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They gotta be tired!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by MaryReboakly on August 30, 2005 07:14 AM
of moving! Every time another set of flowers go to seed, they pack their bags and move in. I've been calling them 'peony ants'. No idea what kind of ants they are...but they were on the peonies until after they bloomed. Then, they moved on. I found them on my yuccas when they went to seed, and now they're on my sunflowers, which I've been waiting to drop seed. I'm guessing that they feed on seeds - because I dont notice them on any group of flowers until it goes to seed. What gives? I really wanna collect my seed - how do I make them 'move' before they feast on my seeds (organically)? If that's what they're even doing... ??? [dunno] [Confused]

Thanks! [Wink]

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by cinta on September 01, 2005 07:50 AM
I never seen ants eat seeds. I know they do love peonys. As much as I liked them I could not take the invasion of the ants every year. They started to invade my home.

I have heard that red pepper gets rid of them. It worked in the house and this year I sprinkled some around a nest I found in the garden and it worked.

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If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!!
by MaryReboakly on September 01, 2005 10:14 AM
Thanks cinta - I'm desparate. I've tried everything. It's not the sunflowers so much - but they are going up under my siding...have been all summer - regulars on this forum are probably tired of hearing me whine about it! [Big Grin] I'll try the red pepper next...

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by Longy on September 01, 2005 02:13 PM
Once a flower head has started to die off, you can remove it and put it in a paper bag in a warm dry place to dry out. The seeds will still be viable.
The ants may be collecting the nectar from the flowers???? They may also be pollinating for you.

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The secret is the soil.
by MaryReboakly on September 02, 2005 04:14 AM
Thanks Longy - it's started dying off, so I'll clip em now and shake those b*st*rds off [Big Grin] I dont think there are aphids (just blackish spots - may be they are aphids?) on the sunflowers - the ants are running around like they're busy doing something, can't tell what...they're those big peony ants too, not sugar ants...same as the ones on the yucca - when it was setting seed, there were ants all over the pods, and bore holes into it and were in and out of the pods--I had to really scour for viable seed - a few pods were completely eaten through! grrrrrrrr! I did catch a little worm in the pod - so may be the ants are taking the blame for the work of some worms. I dunno. They've just gotten under my skin this summer, as you well know.

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by The Plant Doc on September 03, 2005 08:18 PM
The ants are actually a good thing to have on your plant. They will not damage it at all, and they tend to eat other insects that do.
Seeing ants appear suddenly on a plant is a very good indication that you may have a pest problem such as aphids.

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Mike Maier
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The Plant Doc
by BFVISION on September 03, 2005 10:00 PM
Sounds to me like the ants are an idication of other problems too. I thought that ants were destroying my flowers only to find out they are more interested in other bugs. I would look closer. I think it was on my sunflowers I first noticed the problems too. I dusted for aphids and the problem went away and the plant got healthier too.

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BFVISION

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