Impatiens flowers Turning brown

Maryland Flower & Foliage Company Blog

January 13, 2013 – 11:01 am

Page of Impatiens

Welcome to the new monthly blog from Maryland Flower! As you look outside you can see that spring has finally arrived. We hope you are enjoying this beautiful sun shiny weather.

To begin our blog this month we are going to address some concerns that have come to our attention concerning downy mildew in impatiens. Downy mildew is a fungus-like microorganism that has ravaging effects on impatiens in Maryland gardens.

This disease is not new and has been present in many different areas of the country. Weather conditions seem to have a significant impact on its survival. Over the last couple of years, Maryland has experienced milder winters with minimal freezing temperatures. These conditions have allowed the downy mildew to over winter in the garden soil. Moist, humid and warmer temperatures in the summer allow the fungus to thrive. With the continual freezing temperatures of this past winter, it may have helped deter the spread of the mildew. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee that it has been eliminated.

The initial symptom of the disease will appear as a light green (almost yellowing) or mottling on the leaves which could eventually cause them to curl downward. The underside of the leaves may also have white fuzzy mildew. With progression, the plant will fail to thrive, causing the leaves to eventually fall off and the stem will turn brown and soft.

We are trying to help lessen the spread of this disease by treating our seedlings with fungicides. However, once you detect any signs, changing the location of the impatiens and disposing of them into the garbage can be very effective. Do not allow the plant or any of its parts to remain as this could lead to the spread of the fungus to surrounding plants. We would recommend using containers or window boxes for plantings. Planting the impatiens 18″ apart will increase the air flow between plants. Also, the best time to water is in the morning allowing enough time for the plants to dry off before evening.

Some good alternatives to impatiens are New Guinea impatiens, Coleus, Begonias, Vinca, Torenia and Hypoestes (polka dot plant).

Source: mdflowercompany.com


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Pressure-treated wood is extremely toxic (contains copper and arsenic.) The poisons will leach into the soil and possibly get into the water supply. According to this datasheet on PT wood, it will get into vegetables grown near it. The report doesn't mention what is a safe distance to plant near PT wood. From Environment & Human Health, Inc.
If you are building a fence you might use environmentally-safe rot-resistant wood or the new wood mixed with plastics for the posts. Sawing PT wood is especially dangerous because the sawdust can get in your mouth and eyes and on the hands/paws and feet of children/animals



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