It is a myth that peonies require ants to bloom. The relationship between peonies and ants is a type of mutualism in which two organisms of different species benefit from the activity of one another. Peony flowers provide food for ants and in turn, the ants protect the blossoms from other floral-feeding insects.
Can peonies open without ants?
Do Peonies Need Ants to Bloom? The enduring myth is that peonies require ants to open their buds. You may have heardd that ants need to “tickle the buds” or “lick the sugar” for the peonies to bloom. The peony will open beautifully without the presence of ants.
Why do my peonies bud but not bloom?
The most common reasons peonies fail to bloom are cultural (planting in too much shade and planting too deeply). Remember that peonies are tough and often survive for many years in not so ideal sites. However, if they fail to bloom one year - watch out - everyone notices!
How do you get peonies to bloom?
Peonies need full sun to produce blooms. It could be that the plant got enough sun in early spring to generate the buds but a nearby tree grew back its leaves and the sun is now blocked. The buds die because the plants no longer get enough sun to support the blossoms.
Why do black ants like peonies?
Peony flowers provide food for ants and in turn, the ants protect the blossoms from other floral-feeding insects. Extrafloral nectaries are present outside of the peony flower buds. While the ants are feeding on the nectar, they protect their food source from other insects that come to feed on the flower buds.