Peonies and Ants
Ants On Your Peonies … It’s Just Fine … They’ve Been Hanging Out For Years!
Put away the insecticides because the Peonies are as happy with the ants as the ants are as happy with the Peonies. Both benefit from this relationship.
The buds produce a sugary nectar which the ants love. That love is reciprocated because the ants eat any insects which attack the buds … and, if you’ve ever had ants in your house, you know they are a force to be reckoned with! Once the buds open up, the ants usually disappear.
As a child, growing up on a small farm in Connecticut’s Litchfield county, I was sent out to pick Peonies from the long row which grew in front of our side field. At the age of 8 I would wack the flowers against the fence to get the ants off … thank goodness we had 10 plants because I broke a lot of stems in the eradication process.
By the wiser age of 9, I had discovered a better method. Simply shake the flowers a few times (gently … not like Babe Ruth swinging his bat!) and then gently hose them off. I was as happy not to have ants crawling up my arms as my mother was to not have them parading through the house. So leave the ants on your Peony bushes … Mother Nature will love you!
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