Silvery Brown Spots/Unhealthy looking Impatiens

desiree_inthe_gardenJune 16, 2013

I planted some impatiens (Burpee's 30959 - Flavours Hybrid Mix) from seed and they were doing really well as seedlings. I transplanted the majority outside but kept one indoors.

My outdoor plants look stunted and the leaves are curling downwards (though I've never grown impatiens before so I'm not sure if this is normal) and started to develop silvery-brown patches on their leaves. Some have become slightly yellow with white spots and have fallen off. The color of the entire plant also has purple streaks (is this normal?).

The plant I kept in doors has grown much taller with straighter leaves and are a lighter color, so I'm really concerned that something is very wrong with the outdoor ones.

It's not downy mildew as there is nothing like that on the bottom of the leaves. I'm scared it may be Necrotic Spot Virus but they don't look like the pictures I've seen of it.

I'm new to gardening but have loved all of my plants since they sprouted and I'm not sure what I should do. Does anyone know what this might be? Do you think it may be treatable and how?

Thanks so much for your help.

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Great Britain has actually put a quarantine on moving impatien stock since they've been battling downy mildew on them since 2003. It's come to America and so far has been noted in 33 states. Cool, damp springs can make infected plants show symptoms sooner. Many growers in the US are encouraging their clients to switch to other shade annuals to stop the scourge from moving all over the country and get rid of pools of infection vectoring more. I'm not saying you have downy mildew, but encourage you to look it up for the symptoms and consider that a possibility. You can start out with very healthy seed-grown stock, but if you put it where spores can reach it, or mix it with plant material infested with spores, the disease can develop. This could be nothing more than environmental stress of some sort and unless you've grown lots of imps, it may be hard for your to determine the cause. I can't over the internet, sorry.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 6:37PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Looks like environmental stress to me.

But please post another image, but of the underside of that leaf. Doing so could help us clinch the diagnosis

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Exactly, because that is where a mildew would show up first. The leaves actually look very robust and healthy otherwise.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Thanks for the responses!

jean001a and calliope - I think you may have been right about environmental stress. After noticing the problem I brought the plant inside (to try to quarantine it) and it has been doing so much better. It's grown a few inches since the post and the majority of the leaves are clear of spots and some buds are now developing. I know this is a partial shade/shade plant, so it must have been too hot/too much sun outside for it.

Here is a photo of one of the affected leaves taken the same day as the original photo. I had sprayed it with Insecticidal Soap after seeing Spider Mites and I think the residue on it may be from that.

Below are newer images, the undersides of the leaves are looking clear, so I don't think downy mildew will be a problem (it shouldn't occur if I keep the plant indoors, should it?).

Thanks again for all your help!

Back of Older Leaf (Had silvery spots on edge):

Back of New Leaf:

Back of Newer Leaf - Is this coloration normal?:

Entire Planter:

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

first.. either your camera is way off color.. or that is some weird nail polish.. lol ..

newbie eh???

forget about mildew.. you are way off course ...

you grew them indoors... there.. they are leggy.. not enough light ...

now the real trick.. when taking things taking them from low light to high levels of light.. its called hardening them off ... which you need to do to both light and temp ...

i think you just burned them a bit when they went outside .. simply snip off all the bad leaves.. the real key for me.. are the new growth points.. which have acclimated .. and look fine ..

impatiens take to a good cutting back ... track back down the tallest uprights..and at a leaf node ...where a leaf is attached to the stem.. if you look really close.. you will see a bud.. cut 1/4 inch above.. and that bud will trigger.. and you will start rejuvenating it into a more compact plant..

if you do it with a razor blade.. the cut pieces can be rooted rather easily ... by sticking them in some damp media.. and putting them in a palstic bag for a little greenhouse for a week or two ...

do at least the tallest two.. and give it a week.. observe ... it if does as i predicted.. become a little more aggressive ....

finally.. you are not considered a real gardener.. until you have killed every plant 3 times... so forget about failing.. and do be proud.. that you grew them from seed indoors.. and have gotten them as far as you have ... two thumbs up... though i dont have orange thumb nails.. lol ...


    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 8:00AM
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ken_adrian, Yes I'm very new to all of this, and no, my camera's not off, that is bright orange nail polish. :) Thanks for for the advice, I guess they have gotten pretty leggy (it's hard for me because I don't really know what height they should be because I've never had them before and grew them from seeds). I read about pinching flowers but I've been scared because I thought I would mess it up and kill my plants, but I'll keep what you said in mind. I will try cutting them back to try to get them to grow fuller. We'll see!

Thanks again! I've got so much to learn!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:35PM
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