Impatiens In Peril

They are a staple of so many gardens – and a delight to the eye. But Schroon Laker Jane DeMaioo, warns us about a relatively benign condition known as impatiens downy mildew.

Science News reports that the mildew was almost unheard of two years ago. Now the disease has ravaged flower beds in some of the more humid parts of the country. After rain or fog followed by balmy nights, the disease can turn a lush flower border into a straggle of bare stalks that eventually collapse and die.

In New York, another state that has seen two years of mildew, floriculturist Nora Catlin of Suffolk County frets over giving such advice. “I hate to tell people not to plant a plant,” she says, but this may be an opportunity to try growing something new.

Preventing an outbreak would require diligent pesticide treatment several times a month on the supposedly easy-care impatiens. Once the disease shows up in a plant, there’s no cure.

You can get more of the story here.