Rosebud Impatiens Flowers

Gardening With Gutner: What Is Going On With Impatiens?

February 25, 2014 – 05:02 pm

Rosebud Impatiens

BOSTON (CBS) – The common impatiens that New Englanders have used as a staple in their gardens are in danger!

Downy mildew, a disease that affects the common impatiens, Impatiens walleriana, was first diagnosed in 2004, and was observed in Massachusetts in 2011. In 2012 the disease became widespread and destructive. Unfortunately it is projected to be even worse in 2013.

Downy mildew thrives in moist conditions, such as on wet foliage and in dense plantings, and is very contagious. Its spores spread short distances by the splashing of water, and long distances when they detach and become windborne. A second type of spore, resting spores, are produced inside the stems of infected impatiens and are released into the soil where they can survive through the winter and infect new impatiens planted in the same beds the following year.

It’s hard to believe that the #1 annual Americans have loved for decades is in such danger, but to date there is no cure. If you see the beginning symptoms of downy mildew, including yellowing or striping on leaves or white downy growth on the underside of the leaves, remove the entire plant, roots and soil, and destroy it (do not compost it!). Fungicides can work as a preventative measure but are not a cure and are not recommended as a treatment on impatiens identified with downy mildew.

The good news is that downy mildew only affects impatiens walleriana and rosebud impatiens, so you don’t have to leave those garden beds empty. The growing division of Mahoney’s Garden Centers and other growers have greatly increased the amount of plants they’ve grown as alternatives to impatiens. SunPatiens are a relatively new series of impatiens that not susceptible to downy mildew and uniquely love both the sun and the shade. New Guinea impatiens, begonias and torenia are other flowering shade-tolerant alternatives. For some great foliage and texture options, choose from various coleus and caladium varieties.


Robert Harding Photo Mug of Close-up of Impatiens flowers, England, United Kingdom, Europe from Robert Harding
Kitchen (Robert Harding)
  • PHOTO MUG This Photo Mug features an image of Close-up of Impatiens flowers, England, United Kingdom, Europe chosen by Robert Harding. Estimated image size 120x80mm.
  • 11oz White ceramic coffee mug. Image printed using sublimation ink process. Microwave, dishwasher safe
  • Image Description Close-up of Impatiens flowers, England, United Kingdom, Europe Close-up of Impatiens flowers, England, United Kingdom, Europe.
  • For any queries regarding this image please contact Robert Harding quoting Reference 1146903
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All Flowers are Wildflowers Somewhere...

...unless the flowers were hybridized and mutated by man, but they still had a wildflower origin.
Native plants/wildflowers are better adapted to the climate and soil than something like impatiens so they will usually survive, reproduce and not need to be replanted each year. If you study the plants and select the right ones, they can bloom for an extended season. Some wildflowers you could compare to daffodils because they only bloom for a couple of weeks. Wildflowers/native plants also attract more butterflies and bees.
If you just randomly plant wildflower seeds between other plants with no planning, it could look like a mess

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