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Ants building a structure up a rose bush

Hi All, 

I’m not a gardener by any stretch I just try to keep things alive and take part in growing the biggest sunflower I can every year to compete with a friend of mine. 

But this year I found what looks like an ants nest being built on the stems of a rose bush, it’s like they are encasing the plant. 

I have never seen this before just wondering what it’s called been looking on the Internet and can’t seem to see any reference to this kind of structure. 

I have asked a few keen gardeners too and they think it’s rather strange.  

Any advice would be greatly received. 
Cheers Iain 


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,707
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    I've had similar with strawberries.  Mine were full of eggs/pupae, so I suspect it was a response to a nest flooding event following heavy rain.  They were gone in a few days.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 422
    I had this on a rose, I just knocked it all off
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,083
    edited August 2021
    If you have ants it means your soil is too dry.  Give the bed a good soaking and the ants will move.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • That certainly is a thorny issue
  • greg.parr said:
    That certainly is a thorny issue
    Ha ha ha…
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,325
    I agree,  wash off with a strong jet. Do the Roses suffer from aphids or scale insects,  these will attract ants as they feed on the honeydew. 
    AB Still learning

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,206
    I'm not sure about it being too dry. This has been a very wet summer and I have never seen so many ants in the garden before.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Anna33Anna33 West SussexPosts: 294
    Obelixx said:
    If you have ants it means your soil is too dry.  Give the bed a good soaking and the ants will move.

    This is what I have always sworn by, but whilst working in the garden where I volunteer today, and there were two huge ants nests in heavy clay. It seems they aren't anywhere near as fussy as I thought!
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,600
    We’ve had lots of rain lately and I’ve still got ants on clay…..sodden soggy clay. 
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