How have you done with impatiens over the past few years?
No doubt you've heard about that nasty little spore that caused the Impatiens Downy Mildew problem that's swept from the South to the West and then across the Northern states and finally all the way to the East coast.
If you have had this mildew kill your impatiens plants in your garden you should probably continue to avoid them. Unfortunately the spores are known to linger in the soil for up to 5 to 10 years. Here is a link to an article about the Impatiens Downy Mildew.
Some people said they were going to just grow them in hanging baskets hoping to avoid the ground contamination. That sounded smart to me as long as they came to you free of disease. If you end up with sick plants they recommend digging them up, removing any of the plants leaves laying around, bag them up and dispose of them. Don't put them on your compost pile.
Last year I wanted to test an area with a few plants to see how it would go and put a few out back at my fairy garden and they did fine. These were from a local grower.
I'm delighted that we have some local growers in the area who are providing the garden centers (except the big box stores) with their impatiens. That's the best case scenario because they leave the local greenhouse and come to us free of disease. Unfortunately one of the reasons that the downy mildew spread so quickly was because plants that were infected were trucked to retail centers and spread amongst gardens all over the country rather quickly. Know the source of where the plants come from before buying them
I chose wax begonias last to put around the fountain area last year because I wasn't willing to take the chance of planting that whole area only to have it all die back.
My only disappointment was that on the right side which is the heaviest with shade, the begonias didn't grow much. The impatiens are better at flowering with less sun.
As you can see in 2012 the impatiens did real well. I really like how they fill out and they really are my favorite for shade gardening.
I'm feeling gutsy this year and may go ahead and give the impatiens a try again, especially since I know my garden centers can get them from local growers.
|Early summer 2010|
I know the stronger colors show up better so I will keep that in mind when I look!