According to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program, geraniums spruce up an indoor or outdoor spot from spring through fall. Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. Office of Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity. Official websites use .gov This blogger has had success controlling Japanese beetles with geraniums. Although this perennial garden plant survives mild winters outdoors or is brought indoors until early spring, it also grows as an ornamental houseplant or annual in the northern areas. Geraniums may hold the key to controlling the devastating Japanese beetle, which feeds on nearly 300 plant species and costs the ornamental plant industry $450 million in damage each year, according to scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Courtesy | Stan Harrison A Japanese beetle lies belly up in its final resting place on the leaf of an ivy geranium. With all insecticidal products, foliage and flowers should be thoroughly treated. All Rights Reserved. Check the geraniums once or twice per day for Japanese beetles and hand pick them off. Bugs Associated With Geraniums. Companion planting with geraniums is so beneficial because they deter some very common and destructive pests. Laboratory tests conducted to understand this relationship discovered that when given a choice between poisonous geranium and nutritious linden, the beetles always seemed to choose the former. A particular amino acid in a geranium flower that causes paralysis of the Japanese beetle is identified in this study, and you can watch the paralysis here. They eat the blossoms, promptly get dizzy from the natural chemicals in the geranium, fall off the plant, and permit you to dispose of them conveniently with a dustpan and brush. Laboratory tests conducted to understand this relationship discovered that when given a choice between poisonous geranium and nutritious linden, the beetles always seemed to choose the former. Drown them in a bucket of soapy water to reduce their numbers. Geranium flowers can be deadly to the Japanese beetle. A lock ( The page is no longer being updated, and therefore, links on the page may be invalid. The beetles will also readily munch on geraniums, but geraniums contain a substance that temporarily paralyzes Japanese beetles, making them susceptible to predators. Sun Helps Geraniums Poison Japanese Beetles An insect poison that seems to need the aid of the sun to develop its best effects has been observed in connection with the campaign against the Japanese beetle. Once they start eating its leaves, they can’t stop. For example, Japanese beetles are attracted to the smell of the zonal pelargonium, also known as zonal geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum).In fact, if given a choice, beetles prefer pelargonium flowers over most other plants. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Geraniums’ Secret Weapon The heady scent of geraniums acts as a magnet to predatory Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles, unable to resist tempting geraniums, binge on the petals for 20 to 30 minutes before passing out as a result of the intoxicating effect for 12 to 18 hours. According to the University of Kentucky, Japanese beetles will often choose to dine on geraniums over other plants, so geraniums can help control the beetles and keep them away from other plants. Japanese Beetles are a ferocious feeder than can decimate a garden in no time. Adults skeletonize leaves by eating the material between the veins of a wide range of plants including lucrative soybeans, maples and ornamental roses. Because of this, the best companion plants for geraniums are those that are prone to suffering from them, like corn, roses, grapes, and cabbage. Geranium belongs to the family pelargonium. Geraniums are one of the most common bedding annuals in the United States, a testament to their ease of care and disease resistance. The flower petals, especially from plants in full sunlight, seem the most narcotic, Potter reports. Marigolds Japanese beetles, a bane of many gardeners, eat 300 types of flowers and plants. Geranium petals cause temporary paralysis in Japanese beetles, rendering them completely immobile for as long as 24 hours. Local gardener Marsha D. brought this to our attention after she decided to do some research when she noticed a large number of dead beetles under her geraniums. Neem Oil can help control Japanese Beetles, Cucumber Beetles, Flea Beetles, Cabbageworms, and Colorado Potato Beetles. Most of the addictionlike cycle tests were conducted in the controlled environment of a laboratory, in the absence of natural predators, where the beetles that woke up after the long stupor fed on more geraniums. Fermented Fruit Cocktail. If you take a cutting of a seeded geranium and get it to root out and grow, it will still have the identical genetics of the seed geranium, so it would still be a seed geranium. Geraniums may hold the key to controlling the devastating Japanese beetle, which feeds on nearly 300 plant species and costs the ornamental plant industry $450 million in damage each year, according to scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: Japanese Beetles in the Urban Landscape, University of Rhode Island Horticulture Program: Geranium Culture, University of Kentucky: Binged-Out Beetles, Philadelphia Inquirer; Death to Japanese Beetles. 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