Flowers and Plants That Attract Ants | Beautiful But Beware!

Flowers and certain plants have great potential to draw ants into your homes and gardens. Nectars release a sweet scent in the air which helps the ants to track their pathway toward your homes. In addition to food sources, plants provide a damp spot for the ants to build their nests. Houseplants also attract aphids, they can also be the reason why ants are attracted to your house.

Some of the ant species can be really threatening to your garden and farmland. For instance, field ants can clear your vegetation up to 50 feet. Different species of ants show different eating habits and do not only depend upon plant nectars.

Flowering Plants That Attract AntsOutdoor Plants That Attract Ants
PeonyWild parsnip
Small’s stonecropWild desert
RosesBoundary tree
HostasPear tree (other plants of Rosaceae)
ClematisCarapa tree
PenstemonAlpine nailwort
Yellow lady’s slipperCascade nailwort
CourgettesAcacia honey
Nightshades, etc. Pumpkin, etc.

In other cases, ants feed upon plant secretions, leaves, green leafy vegetables, or seeds. Plant leftovers or your garbage can also attract ants in your houses. Some ant species can also live in your garden under decaying wood, leaf litter, plant debris, or mulches.

Related: What Attracts Ants? | Information and Facts

Carpenter ants are known for building their nests in wood and lumber, preferably on damp wood in houses and buildings. Some plants that attract ants are small stonecrop, carapa trees, lady’s slipper, peony, roses, alpine nailwort, cascade knotweed, clematis, penstemon, etc.

What Attracts Ants (Flowers and Plants)

Experts suggest that you should clean your yards and gardens regularly to prevent the infestation of ants in your house. However, ants are considered to be the best pollinators for plants. The plants that attract ants are primarily low-growing, inconspicuous flowers that grow close to the stem. Further, in the following sections, you will find a detailed guide about the plants and flowers that are most likely to attract ants in your house and garden.

Related: Are Ants the Smartest Insect? | It depends!


Do Peonies Attract Ants

Peonies buds are popular for attracting ants because they use it as a food source. Peonies are sap coated plants, ants lick this sap juice of the plant and encourage the flowering process. According to florists, this phenomenon does not cause structural damage to the plant but can lure ants into your house or garden.

To prevent ants from being attracted to peonies, it is recommended to avoid planting them near the entrance of your house or in areas with high traffic. You can also try spraying the plants with water and dish soap or placing a sticky barrier around the base to prevent ants from climbing up.

Both ants and peonies show a mutual relationship with each other. After eating sap from one plant they make their way to the other. Keep your homes clean and dispose of your garbage daily to discourage the entry of ants in your home.


Mulches are attractive to ants because they provide water and warm surroundings for the ant colonies. It creates a humid and suitable habitat for ants and provides the best hideout to protect the ant colonies from predators. Organic mulches can also be used as a food source for ants.

Ants prefer organic mulches more than inorganic mulches. The sweet smell of organic mulches attracts the ants towards them. They do not eat wood mulches or wood chips but form tunnels. Mulches are a good attraction for carpenter ants as they love to live in decaying woods and trees.

It is essential to keep it dry and replace it regularly to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for ants. You can also try using inorganic mulches like gravel or rocks instead of organic mulches to deter ants.


Yes, the Hydrangea plant does attract pests like aphids and ants due to the coating of honeydew around the plant. Most ant species easily get attracted to this plant juice and use it as a food source. If you have a hydrangea plant in your house, you will probably see ants in your house. Use insecticidal soap spray or other natural pest control methods to eliminate the ant infestations around this plant.


Ants get their food from different weeds and also help in their pollination. They are primarily attracted to the low growing weeds which have thick and colorful inflorescence. The boundary tree (Newbouldia sp.) attracts ants due to its dense flowering and glandular fruits. Other plants that allegedly attract ants are parsnip and desert willow.

