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Did you know that ants are good for your peonies? They lick the sap off of the flower buds to help them to open. Never wipe off the ants!
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Here is my peony covered with sugar ants feasting. Although I don't like these guys crawling around my kitchen, their symbiotic relationship with peonies is well known. The peonies secrete a sweet nectar which you can see it in the picture. The little ants collect all the nectar, allowing the blossom to open easily.
If you cut the blossoms just before they open, you can wash or shake off the ants and allow it to bloom inside. This will prevent you from introducing the little pests to your home and allow you to enjoy every minute of these showy flowers. The buds should be soft and just starting to show color.