Asked on May 19, 2016

How to bring in cut peonies without the ants

Alice inzeo
by Alice inzeo
I have several peonies plants, but when I cut a bloom to bring inside it is always full of ants. How do I get rid of the ants before I bring them inside?
  17 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 19, 2016
    Lightly spray with some insecticidal soap before you bring them in.
  • Edwina Romano Edwina Romano on May 19, 2016
    Pick them before they bloom. The bud will blossom beautifully once they are in a vase in your home and you will enjoys watching them bloom into their glory. Once the inner part of the buds start to open the ants will come. My daughter and I do this every year.....and no ants.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 19, 2016
    Peonies need ants in order to open their buds. Once you sever the bloom from the plant, technically it is dead. It won't continue to grow although it may open a bit. I usually give my peonies a good shake to get rid of ants.
  • Lisa Harrill Lisa Harrill on May 19, 2016
    Sprinkle them with 5 % sevin dust a little while before you bring them in....then just shake the dust off. It wont really hurt you but be sure to wash your hands.
  • Edwina Romano Edwina Romano on May 20, 2016 Peonies need ants to bloom is a "wives tale". See what experts say
  • Barb M Barb M on May 20, 2016
    DO NOT dust your flowers with Sevin and bring them in the house that is really bad poison and would be bad for your family and your pets. Just shake the flowers off softly and put them in a vase of water. I do it every spring and have never had a ant in my house from the flowers. Be Safe
  • Eve Lococo Gualtiere Eve Lococo Gualtiere on May 20, 2016
    I dunk my flowers in a bucket of water before bringing them in . Ants float to the top of the bucket.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on May 20, 2016
    You can spray the stem with Raid or such preferably before you cut or after if need be.
  • Tammy Tammy on May 20, 2016
    Peonies need ants to eat the sticky coating off the outside of the bud before they can open. I always lay cut peonies on newspaper for about 15-20 minutes before I bring them inside. There is something in the newsprint/ink that they don't like and they will crawl away. Please don't sprinkle pesticide on them for everyone to inhale when they are smelling your beautiful flowers!
  • Jennifer Muller Jennifer Muller on May 20, 2016
    You can also swish the peonies in a bucket of water with a *little* salt added - it is not enough to kill the peonies, but it kills the ants
  • Melissa Pfrogner Melissa Pfrogner on May 20, 2016
    I cut mine put them in water for the day or overnight a they all crawl off
  • I cut them just as they're beginning to blossom, put them in a vase with water in the house and they bloom inside beautifully.

  • Annie Annie on Jun 16, 2021

    If you want to cut open blooms, give them a good shake outside then place in water and leave the outside for a few hours. The ants should have enough time to get off the peonies and you can bring them in

  • Cut them before they open up.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Jun 16, 2021

    First, cut the flowers while they are still in the bud stage. Take a damp cloth and wipe the bud gently to remove any ants that may be on them.

  • Maura White Maura White on Jun 17, 2021

    Spray them with soapy water and shake them gently. I really wish ants weren't necessary to make those beautiful blooms happen. I've never tried cutting them while they are still in bud stage - that also sounds like a great idea since the ants are way easier to remove.

  • I always just turn the flowers upside down after cutting them and give them a good but gentle shake for a minute or two.