Downy Mildew And Its Devastating Effect On Impatiens

What is Downy Mildew?

Impatiens downy mildew is a foliar disease that is capable of complete plant devastation.  Although sporadic back in 2004, today the disease seems widespread and here to stay, at least for some years to come.

 

How does it spread?

Water splashing spores off an infected plant can spread the disease, but perhaps the most alarming method is the wind.  Air currents can carry the infected spores for hundreds of miles until they finally settle in a flower bed somewhere.  Which means if your plants are located in an area that receives wind your impatiens can get downy mildew.  Plant these flowers with caution.

 

Early Symptoms:

Light-green yellowing or stippling of leaves

Subtle gray markings on upper leave surface

Downward curling of infected leaves

White downy-like fungal growth on the underside of leaves.

 

Advanced Symptoms:

Leaf and flower drop resulting in bare, leafless stems

Infected stems become soft and plant collapse under cool, wet conditions.

Once a plant is infected it can not be saved. Remove any infected plants and discard to help prevent spreading.

 

Recommended alternatives that love the shade:

New Guinea Impatiens

Divine New Guinea Impatiens

Begonias

Torenia

Coleus

These plants can be safely planted in a flower bed that has shown evidence of the disease.  All of which are in stock and ready for you at Bengert Greenhouse.


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