Impatiens flowers with mold

Gardeners say good-bye to impatiens because of mold

May 11, 2014 – 09:48 am

Goodbye to Our Favorite Flower

The disease that is killing impatiens is a mold called Plasmopara obducens, which thrives in cool, damp conditions. It first appears as a white, downy coating of spores under the leaves. Slowly the leaves fall off and the flowers begin to droop.

So far this plague of downy mildew has swept through 33 states and the District of Columbia. It has even spread to Canada, with outbreaks reported in Quebec and British Columbia. The mold first showed up in the United Kingdom in 2003.

The spores spread through air and water, which makes fungicide useless. There is no known cure for this disease.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Alternatives to impatiens

Begonias: These flowers come in a variety of colors including red, pink, yellow and white. They are almost like a "sister plant" to impatiens, with large flowers that can fill up a bed.

New Guinea impatiens: Also known as Impatiens hawkeri, New Guinea impatiens have larger flowers and leaves than garden impatiens, although they do not grow as quickly.

Lobelia: Also known as the "cardinal flowers, " these prefer partial, not full shade. These flowers can be blue, pink or white.

Lamium: These flowers can serve as excellent ground cover for brightening shaded areas. The flowers are pink or white. They can also be used in hanging baskets.

About five weeks ago, Corona del Mar resident Missy Ann Schweiger began to notice that her usually bright and cheery impatiens were starting to look dull and droopy.

Schweiger, who runs her own garden design firm in Costa Mesa, tried watering them. They drooped even more. She wondered if the watering was excessive or if they were getting too much sun. She asked all the nurseries in the area.

That was when she learned that one of her favorite flowers is being decimated by a mold that was imported from the United Kingdom nearly six years ago. Nurseries have stopped selling impatiens. Disappointed gardeners have stopped growing them. And they may disappear from homes, offices and parks – at least for now.

"It's such a loss, " she said. "There is nothing quite like impatiens. They work for every garden providing this burst of color. They are bright – like happy, smiley-faced flowers. What's not to love about impatiens?"

Source: www.ocregister.com


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A little bit of everything: grass, impatiens...

We have a couple of patches of grass in the front yard, with impatiens, rhododendrons, camelia, lilies, roses and a few other flowers/plants. Also, a plant with pretty purple flowers; "princess" something or other. We've not been in the house for too long and I don't have the watering routine quite down yet. I do try to keep the water away from the leaves, especially the roses as I've heard that's particularly bad for them. Thanks very much for all your thoughts.

Ideas for big terra cotta pots on a sunny balcon

Info:
- terra cotta
- about 2 feet wide and deep
- on north facing balcony in zipcode 90049 (to climate check)
seems to get constant sun
- no faucet / waterhose nearby so would like to plant with something that is happy with weekly watering
- would be nice if plants would cast shade on house
- wife likes flowers but I think that's unlikely to find with our watering needs
Any ideas?
For example:
I thought about island palm trees with impatiens (or moss ross) as a base, but they may not like that much sun, and it may not be that attractive.

Plants for Santa Monica shade

I'll throw in a variety: these plants have different watering needs, though.
Shrubs:
Flowering maples (abutilon): there are hybrids good for your zone.
Camellias
Hydrangea aspera, Hydrangea serrata, or Hydrangea macrophylla
Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia)
Fuschias - Some varieties will do well in partial shade;
Heavenly bamboo: can overtake garden if not careful
Sarcococca (Sweet Box): very fragrant; white flowers
Other plants:
Impatiens: Look for New Guinea hybrids
Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts): - I believe most varieties will work in you



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