Ants- Remove from Flowers

Q: Do you have any suggestions for keeping the ants off of peony and dahlia flowers? I love fresh cut flowers in the house, but these two are always covered!

A: I have two methods. Both require a bit of extra work but both are reasonably effective.

1. Before you cut the flowers, fill a gallon bucket with water and a few drops of dish detergent. Bring your cut flowers to the bucket and submerge each bloom successively in the solution. Gently wave the flower in the water to wash away ants, then stand them upright to drip dry.

2. When only flower buds are present, cut several 2″ diameter circles out of scrap cardboard. Cut a slit to the center of each one. Slip the cardboard around the stem under each flower or flower cluster and tape the slit closed. Smear petroleum jelly on the top surface. This will trap most ants as they climb the stem.

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