Impatiens disease

bzzybee123April 7, 2014

For years, in the late Spring, I planted impatiens, bright coral, pink, & white. They thrived, and became a huge mound of bright color. I live in No Calif. the last 2 year, no one is selling these plants. I've been told they developed a disease, and you cannot buy them anymore. Does anyone know about this? I would appreciate your comments. Thanks, bzzybee123

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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

I think the disease you are referring to is downy mildew. To prevent its spread nurseries voluntary decided not to grow Busy Lizzie for a year. It's now available in England so I imagine it will be back in USA too, though I have to say it's never been a problem here in Brazil. New Guinea hybrids and Sunpatiens are, however, resistant. Why don't you look out for them?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 4:23PM
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I live in Windsor Ontario and last year there were ZERO impatiens available ANYWHERE - this was because of the downy mildew problem. About 5 weeks ago I found a packet of seeds and started some plants...which are now around an inch tall in their peat pockets still. Does anyone know if I will have better luck since I grew them myself? This downy mildew thing was a real issue............

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 3:51PM
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trailer_gal(z4 ND)

Cheryl, how are your plants doing? I planted the Athena series seed in February and the first one is starting to bloom. It looks real cute. Little light pink semi double. Maybe we do have better luck starting them ourselves because then they are not exposed to such a large volume of plants?
Sure would hate if we couldn't have impatiens.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:21PM
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Missy, Traverse City, Mi Z5

I did not plant any regular impatiens last year after losing a 50ft border of them to downy mildew the year before. I was amazed that last year our so called good garden centers had them in abundance last year. I advised several unsuspecting customers to avoid them.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:54AM
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I've grown impatiens for many years and last year was my first experience with Downy Mildew. Apparently, the spores live in the soil for years. I was surprised to see just about every nursery selling them this year. I informed a few customers in passing but until a person experiences it first-hand, they won't believe you. They also infected the balsam I had growing nearby.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:43PM
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Growing from seed should mean that your plants don't start out infected with downy mildew, but I heard the disease can be spread by wind, so you could still get an outbreak even if you started will all healthy plants.
I'm planning to grow my impatiens indoors for the moment. Maybe that will make a difference?
Besides, they make really cheerful house plants.

Downy mildew seems to be less prevalent here in Australia, but I'm still really nervous about it. I have an Impatiens Repens, which can apparently contract the disease. It had a couple of bent leaves because I forgot to water it and I freaked out!
... I don't think you have to experience downy mildew first hand to worry about it. Just seeing photos of decimated impatiens beds is enough!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:39AM
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Actually, I've done a bit of research and yep - there are no definite reports of seeds carrying the disease.
I think that's the way to go.

- Sparkey

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:41AM
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