25 Impatiens Alternatives – Disease Response Alert [UPDATED]

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Across the country, millions of flowers are under threat from a powdery mildew disease ravaging landscapes in 32 states.

This has been an ongoing issue since 2008.

When the disease hits it is devastating but can be managed according to Colleen Warfield, plant pathologist for Ball Horticulture. Powdery mildew disease attacking Impatiens was first thought to be frost damage.

Update 2018

Ball Horticultural has announced some progress. Hick’s Nurseries in New York is reporting the powdery mildew as a problem.

The “first generation of Impatiens walleriana to have been bred to resist the disease that devastated its forebears.” [source]

Hopefully, this will be the start of planting and enjoying the colors of impatiens again in mass. However, I must confess the impatiens flowers on New Guinea’s are very impressive.

What it does… Infected plants can look healthy, it hits hard, turning previous lush mounds into a tangled mess of gnarled stems.

When it happens… The pathogen seems to tolerate warm days, as evening temperatures drop into the upper 50s or lower 60s, it’s ideal for the disease to develop.

What now? Remove offending plant material ASAP, bury or burn it. Don’t replant, think about alternative plantings. To learn more about this devastating impatiens infection, read more here

In response to this destructive disease, Cornell University offered this PDF to help consumers plant options to use in place of colorful impatiens.

Don’t panic there are alternatives for color in the landscape!

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