The Q&A Archives: Ants & Peonies

Question: I know you get asked this questions thousands of times however, here it goes again. Is it true that ants are needed to help the peony bloom? Please let me know. I've been quite curious about that.

Thanks again,

Answer: Contrary to popular belief, ants are not essential to making peonies bloom, but they are companions of peonies because they feed on the nectar produced by the blossoms. If ants are a problem, you can bait to kill them, but they're generally happy in the garden and probably won't invade your house. If you plan to cut the blossoms, hold each one under water for a minute or so to dislodge any hitchhiking ants before you take the flowers indoors. Peonies and ants have a symbiotic relationship. The peony produces substances the ants like and, in turn, the ants protect the peony from predators!

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