What are ants doing on peonies?

What are ants doing on peonies?

Sugar water that attracts ants

Shortly before the flowers of the peony bloom, a tempting glutinous sugar juice drips down from them. Ants are less attracted to the color of the flowers. You're keen on the sugar juice. It arises from the sepals and is crystallized. It is secreted by peonies via fine hairs, even before the flowers open.

also read

  • When do peonies bloom?
  • Peonies - cut the flowers correctly
  • Peonies after flowering - what is important now?

Sometimes the amount of sugar is so great that the plant really sticks. If you want to use the flowers as cut flowers, you are often surprised that the flowers don't open at all - they are too sticky.

The whole thing is reminiscent of the well-known honeydew excretions from aphids, which ants also like to eat. But not only ants rush to feast on the sugar. Other insects also like this sugar juice.

The ants do not harm the peony

Basically, the ants (no matter how many) do not harm the peony. They are also not necessarily an indication of aphid infestation, as is the case with other plants in the garden. Admittedly, however, it is not particularly pleasant if you want to use the flowers that have been colonized by ants for cutting vases ...

Sometimes ants spread fungal diseases

Here are a few more pointers:

  • Ants can spread fungal spores
  • not infrequently they distribute the spores of gray mold from one plant to another
  • they can also spread aphids
  • If necessary, fight aphids with soft soap solution
  • Fight gray mold by removing diseased parts of the plant

The 'problem' does not arise with bucket culture

If you decide to plant your peony in the tub, you will most likely not find ants on the flowers. The bucket forms a barrier. Such a bucket is usually on a balcony or terrace, where ants are rarely found.


The ants also like to spread the seeds of the peony and thus contribute to natural reproduction in different locations.