Japanese Beetle observations: what roses do they love best?
This is my second year with roses and my first year with roses during japanese beetle season (last year they were too small for the beetles to notice). I noticed, as I picked the beetles and clipped the blooms and buds (boohoo!) that certain roses were more covered in them than others. None of my roses were badly affected until they had buds and/or blooms. I don't spray anything in my garden.
Deep Secret, Midnight Blue, and Ebb Tide seemed to be their favorites, as a "ball" of beetles covered buds and flowers and leaves were munched considerably. Midnight Blue's buds were left alone and Deep Secret was their favorite until I clipped the buds and blooms.
Stainless Steel and Kashmir were the next favorite with several beetles eating their flowers. Kashmir had a few leaves eaten and they loved eating Stainless's buds.
My Girl was liked for a time, though they didn't seem to like her flowers they did chew a bit on her leaves. I knocked them off once and they have since left her alone.
Iceberg was totally ignored, but she has had major blackspot issues since I got her. So far she's not living up to her reputation and I guess the beetles were less than impressed also.
One of my Midnight blue roses was also left alone. She has been losing her leaves (I thought to blackspot, but now I think potassium deficiency) and I wonder if that affected the beetle's decision to ignore her.
Hot cocoa, Paint the Town, Yellow Brick Road, Midas Touch, Neptune, and Sunrise at Heirloom have not been touched.
I don't know if they like Moonlight Magic as a deer ate the blooms that were forming. So far they have left her alone.
A couple of my "not touched" roses (including Stainless) had a beetle chew a few holes in their leaves throughout the season, but it wasn't enough to be mentioned.
The glossier the leaves are on my roses the less the beetles seem to like them. I wonder if this is a coincidence or if it's something to consider? Also, they're ignoring all my bright, vibrant roses (Sunrise at Heirloom, Midas Touch, Yellow Brick Road, My Girl, and Paint the Town). Could it be that we in japanese beetle land can have some roses during their season?
Paint the Town has both very glossy leaves and a vibrant bloom - and both are completely ignored by the beetles (and every other insect, actually) dispite being next to Kashmir and only 8 feet away from Deep Secret.
So how about you? What have you observed about these horrible beetles? Is there any pattern in their decimation?