Friday, June 28, 2013

No Ants!


A beautiful white peony with no ants!

24 comments:

  1. No ants, please! We have fire ants here and they can eat you alive in seconds! Love peonies but unfortunately I've never lived in a climate where they thrive.

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  2. Wow, that is pretty. Maybe the netar is tastier elsewhere?

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  3. What a beautify this is. When I was in Chicago last weekend, I saw lots of peonies for sale in flower stands. My mom used to grow them when we lived in Illinois.

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  4. that should make headlines!!!

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  5. All the ants must be out at a picnic.

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  6. Wow! Stuning peony!
    I wish my garden did not have ants...

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  7. That is a "wow!" photo. What ants? My favorite aunt was named Jemima. Don't ask why, 'cause I don't know. She was born in Virginia, Minnesota.

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  8. How rare is that! That is such a pretty flower. It's too dry to grow them here. There are rewards for suffering through those long, cold, wet winters.

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  9. You have me intrigued Kate. Do Peonies attract ants..the pollen? Do they smell as beautiful as they look? Gorgeous shot btw :)

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    1. This may be a longer answer than you want, but I just googled this from The Heartland Peony Society website:
      Do not try to get rid of the ants on your peonies. This is a natural and temporary activity. It is believed that peonies produce small amounts of nectar and other ant attractants to encourage ants to help in opening the dense double flower buds found in many peonies. The ants may be found covering certain varieties and avoiding others, this is totally normal.
      Once the buds have opened the ants will disappear - also normal.

      Some people think ants are REQUIRED to open the flowers, but this does not to appear to be true.

      It seems a debatable question whether ants are beneficial or harmful. I think they are neutral.

      Should you spray a pesticide to get rid of the ants? That is a definite no. Since the ants are not harmful and some pesticide residues are harmful, why endanger yourself, the plants or the peony's pollinator (good insects) with poisonous sprays?

      Just don't spray.

      Instead just enjoy the unique interaction of ants and peonies; an evolutionary effect thousands of years in the making and posing no problems in the long run.

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    2. Not too long at all Kate, incredible interesting. I knew it must have something to do with the nectar or pollen..but you didn't say whether they have a nice fragrance :)

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  10. No Ants? Amazing, just like the photo!

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  11. I can send you some if you like. Just say the word...

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  12. Amazing shot, Kate. A white flower like that isn't easy to capture. Loved reading all the comments above. Most interesting!

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  13. How I miss being able to grow peonies, now that we are in New Mexico rather than New Hampshire. We saw plenty on our recent trip to Washington State (since you asked about our road trip; more coming soon on the blog). Thank you for this gorgeous reminder of what I am missing! Heading over to see what's up with Becky the Bearmaker.

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  14. Beautiful! We had a pink peony in California that was so fragrant it would have been worth growing for the scent alone, but the flowers were gorgeous! They grow well in our area; I haven't decided where I might put one. I've not seen ants on them, but haven't done a lot of close inspection.

    Thanks for the Mary Oliver poem. I love her poetry. There are many kinds of poppies. If you can't find ones that can handle your local snow load you can perhaps plant and treat them as annuals.

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  15. I didn't know about the ants Kate so was interested to read your explanation. Great capture sans ants.

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  16. Thanks for the note Kate. Yes, I'm fine. I stayed in the house most of the day. When I did go out, I noticed that the air conditioner in my car was having a hard time keeping up. It was certainly a hot one.

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  17. I like the spots of color.

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