Ants on roses - what to do now

Ants on roses - what to do now

Ants are often an indication of aphid infestation

Wherever there are ants, you will often find aphids. You should therefore first examine a rose teeming with ants for aphid infestation and then fight on a broad front. Both the ants and the aphids cause severe damage to the plant and often cause fungal diseases (such as sooty mildew). Ants “keep” aphids as “pets”, and both species benefit from each other. The aphids enjoy the protection of the defensive ants, while these in turn use the honey-sweet, nutritious excretions of the aphids as food.

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Ants sitting between the roots damage roses

Aphids weaken the rose because the animals prick the leaf veins and suck off the sap. Their excretions, called honeydew, are often colonized by black fungi (e.g. sooty mildew fungi), but they also attract ants. These in turn damage the plant mainly indirectly by loosening the earth and thus also the roots through their digging activities. These in turn can then absorb less water and nutrients, so that the rose wilts, turns yellow and ultimately withers.

Drive away ants - lavender or nettle liquid helps

Baking powder is often used as a home remedy against ants, but this is only partially effective. It is better if you fight the pesky animals in the following way:

  • First of all, fight any aphids that may be present.
  • Non-toxic biological agents work best here,
  • for example potash soap.
  • Ideally, spray this all over the plant in the evening.
  • Now loosen the soil around the rose thoroughly
  • but don't damage the roots!
  • Then tread the earth firmly again
  • and water rose more often.
  • Watering with a lavender or nettle brew has also proven effective,
  • although ants don't particularly like mint tea either.

Frequent watering drives away the ants very safely, but damages the rose in the long run. Therefore, you shouldn't overdo it, but rather use a tried and tested ant remedy in the event of a severe infestation.


In addition, ants do not particularly like garden lime (€ 10.55 at Amazon *) or the flavors of lemon, cinnamon, chilli or cloves. You can also apply these substances to the affected area and drive away the annoying insects.