Ants on Peonies - Knowledgebase Question

Moscow, ID
Question by aatkin
June 26, 1999
This summer I saw medium-sized black ants on my peony bushes. Are these insects beneficial, will they harm the plants, or neither?

Answer from NGA
June 26, 1999


Contrary to popular belief, ants don't actually help peony blossoms open, but they are companions of peonies because they feed on the flowers' nectar. The ants don't cause any harm, so there's no need to spray to control them. If you are cutting the blossoms to bring indoors, hold each one under water for a minute or so to dislodge any hitchhiking ants before you take the flowers indoors.

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