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Päonie’s Leibgarde

Peony's life guard

Pinke Pfingstrose mit Margeriten und blühendem Salbei im Hintergrund

Before the glamorous flowers of the peony (Paeonia officinalis) appear in May and June and give forth their stunning fragrance, you first have to deal with the knobbly buds and often ants crawling on them.

Pfingstrosenknospe mit Ameisen

But as popular as the peony is as a garden flower, the little creepy-crawlies seem to be held in low regard by many garden owners. Garden forums and advice sites advertise a wide variety of elimination methods, from rinsing to cigarette ash. In doing so, humans are once again interfering with something that is perfectly balanced by nature. Because ants have a purpose. It is in the nature of ants to fiercely defend their food. And the flower buds of the peony give off an energy-rich sugar solution that is definitely worth defending, In order to claim this solution for themselves alone, the ants keep other insects and potential troublemakers away from the bud. Thus the peony has its own life guard for the pay of a little sugar. However, it is not true that the peony needs the ants to flower at all. The majestic blossoms can be seen even without a guard. But in order to not disturb their immaculate appearance, it is best for humans not to interfere and let the ants do their work in peace. And if you want to take peonies indoors as cut flowers, you can simply shake the ants off the plant.

 Pinke PfingstroseZartrosa Pfingstrose

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