How to - Pests & Diseases

Important information about impatiens

Veronica Sliva

Learn the facts about downy mildew before heading to the nursery

Should I avoid buying bedding impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) for my garden this year?
Because downy mildew is a relatively new problem, whether it becomes more serious or not remains to be seen. The best advice is to be informed. 

Peter Cantley, vice president of the floral and garden category for Loblaw Companies, works with a network of over 25 Canadian growers to supply his stores. He relies on their knowledge and expertise to play a key role in the plants offered in the chain’s garden centres. “In response to downy mildew, our growers have reduced the amount of Impatiens walleriana they are growing for us for the 2013 season by 20 per cent, so gardeners definitely will be able to purchase [them],” he says. “For those who want an alternative impatiens variety, SunPatiens and New Guinea impatiens types are not affected by downy mildew and they do well not only in the shade but in the sun, too.”
What other shade-loving annuals can I plant?
Here is a list of other shade-lovers to consider:  

For blooms:
  • Fibrous or wax begonia (Begonia semperflorens)
  • Begonia boliviensis types, for example ‘Dragon Wing’, ‘Bonfire’, ‘Million Kisses’, ‘Santa Cruz’
  • Torenia 
  • Lobelia
  • Mimulus
  • Fuschia

For colourful foliage:
  • Coleus  
  • Hypoestes (Polka Dot Plant)
  • Perilla (Magilla)
  • Plectranthus (Emerald Lace)
  • Talinum (Limon, Verde)

Photo: YinYang/stock


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