Ants and Peonies

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by MannieBoo, May 29, 2009.

  1. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Location:
    Stewiacke Nova Scotia, Zone 5A
    Hi there;
    I've been observing my peonies for the last several years and noticed that the ants do a little dance on the blooms to be. I would like to know if this is actually stimulating the bloom to grow or is it an "Old wives tale" which I've heard it is, but then I also observed that some would be blossoms that don't have ants on them don't grow any further. I know the ants like the nectar the peonies produce once they've bloomed. Does anyone else out there have an opinion on this.
     
  2. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    MannieBoo,
    I have been told, (old wives tale - urban ledgend - who knows?) that unless you have ants the peonies won't do their best. Mine got much healthier looking when the ants finally showed up. Must be some sort of symbiotic relationship.
    barb
     
  3. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    It amazes me to watch them, it's like they are farming the blooms, very cooperative.
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Which comes first, the ants or the buds? Maybe the ants are more plentiful in years when the buds are, too. Have to ask my mom about this: not only is she an old wife (63d wedding anniversary next month!) but she has been a peony grower since moving to NY, back in 1950 or so.
     
  5. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Here on the east coast we have more ants then we want. But I've noticed that they won't bother with my new peony, just my established one, I've lost two recently, not sure why, could of been because of all the rain we got. The one they are "gardening" now will have two blooms, it's first blooms.
    Congrats to your mom for her up coming anniversary.
     
  6. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Spoke to my parents today (thanks for your wishes, MannieBoo!) and asked mom about the ant/peony thing. She said Oh yes! She'd heard this piece of folklore all her life (in s. Illinois and NY too). She herself believes that more ants show up in years when blooms are plentiful and juicy, such as right now. As in NY, the peonies here in Ohio are the most profuse I remember ever seeing 'em. Seems to be a good year for iris and roses too.
     
  7. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    No ants on mine this year, I watched carefully, and they bloomed wonderfully, but usually they are covered when the "nectar" is present.
     
  8. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    Ive heard the same thing... and have seen that to .. when i first found out i have peonies .. i was like oh great gonna have alot of ants .. but mine didnt have any that i seen .. had a few wasps all over them .. and mine bloomed just beautifully ..

    i rememberd my mom had peonies and ants were all over it .. ya just didnt want to touch them at all cause of all the ants..

    i was surprised that mine were not covered in them ..

    Marion
     
  9. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The Peony bud secrets a sweet nectar, that the ants relish... well it's their relish without the hot dog... but I like the folklore story better.
     
  10. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    The Fairies
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    by Rose Fyleman

    "There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
    It's not so very, very far away;
    You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead -
    I do so hope they've really come to stay.
    There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
    And a little stream that quietly runs through;
    You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there-
    Well, they do."
    They are all the little things that make our flowers grow.
    A bit of silly nonsence at the end of a trying day...barb
     
  11. nancyellen

    nancyellen Member

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    Great question. Just the other day I read somewhere on the Net that the ants are not harming the peonies, they are attracted to the flower nectar just like the bees. I would suggest, however, that if you are bringing peony flowers into your house, shake off the ants. Hope this helps.
     
  12. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    Location:
    Lancashire , England
    I have no ants - no Peonies have ever grown for me.

    Hey, where kin I buy some Ants...hahaahaha
     

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