Impatiens with Downy MildewIf you haven’t heard by now, Impatiens, , are in trouble. Lots of shade gardeners are bemoaning this right now, and wonder what should they plant instead!!?? I posted this a couple of weeks ago, but have updated it so when you go to the garden center this weekend, you are prepared.

First, a little background. I found out about this when I visited a client last summer who gardens in the shade, and took a look at all her wilting, disgusting impatiens, and was at a loss to explain their demise. After calling around to different help desks at county and state offices for gardeners, I found out that impatiens are taking a direct hit from Impatiens Downy Mildew (Plasmopara obducens), a new disease that has recently has reared its ugly head in the states, and has killed off masses of Impatiens throughout the US. It started as long ago as 1942, with only sporadic outbreaks, but really starting getting going in 2004. In 2011, widespread kill-offs of Impatiens were reported and things are’nt expected to get any better.

If you experienced it in your annual plantings last year, then this year watch out! The pathogen overwinters handily and can persist for years.Annual Lobelia s. There are excellent images on the web if you search for “Impatiens Downy Mildew.”

  • Emerging, new leaves that are smaller than normal and discolored.
  • Flower buds that either fail to form or abort before opening.
  • Stunted plants

Begonia 'Black Fancy'Sounds like a horror story for any gardener who relies on Impatiens for color in the shade! And there are a lot of gardeners who plant them exclusively. So, now is the time to look for alternatives until plant breeders come up with some resistant varieties and that could be a while.

- There are newer varieties of the old standard Lobelia that are worth a try. Many people thinkk of Lobelias as early season performers that fizzle in our heat. The reason these new varieties are garnering such attention is that they are showing a new heat tolerance, blooming like superstars from spring through midsummer. Cooler regions of the country will find them blooming even longer. They are tolerant of shade. Try the Laguna Sky Blue cultivar.

2. Begonia ‘Black Fancy’ - I love this big-leaved heirloom begonia! It has a black palmate leaf with green marbling.Begonia ‘Black Fancy’ is a rhizomatous heirloom variety in our begonia collection. Of course, the flowers are insignificant, but the foliage is stunning!

3. Fuchsias-These have elegant beautiful hanging flowers for the shade. They look good in pots and if you plant them in beds, be sure to water regularly.

4. New Guinea Impatiens- The old standby New Guinea Impatiens are more tolerant of sunny conditions and are great for containers. If you plant them in the ground, be sure to add plenty of compost and water regularly.

Sweet Potato Vine and Fuschia Garten Meister p_100674669 Impatiens with Downy Mildew Begonia 'Black Fancy'


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Advice on getting rid of bugs on my impatiens

Today I just noticed bugs on my impatiens. They look just like miniscule coffee grounds. They are black, round, don't move, and they disintegrate into the air when I brush them off. The tops & undersides of the leaves and flowers are not destroyed in any way. No holes in the leaves, no dying plants. I did at first think they were coffee grounds however there is no way coffee grounds could get there. If it makes a difference, my plants are in a window box. I have just clipped all the leaves and flowers back :( and would like to buy a remedy that kills this bug. Any ideas of the bug--and the remedy? They are not aphids

Impatiens Baby White - 30 Satisfied Flower Seeds By Smile Seed
Lawn & Patio ()
  • Satisfied seeds
  • Extra gift for you
100 IMPATIENS (Balsam / Lady Slipper / Touch Me Not) Impatiens Balsamina Flower Seeds
Lawn & Patio ()
  • BLOOM TIME:Late Spring - Early Fall
  • HARDINESS ZONE: Annual (but reseeds itself easily, so it acts like a perennial in all zones)
  • PLANT HEIGHT: 12 - 18. . . PLANT SPACING: 12 - 15
  • LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun - Shade . . . SOIL / WATER: Average
  • This lovely heirloom attracts bees, birds, and butterflies.

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