Impatiens and other options for 2015

Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 3:49 pm by Turks Greenhouses

Downy mildew of Impatiens aka Plasmopara obduscens has affected areas of Lake and Cook Counties in Illinois for the last few years.  In our greenhouses or on our premises we have not had any cases of downy mildew.  Although planting bedding Impatiens is still an option, many gardeners have questions about what they should do.  This is our advice:

If your yard and neighbors’ yard have been downy mildew free and you would still like to plant Impatiens, go ahead.  Just keep in mind that the downy mildew spores are in the environment and may some day make it to your neighborhood.   

Gardeners who find downy mildew in their garden should remove all of the diseased plant material to avoid further infection in the garden or in neighbors’ gardens.  It may be difficult to rid the planting area of this disease because the pathogen can remain in the soil.  In this case, if downy mildew has infected Impatiens in your landscape we recommend that something else be planted in it’s place this year.  

Of course, gardeners that have shady planting beds usually know their plant options and they know that they are limited.  Begonias, Coleus, and some Nicotianas or Salvias if there is at least three to four hours of sun, these are the most popular alternatives.  We often hear over and over again ‘I just want to be able to plant Impatiens.’     

Here at Turks’ Greenhouses we wanted to make planting Impatiens without the worry of a downy mildew infection still a possibility.  This year we did something new.  We have offered in the past the wonderful ‘Divine’ series of New Guinea Impatiens in 4.5 inch pots along with our other Harmony and Infinity New Guinea Impatiens.  These great plants will be available this year in flats.  We are able to bring to our customers downy mildew resistant impatiens in flats of 18 large plants with a range of colors and mixes.  The pricing per flat is dramatically less than the traditional New Guinea Impatiens and  just slightly higher than the regular Impatien flats but there will be no worry of a possible downy mildew disaster.  


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