The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Camellia & ants

Lancashire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi there, I have a camellia in a pot, about 10 yrs old, and have noticed that a colony of ants seem to be living in the pot too! They're all over the shrub itself too, will they do any harm?



Hi there Northernlass
I haven't had ants with a camellia but I had azaleas in pots
which were overrun with ants and they died. I would empty the pot out and get rid of the ants. I always put ant-powder under pots now to deter them from going in.

16 Jun, 2008


Hi Northernlass - nice to know you have a camellia that old! You may be able to kill all the ants inside the nest without re-potting. Boric Acid will not harm the plant, but kills ants. Mix 15% boric acid in 5% sugar - leave in the pot in a small shallow plate or lid. Ants will eat it (attracted by the sugar), return to the nest and kill offspring. Of course be sure pets and children cannot get into it.

16 Jun, 2008


The 'guru Alan' says that it's best to take the plant out, empty the pot and re-plant in fresh compost, then place Ant traps by the pot feet. The ants can disturb the root ball thus killing the plant. Try Barriersland's suggestion but be aware of the problem. I had to do this last year and tipped the pot onto a groundsheet - the ants went crazy!!!! - not a pleasant job but everything survived including me. :-0

17 Jun, 2008


ants make hundreds of tunnels round the roots and to my knowladge no plants like that.the bigger the collany the worse the damage

18 Jun, 2008


Thanks for all your advice. Will try the easy route first and if all else fails will get hubby to empty the pot and be eaten by ants!!

18 Jun, 2008


I have exactly the same problem (my Camellia is about 10 yrs old too). Where do you get Boric acid from???

18 Jun, 2008


Boric acid - i'm going to try my local chemist, if no joy there will buy it from an e-bay shop.

20 Jun, 2008

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?