Impatiens destroyed by Downy Mildew

November 2, 2012 – 02:08 pm

Beautifully, that is, until one week ago...

At first, I thought something was eating the impatiens. In a large spot near the road, the plants were missing their flowers. But since the plants further back on the property still looked good, I thought it was a rabbit (further convinced after I saw a rabbit one morning just sitting innocently on my front lawn – a sight not common in my neighborhood!). I bought some organic rabbit and deer spray to deter the creature and put down some fertilizer to encourage more blooms. But nothing worked. And then I received an email from a local nursery. ave impatiens? Well, enjoy them while they last because Downy Mildew is destroying them across Long Island.” Not knowing what that was, I did some research and it turns out that Downy Mildew, Plasmopara obducens, is causing gardening (and growing!) havoc throughout various parts of the US this year. Symptoms include yellowing or stippling of the leaves, leaf margins curling downward, stunted growth, flower drop and white downy-like growth on the underside of leaves. The fungal disease can cause complete defoliation or plant collapse especially in landscape plantings under cool, moist conditions.

I realized my plants were not being eaten, they were being destroyed by this disease.

Downy-like fungal growth on the underside of the leaves

Downy mildew is a water mold. It likes and requires moisture to sporulate and cause new infections. Locations where the leaves stay wet for extended periods of time (either from dense plantings, overhead irrigation or excessive rainfall & humidity) are more susceptible.

Apparently, regional outbreaks were common in 2011 and are spreading into 2012 due to spores over wintering in landscape beds. There is no control of Downy Mildew and it’s recommended that infected plants be removed immediately, placed into plastic bags and discarded. If fungal-laid leaves get into the soil, the spores may continue to live there for 3 years. So if you think you can just plant new impatiens next year, think again. A better bet would be to plant new guinea impatiens, coleus or begonias.

According to mainstreetnursery.com, it’s believed that because seed companies have been hybridizing impatiens to gain desired characteristics, the impatiens’ previous resistance to the disease has been bred away over time.

Source: gardeningandgardens.blogspot.com


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Impatiens not growing

My Impatiens are not growing. I tried watering/notwatering, fertilizing, and the flowers drop off and they are just left with a little round bud. Do I give them too much light? Can you overwater them I water once every two days or so. I know if I spray a hose on the flowers directly the flower fall off the next day.

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