HELP- Mysterious Ailment spreading in my small collection!

kihaku_gato(5)April 2, 2012

[skip the wall of text if you just want to see the image of the ailment]

This is going to be my second year overwintering Impatiens. The varieties are the Butterfly Trailers, double-flowered Purple Silhouette, and in the recent months I've been starting the seeds of F1 Circus Mix as well as Baby Mix.

Except for a few spider mites and Nymph Flies at the start of the winter, things have been going smoothly for the whole year. Until recently. I had left them for the holidays and most the impatiens I had at the time were close to their deathbed from lack of water.

So I worked hard to get them to recover and that was fine, but several Trailers started showing mysterious yellow mosiacing on the leaves as they recovered (the first of them were ones that were sharing a pot with Pelargoniums, the soil also used to have Million Bells) and would eventually die. I ignored it and discarded those that were too far gone. But then some of my healthy impatiens started getting the same symptoms, including my mature Impatiens seedlings.

I thought I had it under control, but it would seem that pretty much a majority of my impatiens are at least at the early stages of this ailment, removing the affected leaves seems to only slow the inevitable.

here are photos of some rooting Trailer impatiens that have started showing the ailment.

No other plants I have seem to show these symptoms other than other impatiens. Some of the coleus growing nearby them have the few odd yellow spotted leaves, but I doubt it's the same thing.

I am at the peak of the College year (final assignments and exams) so I am limited with time that I can deal with this, but I'd really appreciate some help with this. It'd be nice to know what is causing this ailment, and if whether or not I can do anything about it.

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claferg zone 9a Fl

There is a new Downey mildew that is affecting impatiens. I don't think there is much you can do about it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Downey mildew

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 7:28PM
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If that's the case then damnit OTL I don't even like water-needy New Guineas so they wouldn't make much of a substitute for me lol.

Although I feel a little skeptical that it's Downy Mildew. For one that article says it's occurring in the USA whereas I'm from Ontario Canada, so it'd be kind of suspicious that I'd be getting the mildew when my impatiens haven't even been in contact with any new plants since September, and no local greenhouses seem to be having this problem.

Is it possible that they are the (early) symptoms of Spider Mites? I just got back from the Easter Weekend and the one infected Trailer Impatiens is showing blatant signs of Spider Mites (lots of webs, and lots of icky creepy crawlies on them) which actually makes perfect sense, since the first infected plants were by the geraniums which had Spider Mite problems at the start of the Winter. Do Spider Mites ALWAYS make webs when present?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:04PM
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That is definitely spider mites. I used to overwinter Impatiens and for many years I had no problem. Then one year spider mites showed up. I turned the plants on their sides and sprayed them all over with my sink sprayer. That worked a bit. I sprayed them with limited success. No matter what I did I never really got rid of them. Now I grow all my Impatiens from seed.

You might try neem oil. Some say it works but those little suckers multiply so fast you have to do it often

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:10AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kihaku...sorry to tell you, but downy mildew of impatiens can be found in Ontario.

I suggest that you turn the leaves over and inspect the undersides with a cheap little hand lens of some kind. Spider mites will typically be found rollicking under the leaves.

(That's where you'd look for the Downy Mildew, too.)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:39PM
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That definitely looks like spider mites. Note the "stippling" on the leaves, which is one of the first telltale symptoms. If it's only a mild infestation, swabbing all of the leaves and stems with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol every few days for a week or two might help, but if it's a more advanced infestation you might want to try the neem oil.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:57PM
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