Japanese Beetle Host Plant Preferences

One way to limit the impact of adult Japanese beetle defoliation may be to select plants that the Japanese beetles tend to avoid. The following list of the Japanese beetle's most and least-favored woody plants may be useful to people designing new landscapes in areas infested by this beetle. 

Most Favored by Japanese Beetle Least Favored by Japanese Beetle
Birch, gray Ash, white, green

Elm

Boxelder

Grape Boxwood
Hollyhock

Conifers (arborvitae, spruce, pine, fir, yew, juniper)

Horse Chestnut

Dogwood

Linden, American (suscetibiity varies with variety)

Euonymus

Lombardy poplar

Hickory, shagbark
London planetree

Holly

Malus spp. (apple crabapple, etc.)  Susceptibility of crabapples varies with variety

Lilac

Maple, Norway, Japanese

Magnolia

Mountain ash 

Maple, red, silver

Prunus spp. (flowering cherry, etc.)

Mulberry

Rose

Oak, white, red, scarlet, black

Sassafras

Persimmon

Walnut, black

Poplar, white

Weeds (wild grape, multiflora rose, smartweed, poison ivy)

Sweet gum

  Yellow poplar (tuliptree)
Last reviewed:
June 2021

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