Impatiens sheared just below surface

mister_brownthumbJune 10, 2006

I am looking for a little insight as to what might be eradicating my impatiens. I have a bed that is 20'x3' and something is systematically wiping out my plants. Each plant stem is either sheared completely, or almost all the way through the stem. This is happening just below the surface. if it happens to one plant, the adjacent plant will be next. I have backfilled several spots 3 times so far this Spring, and I am at my wit's end. I first thought the problem was slugs. I have gotten rid of those with slug bait. Then it was pill bugs (aka sow bugs, rolly pollies). Those are now gone - pesticide granuals. A guy at a local nursery recommneded malathion which I used, and I am still having the problem. It's not an animal (my beagle ensures no varmits step foot in the yard), and I really do not think it is a fungus - they look toomuch like they are being chewed through, and then left to topple over and die. I can't for the life of me figure out what to do. I had the same problem last year and gave up. Impatiens in pots next to the bed are perfect. Has anyone experienced a problem of this nature? Any advice / info would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm having the same problem. Did you get any advice?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:29PM
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MrImpatiens(Zone 9 CA)

It sounds like you have a varmit under the soil. They like to eat the roots and leave the rest. Could be a vole, gopher or something of that nature.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 11:58PM
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it is I'm pretty sure Rhizoctonia crown rot, Rhizoctonia solani, it's a fungus. The same thing has been happening to my impatiens in one of my flower beds and I was looking for diseased that affect impatiens and found this and the pictures tell the story. I am now on the hunt to find something to get rid of it. This response may be too late, but now you have the solution for next year, because it seems like once it is there it will remain until you get rid of it. Hope this helps you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 3:22PM
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I have potted impatiens which have been doing beautifully. They are in the front of my home near front door. Last night they were eaten like a huge giant woiuld eat a salad. Could it be groundhogs? If so what can I Do?

Thanks a b unch!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 4:59PM
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maw57(6 - Cincinnati Ohio)

I bet you have grubs in the soil. Grubs eat the roots from the bottom up, they eat until about 1/4" from the top of the root. The plant looks like it's withering from loss of water, then just falls over on its side. You pick it up and there's just a little bit of root still attached.

I'm in Ohio and grubs are an absolute pain here. I used Nematodes from Gardens Alive and got rid of them. Look at their website and follow their application directions. They are natural microscopic critters and they eat the grubs. They are beneficial and at their application rates and dont seem to cause longer term problems.

I had to apply them for about two seasons - I did it in the spring and I havent had a problem since. You can get a feeling for how bad they are when you plant the annuals in the spring if you hit a lot you need to treat them.

THe house moved into had really bad soil and had never been planted. New garden locations can get infestations. Once you get a more healthy, organic base, it seems to be less of a problem.

I really is frustrating though - I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Just an update; my impatiens did have crown and root rot they were treated with a fugicide and all is well. I wish I would have figured this out earlier in the summer, I could have saved the majority of my flower bed. I asked what may have caused this and it was the combination of evening watering and hot summer nights. Basically don't water in the evening if the flower bed is not located in enough sun to dry it out otherwise the fugus will appear and once there attack each flower one by one until the whole bed is destroyed. At least I now know for next year and I won't be blaming the squirels for stopping on my flowers.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Could you please tell me which fungicide you used to successfully rid your flower beds of the crown and root rot n your impatiens?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 7:40PM
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MrImpatiens(Zone 9 CA)

You may want to try fungaway but I dont it would work for that. I dont know of anything that will really stop it. It is caused by the cold and damp. I have heard of sulfer helping for tuberous plants.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:13PM
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I am convinced my impatiens are disappearing due to a fungus. Nothing else makes any sense....I have thousands of impatiens in many beds front, side and back of my house. The areas that are dying comprise just a small part of only a few beds but when I replace them, in 3-5 days, they die but all the others are fine. It is not an issue of over watering or improper light. And it is warm in Fl so the ground is not cold. I have replanted over and over hoping that this time they will be OK, thinking for a long time that perhaps these were infected plants when I got them and a new batch would do the trick. It appears as though something in the soil in just those locations is eradicating them. I have used Seven Dust and diazinon to treat these areas but that did nothing. I have been plagued with this on and off for several years and finally am determined to find something that will help. So I sprayed ( soaked the ground) in these areas yesterday with a organic fungicide I got at Home Depot. Will let you know what happens.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 8:10AM
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