Anyone who grows peonies undoubtedly looks forward to flowering time and that short period of the year where you can witness the stunning blooms in action. But you may have also noticed that the flowering season brings along a common garden insect – ants. 

Ants are often found crawling around peony buds just before they open. That’s because peony buds leave sweet nectar droplets on the sepal, attracting ants that feed on the sugary substance. As they are found so often together, some gardeners believe peony buds won’t open without the help of ants. Although this is not true, ants do provide benefits in some other ways. 

In return for feeding ant colonies, ants protect peonies by deterring any harmful pests that may feed on the bugs. Once a trail to the plant is set, all ants in the colony will work to stop any other bugs from approaching the plant until all the nectar is gone. This relationship is known as mutualism and has plenty of benefits for both sides.

There is no need to remove ants from your peony buds, especially with harsh chemicals, as this will disrupt the balance and beneficial relationship built. But, if you want to avoid bringing them indoors after cutting the stalk, simply shake them off the plant or rinse the buds with water before placing them in a vase.



Homemade pesticides

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