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Ants nest in pot

Hi all, recently dropped a large plastic pot bottom split and there is an ants nest in there. I want to take out the shrub that’s in there and dispose of broken pot what’s the kindest way to do it to maybe avoid destroying the nest? 


  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,075
    I’d take the whole thing out to an area of garden where you don’t mind having an ants nest in the ground. Pull out the shrub and empty the rest of the contents on the ground. I think you’ll find the ants will start digging a new nest, and will transfer any eggs and larvae from the discarded soil.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,848
    Ants make nests in dry places so it sounds like you pot has been underwatered.   Take the pot and its contents as @Ergates advises and empty it all out somewhere dry in your garden.

    Then take your shrub and soak any remaining root ball in a bucket of water for an hour so the roots rehydrate and then plant in a well-prepared hole in the ground at the same depth it was before, water in well and mulch with compost or manure or chipped bark to help retain that moisture.   Keep it watered during any dry periods all this spring and summer.  It should have established itself by autumn.

    Give a good, long, slow drink to any other plants you have in pots so the ants don't move in there.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • They not only like a dry spot to nest, but they also actively divert any water away. I had one in a chimbley pot which came out more or less whole, you could see the drainage channels they'd dug. 
    We called them the Bazalgettes after that 🙂
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 4,734
    Just to say I did as suggested and assume the ants have relocated. Shrub seemed happy and will hopefully do better in the ground. We have lots of ants in front garden and lots of them are aphid farmers so I try to keep the pots out there well watered. Must have missed that one but it seemed ok. Naughty ants but I suppose it’s part of the rich tapestry of life. 
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