The parsnip is a valuable source of food for ants and other pests. They feed upon the nectaries of weeds. Similarly, the bulb of desert willow contains beautiful, sweet flowers and nectar enough to lure ants towards them.


Do Hostas Attract Ants

Hostas are perennial plants with attractive foliage, commonly grown as ornamental plants. This plant contains honeydew deposits that attract ants and other pests as well. Ants and aphids are capable of damaging the leaves and stem of this plant.

Ants take the help of sap-sucking insects or larvae to break down undigested sap and then use it as a food source. Removing other pests from hostas plants can be helpful to eradicate the ant infestation.

Wood Chips

Ants do not use wood chips as a food source but it is attractive for carpenter ants because they can make their tunnels inside wood chips and establish their shelters. Ants can make their nests inside dead organic matter, rotting logs, and wood chips. If you are using wood mulches in your garden, apply a barrier or insecticide around the boundaries of your house to prevent the entry of ants.


Do Lilacs Attract Ants

Lilac contains honeydew which attracts wasps and ants during the summer season. When aphids scrub the plant sap and release honeydew out of the plant. Ants also use it as food and as result, they damage plant growth. Lilac is an ornamental plant that contains attractive flowers and a beautiful fragrance. 


Ants are not the potential pests of lilies, only the presence of aphids on this plant indicates that ants can be a threat as well. If aphids are not present on lilies it means ants cannot digest the plant sap. Therefore, if you see ants on a lily plant then they may be going to the plant for nectars.


Milkweed is a lovely flowering plant that draws many insects, including ants, bees, and butterflies with its sweet nectar. Ants can be seen congregating around the flowers, and they can help to pollinate the plant by moving pollen from one flower to another. Although ants are not harmful to milkweed, they can be bothersome if they begin to invade your home. To prevent ants from entering your home, it is advisable to keep milkweed plants as far away from your home as possible.


Sunflowers are pleasing not only to the human eye, but also to ants. These insects are drawn to the sweet nectar produced by sunflowers, causing them to swarm around the flowers. While ants are not harmful to sunflowers, they can become a nuisance if they invade your home. You can keep ants away from your home by planting sunflowers far away from your house or using a natural ant repellent like peppermint oil.


Daffodils are gorgeous flowers commonly found in gardens and parks that produce a lovely scent that is alluring to many insects, including ants. The base of the daffodil is often swarming with ants as they search for the plant’s sweet nectar. Although ants do not pose a threat to daffodils, they can become troublesome if they start to invade your home. You can prevent ants from entering your home by planting daffodils far away from your house or using a natural ant repellent like vinegar or cinnamon.

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet Alyssum is a low-growing flowering plant with a pleasant aroma that attracts many insects, including ants. The sweet nectar produced by the plant is a delectable treat for ants, making them crawl around the plant’s base. Although ants are usually not harmful to sweet alyssum, they can be an annoyance if they begin to invade your home. To keep ants away from your home, it is best to plant sweet alyssum far away from your house or use a natural ant repellent like borax or citrus peels.


Marigolds are popular flowering plant that is pleasing to the eye and emits a sweet fragrance that attracts various insects, including ants. Ants are often found crawling around the base of marigolds, searching for the sweet nectar the flowers produce. Although ants do not harm marigolds, they can become a nuisance if they start to invade your home. To prevent ants from entering your home, it is advisable to plant marigolds far away from your house or use a natural ant repellent like chili powder or coffee grounds.

When ants establish colonies in your house, they can damage your vegetation and indoor plants. After the infestation, they do not restrict themselves only to the plants and can cause structural losses in your house, and can carry diseases.

Ants do not harm your plants until you find aphids on your plant along with ants. Typically, the ants feed on the nectars of the plants without damaging their leaves or stems. However, if aphids attack the same plant, it starts scrubbing and chewing the leaves and contains to extract the sap juice. Ants prey upon aphids and continue eating plant juice left by aphids. Outdoor ants do not limit themselves only to the fields. For better food and shelter opportunities, they can move into your house.

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