Potential Problems with impatiens plantings

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Potential Problems with impatiens plantings

Did you have problems with your garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) last year in your landscape, hanging baskets or other containers? If they had leaf yellowing, followed by leaf curling and then leaf dropping or a fuzzy white coating on the underside of leaves , they may have been infected by a pathogen called Impatiens Downy Mildew (Plasmopara obducens)

It is important to note that this particular pathogen, while it is called a downy mildew, is NOT the same downy mildew that affects vegetables or other ornamental plants. This particular pathogen only infects Impatiens walleriana plants. It does NOT infect New Guinea impatiens either.

This fungus-like pathogen can overwinter in the soil and, if garden impatiens that had the disease in 2012 are planted again in the same location this coming spring, these new plants may get the same disease again. You may therefore want to consider alternative shade loving annual plants to provide color and texture to your landscape beds or containers, such as those below.

Below are possible substitutes for seed impatiens. Many of these don’t tolerate much direct sunlight, so be sure to read the labels for appropriate placement in the landscape. We stock most of these items, but not all.

Source: Michigan State Floriculture - Click here to read the substitute varieties