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How To Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

It’s the beginning of fall and the ants are taking over.  We’re cutting grass less often (probably won’t need to cut it again until mid-Spring) and tending to the plants less as the weather cools and their water needs lessen.  Because we’re outside with our plants less now, the ants have stepped in and are setting up shop in places we wish they wouldn’t.

I moved my herbs to the front porch recently so that I can slowly move them inside for the winter as the weather gets cooler.  When I watered the oregano this morning nearly 13278957892301784.28934 ants crawled out from under the leaves.  For some reason I thought that herbs repelled ants.  For some reason I was wrong.

Herbs that Repel Ants

Naturally I hopped online to figure out the best way to save my precious herbs from the ants without poison.  Did you know that many spices repel ants?  Apparently, they do.

Mint, tansy and garlic are great at repelling ants. Sage, which is a member of the mint family, has also been said to repel ants.  You can use coffee grounds, citrus peel and cornmeal to get rid of ants in your potted plants.  Yes, cornmeal!  See, ants love the sweetness in cornmeal, but they can’t digest it.

There are other methods of getting rid of ants such as making a borax and sugar mixture, but if you have children or pets, you might not want to use something that would harm them if the pot was knocked over and the mixture was ingested.

Using Cinnamon to Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

To get rid of the ants in my oregano plant, I chose to use powdered cinnamon.  My next step would have been to sprinkle curry powder in the soil, but the cinnamon worked!

When I checked the next morning I wasn’t sure if I’d find the ants dead in the pot, moving around slowly or completely gone.  As it turns out, they had completely left the premises!  The cinnamon was a success!

Resources for Insects in the Garden

Did you know that ants can be beneficial for a garden in managed amounts?  They serve as tiny tillers and help with seed distribution.  But, they can also protect insects, like aphids, that do damage to your plants.

Find out more in this article:  The Good News and Bad News About Ants

To learn how to partner with and manage garden insects for a healthier gardener check out these books:




Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

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