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March 5, 2017

Have you ever brought some fresh-cut peonies into the house to then see a bunch of ants all over them?! Many people believe that peonies need ants to bloom, but this is NOT true!  It seems logical enough, but there is no truth, to the long-standing, widespread and oft-repeated folk tale that ants are essential for the normal opening of peony flower buds.


It is true that there is a special relationship between ants and peony buds. However, the relationship is the reverse of what the folk tale claims. The peonies don't need the ants, but the ants do take advantage of the peonies!


Peony buds have very small special glands that produce nectar along the outside edges of the scales that cover the developing buds. Ants devour this sugary mixture, and in exchange for the free nectar, the ants drive off pests that might nibble on the buds. Rest assured that the peony flowers would open normally and on time even without ants walking across the surface of the bud.  



Peonies are a beautiful plant to have in your garden.  Once they are established, peonies are extremely easy to maintain. Click on the link to learn more about them.   http://www.almanac.com/plant/peonies 




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