The blasted things are still out there– but some things in the garden are faring very well– in addition to those I’ve mentioned before:
Hydrangeas. They’ll sit on them, but won’t eat them. Erynginum. Russian Sage and other sages. Common Orange Daylily. Queen Anne’s Lace. Liatris. Delphinums. Sedums (unless they are really desperate), Heather, Magnolias.
Here’s a list of more things that are doing well with the beetles this year:
Asters, Obedient Plant, tough hostas (thicker textured ones, esp. Blue Mammoth and Sum and Substance), Lambs Ears (Stachys Lanata), Purple Joe Pye Weed (eupatorium purpuream)– I know this disproves my purple theory, Marigolds, Bearded Iris, Peonies, Edelweiss (yes, I really do have everything in my garden), Crocosmia, Knifphofia, Boxwood, Red and Silver Maples, Anemones, Nasturtiums, Lupines, Astilbe. Lilies. Red Daylilies. Phlox. Eryngium (sea hollies). Sempervivums. Violas and Violets. Lamium, Verbena Bonariensis. Gallardia.
Obviously, some of these things don’t bloom during JB season, but I use their leaves as part of the garden as much as I use their flowers.
Things that are still terrible with beetles (and some newly discovered terribles):
Dahlias, Osteopermums (African Daisies), Sweet Potato Vine, Lindens, Roses, Crabapples, my Dogwoods, Filipendula (Queen of the Prairie), Siberian Iris, Petunias, Calibrachoa, Evening Primroses, and Hollyhocks.
My neighbor reports that her bean crop was ruined by japanese beetles, and local grapevines are nothing but a lacework of brown leaves. Tomatoes left to rot are a great beetle (and slug) attractor, but my neighbor’s tomatillos look relatively beetle free (although I suspect that is entirely due to her diligence, rather than the plant’s inherent nature). I know from past experience that peppers were lovely food for the beetles as well.
I was interested to note that beetles eat some weeds- and seem to love deadly nightshade (tomatoes are a member of this family, so that may explain it). All the more reason to get out there and pull it!
Now is the time to pull out those real plants that you just don’t want to keep in your garden because of beetles love affair with them and think about what you will replace them with next year. (If you live further south than us, you might even be able to replace it this fall!)
I have noticed that I am less and less bothered by beetles, merely because of my commitment to removing these problem plants and trying new things, which is really the only labor-saving way to garden organically.
This is handy that the beetles bother me less, because I think this is the last year that I will use the pesticide for the Linden tree. First, it doesn’t seem to stop the defoliation (because it takes a bit for the beetles to die) and second my new little puppy has a love of dead Japanese Beetles, which are probably not good for her if they have been recently poisoned. I plan to cut the Linden tree down when the Tulip Poplar is tall enough anyway, and this year it has made leaps and bounds toward that goal.
p.s. See the list for 2010 plants japanese beetles don’t like here.