Saturday, January 26, 2013

Avoid problems with impatiens downy mildew

If garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) did not perform particularly well last year in your landscape, hanging baskets or other containers, they may have been infected by a disease pathogen called impatiens downy mildew (Plasmopara obducens). Disease symptoms included leaf yellowing, followed by leaf curling and then leaf drop or a fuzzy white coating on the underside of leaves. This disease only infects garden impatiens. It does not infect New Guinea impatiens or SunPatiens.
This disease pathogen can overwinter in the soil. If garden impatiens are placed in the same location this coming spring where diseased plants were located in 2012, the new plants may get the same disease again. You may want to consider alternative shade plants to provide color and texture to landscape beds and/or containers.
Garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
infected with impatiens downy mildew.
Photo by Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University.


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