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Removing ants for bouquets?

April 29, 2005


I'm anticipating my peony blooms soon, maybe a week or two from now. I have 7 bushes in my garden and each year I cut bunches to put in vases to enjoy inside; some for me and many for friends and family. But, oh, the dreaded ants. I've tried to eliminate them before bringing them inside. I read somewhere to dunk the heads in a bucket a water - didn't work. I tried leaving the vase with cut flowers outside for awhile - didn't work. I'm embarrassed to say, I've even resorted to spraying the blossoms with OFF.

So now, I come to the experts. Is there any secret to getting the ants to leave before bringing them inside? I could put up with a few, but my goodness, my kitchen table just crawls with them. Not very conducive to a pleasant dinner. I'd so appreciate advice so I can fully appreciate the beauty & aroma of the flowers this year.


Comments (5)

  • jenny_in_se_pa

    When you dunked in water, how long did you leave them in? You may just have to leave them in longer, not just dip and pull out - and completely submerge the flowers. Otherwise, you just have to put up with it. ;-) I know calling them the "ant plants" was the standard joke at my house when I was growing up, probably because my mother basically just shook the stems to try to get the ants off. LOL

  • gardenlove

    Hello...I am at peonies and am also worried about ants...we get the tiny black ones and sometimes the BIG red ones!....I usually control them by using granular insecticide just for ants. Couldn't this type of insecticide be applied in a circle around a Peony Plant to prevent ants even getting to it in the first place?...or will this hurt the plant?...I am just trying to plan ahead because ants drive me crazy!.....its bad enough trying to keep them out of the house even without Peonies tempting them...I would love to hear opinions about insecticides for control...Take care all....GardenLove

  • acornhill7b

    The ants are actually good for them...I panicked when I saw them all and looked it up. They eat the sticky coating on the buds so they can open.

  • jenny_in_se_pa

    It's sortof a myth that the ants are eating the coating on the buds. They are certainly attracted to it but as a fact for myself, I grow mine in containers on the 18th floor of a hi-rise and had not a single solitary ant on my peony buds last year. Any other time, I'd have ants up there farming aphids and whatnot. But nothing on the peonies.

    And they opened just fine. ;-)


    Ie., peonies do not need ants to bloom. ;-)

  • jayco

    Just give your cut peonies a few good upside-down shakes and most of the ants will fall off. Make sure to hold them near the blossoms so they don't get peony whiplash! Sometimes I also gently ruffle my hand over the blooms to encourage more to jump.

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