for your other flowers and vegetables. The ants are after the tasty nectar inside the blossoms but that does not change the fact that they are interfering with the view of your plant. But don't worry, there are a few things you can do to keep ants off your plants and rid them from the garden.

How to Keep Ants Off Flowering Vines, Vegetables and Flowers

  1. Place ant deterring smells around the base of the plant - There are a few things that ants do not seem to like the smell of. Some of these things are mint or cinnamon. Try laying some mint or cinnamon-flavored gum around the base of the affected plant. Or just sprinkle some cinnamon around the base of the plant.
  2. Place ant killing food around the base of the plant - There are several recipes that can be used for this. One is to mix equal amounts of borax and sugar and place this around the base of the plant. The mixture will kill any ant that eats it. Cornmeal and sugar are also a good mixture to try. The cornmeal will expand after it is eaten and will also kill the ants.
  3. Make an ant trap - Make a collar out of a piece of paper to trap ants. To do this, cut out a circle that is at least 8 inches (20.5 cm.) wide. Make a cut to the center of the circle and cut a small hole in the center that is wide enough to fit loosely around the base of the plant. Smear one side of the paper with Vaseline. Place the collar, Vaseline side up, around the base of the plant. The ants will get stuck in the Vaseline.
  4. Remove the ants' scent trail - Ants send out scouts to find new sources of food. These scouts will leave a scent trail for other ants to follow to the food (which is why you normally see ants walking in a straight line. They are all following the scent trail.). Removing this scent trail will remove the directions to the flowering vine. Observe what path the ants are taking to get to your plant. Take a cloth soaked with bleach or ammonia and lay the cloth over as much of that path as possible. Do not pour bleach or ammonia directly onto the soil, as this can damage the roots of the plant.
  5. Plant ant repelling plants in the area - Plants like henbit, geranium, garlic, aster, calendula, chrysanthemum, and mint are known to deter ants and other garden pests. Planting these plants around the affected plant will help to keep ants away.

If you follow some of these tips, soon your ant problem will be gone and you will be able to enjoy your ant-free garden.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.