Brantim Blog

Impatiens Disease – Downy Mildew

Some impatiens plants in this garden lost their leaves to downy mildew.  (photo/Janna Beckerman)

Some impatiens plants in this garden lost their leaves to downy mildew.
(photo/Janna Beckerman)

A new threat to impatiens called ‘Downy Mildew’ has invaded our area and this disease now basically covers all of North America.

The disease affects only the well know plant ‘impatiens’, which is used extensively in gardens, landscaping and in containers. Gardeners have traditionally loved this plant for its ability to tolerate partial shade, but because of this disease the plant will be hard to find.

What Happens?

The plant will appear normal one day and the next day there will be nothing left but  denuded stems.The disease spreads releasing its spores into the wind. So far, there are no known preventative measures that can be followed.

Are all impatiens affected?

The variety affected is “impatiens walleriana” that includes standard impatiens, double impatiens and trailing impatiens. The only varieties not affected are sunpatiens and new guinea impatiens because they are from an entirely different plant family.

So, can I buy impatiens at all?

Because of this troublesome disease, Brantim will not carry the regular impatiens variety this year but will have an extensive sunpatiens and new guinea selection on our benches. We’ll keep you posted on any new information that may become available.

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