Breaking News
More () »

Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Grow with KARE: Are geraniums the secret to fighting Japanese beetles?

The unique relationship between a popular flower and a very unpopular bug.

Zonal geraniums are a fan favorite flower and many of us already have them planted in our gardens or our pots.

But if you don't have any... you might want to pick some up.

As far back as the 1920s, scientists discovered that when a Japanese beetle eats either the leaf or the flower of a zonal geranium, they become immobile for up to 24 hours. During this time of partial paralysis, the bugs lie on their back with twitching legs, making them susceptible to being eaten by predators, like birds. If this happens in a sunny spot, they are also prone to death by dehydration.

The key is to plant them in the sun and away from your other plants and flowers that the Japanese beetles love. (They love more than 300 varieties of flowers and other plants.) That way you have at least a chance that they focus on the sacrificed geraniums rather than your perennials or other annual favorites.

There is current research happening across the country surrounding the idea of turning this knowledge into a widespread way to combat Japanese beetles. In our eyes, that science can't develop fast enough, right?

If you haven't joined our Grow with KARE Facebook group yet, please do! It's a community for you and us to ask questions, share successes and embrace our love of gardening!

Related Video: Japanese Beetle Outlook for 2019

Related Video: Japanese Beetle Treatment and Prevention (2018)

We answered your latest social media questions on our segment that aired July 13, 2019.