Shade-tolerant impatiens were a popular landscape plant, until an infestation of downy mildew hit our area several years ago.
Despite reports that a solution has been found to protect plants from downy mildew, we’ve decided to keep impatiens off our shelves again this year.
“There are so many plants that can be used instead of impatiens. You’ll be more successful with much better results,” explains John Darin, president of English Gardens. “We want our customers to have success in their gardens, and don’t want to sell something that can possibly fail.”
Downy mildew affects all types of standard impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), including doubles, minis and interspecific hybrids such as Fusion.
“The treatments aren’t a definitive solution,” says John. “We believe it’s just a matter of time before plants will be affected and need to be replaced in the garden.”
There are many alternatives. It’s a great time to experiment and try something new, including:
- NEW FOR 2015: Bounce Interspecific Impatiens are resistant to downy mildew and thrive in sun and shade;
- Begonias: 18 varieties, great for shade or sun;
- New Guinea Impatiens: Great for sun or part sun areas and available in six colors;
- Coleus: More than 20 varieties with colorful foliage and unique texture, great for shade or sun;
- SunPatiens: Eight vibrant colors, great for sunny areas;
- Vinca: Eight vibrant colors, ideal for sun and summer heat.