Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Hello Spring and info about Impatiens Downy MildewIn: Impatiens Downy Mildew 4/09/2013 By: Liz @ Sit With Me In My Garden
Hello spring? I was reviewing my posts from a year ago and about this time I posted about the weather and how my magnolia had been damaged by the hard frosts we had been getting. April 14th, 2012
Well this year is quite different (more normal) and we are a long way off from seeing any flowering shrubs or even tulips for that matter! We still have snow on the ground and I got excited that the snow had melted enough that I could see some mulch on the retaining wall!
Impatiens Downy Mildew-
I just read an article in an April 2013 publication of Michigan Gardener. It talked of a new disease that is spreading across the country called
"Impatiens downy mildew"
I can't find the article on their web page just yet so I will quote bits and pieces
from the article.
"It showed up in California in 2004 and limited area of the south in 2009. Here in Michigan in 2012, impatiens that were thriving one week were defoliated and nearly dead a week later.
Regular seed grown impatiens are the victims of this rampant disease. In the early phase, the leaves yellow and curl. If you turn the leaves over you will clearly see the downy mildew (white powdery spores) on the underside. In the late phase, plants completely defoliate within a couple weeks.
The disease produced spores that can move in the air and overwinter in the soil. Even if you didn't have downy mildew last year, it is very likely that you will have it this year.
Growers can apply specialized fungicides that will protect impatiens for up to 6 weeks, but there is no cure once the plants are infected. It is impractical for the home gardener to try treating the disease since these chemicals need to be applied frequently by a certified applicator.
Many commercial growers have chosen not to offer regular or double impatiens this season. The good news is that we have so many great alternatives, including New Guinea Impatiens that can perform beautifully where we used
to grow regular impatiens."
If you have followed me you know I use impatiens
around my garden near the fountain.
I have full shade here and I don't know what I'm going to use. The only sun that shines here is in the morning and it's more of a dapple of sun.
Some of the suggestions the article calls off are the New Guinea Impatiens, Divine New Guinea, SunPatiens, Nicotiana (tobacco plant),
Nierembergia (cup flower), and Fuchsia.
I know some of these require a bit of sun which I really don't have.
I had never even heard of this mildew problem until I read this article and I'm bummed out about it. I love how the impatiens fill out and they offer a continuous bloom. They are also cost effective compared to buying plants like the New Guinea impatiens.
I hate to think that if I planted impatiens that they could die off on me and I'd loose my color for the season. Call me selfish, but my window of gardening is short and I cherish it.
The only other plant I can think of (that won't cost a fortune) that provide a full amount of color and can take shade is Coleus. It's not as pretty as the impatiens and does require some tending to keep a nice shape.
Have any of you ever had this problem? Any suggestions for shade loving annuals are welcome!
I haven't spoken to any of my favorite garden center people yet, but I intend to. I want to see if they are on alert about this and if they are planning any alternatives.
Labels: Impatiens Downy Mildew
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- I'm definitely a gardening enthusiast! Hubby and I have worked together to create the landscape you see in our yard. I've enjoyed planting flowers since I was 17 years old and of course that has evolved into a wider range of things. Trial and error have taught me a lot but there is always more to learn! I'm grateful you've stopped by and I welcome you to follow along!
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