Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ants and peonies Relationship - How to get ants out?

The luscious looking flowering plants, peonies are a unique and great addition to the home gardens. People love them due to their lovely flowers and amazing fragrance. The ants crawling around on the flower bud is very common. Even the healthy peonies have lots of ants. You may be wondering what they are doing on the peonies. Ants can be a nuisance and a worthy of concern while they are bothering other plants or getting into your house. You can remove the ants from your plants easily with environment friendly solutions. Avoid the use of chemicals or pesticides on your peonies for getting ants out. Chemicals not only harm the flowers, but also kill the beneficial insects such as honey bees and ladybugs.

Ants and peonies Relationship - How to get ants out?

Many people think that ant helps the peonies to blossom. This is not true. The petals of the peony can blossom well with or without the help of ants. The ants never hurt the peonies or damage the flower buds as they crawl over them. They will disappear once the buds blossom, because the flowers stop producing that nutrient-rich sap after they bloom. Ants are always in search of a food source, so it is better to plant the peonies at least 10 feet away from your house. It will prevent them from coming inside.

Ants and Peonies Relationship

Ants and peonies have a symbiotic relationship, which means they both rely on each other. Peony buds secrete small amounts of sweet nectar as they develop. The ants get attracted to this carbohydrates and amino acids rich nectar and take it to feed their colony. In return for this sweet nectar, the ants protect the peonies from destructive and bud-eating pests. Ants also act as pollinators. They transfer the pollens to other plants.

Ways to Keep the Ants Away From Peonies:

Coffee Grounds

Take the used wet coffee grounds and border the budding peonies with them. Spray the water on the coffee grounds often to keep them moist. Ants don’t climb over the moist coffee grounds.

Borax and Sugar

Sprinkle the mixture of borax and sugar (equal parts) around the base of the plant. You can also use cornmeal in place of borax.

Petroleum Jelly

You can make an ant trap with the help of paper and petroleum jelly. Cut a 6 inch (15 cm) circle from a paper and then make a straight cut from the outer edge to the center. Spread petroleum jelly on one side of the circle and put the circle around the base of the plant (jelly-side facing up).

Ant-repellant plants

The simplest way to detract ants from peonies is planting ant-repellant plants. You have to just plant garlic, geraniums, chrysanthemums, mint, henbit or calendula plant nearby the peonies.


Keep the ants at bay with unpleasant odors. Sprinkle cinnamon powder or put cinnamon sticks around the base of a plant. You can also use mint leaves, ground pepper & cloves instead of cinnamon powder/sticks.

Low-toxicity Insecticide

Apply or spray a low-toxicity insecticide to the peonies. You can use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.


Place a cloth which is soaked in bleach or ammonia on the path the ants follow to reach the peony.


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