THE IMPATIEN Dilemma

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Whether you are a garden novice or a veteran gardener, you may be aware of the sad fact that our shade garden annual favorite is being denied life by the nasty downy mildew that spreads all across our nation now. Even if you save your own Impatien seed and keep other garden center plants away from your carefully and lovingly tended imps, you are still vulnerable as this is an airborn pathogen that will stay in your soil from one season to the next. It starts on the underside of the plant where you don't always see it. You won't notice until the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the plant withering and dying. There is nothing as of yet that effectively will combat the virulent attack.
This is my list of alternatives to the dilemma of what to plant to give that same heavenly splash of color in the shade garden.
My top picks are
1) Begonia , green wax leaf, tuberous , angel and dragon wing
2) Torenia
3) Browallia
4) New guinea impatien
5) Diascia
6) Fuschia
7) Balsam
8) Shade coleus
9) Lobelia
10) Euphorbia 'diamond frost'
11) Geraniums
12) Ageratum
13) Caladiums
14) Strobilanthes
15) Fan Flower(Scaevola)
There are a bunch more that will take part shade such as Nicotiana, Salvia, and Sweet Williams.
I will miss the sweet sweet impatien, but while the experts search for a cure, it gives us all the opportunity to step out of our garden box and into the wild new territory of DIFFERENT and awesome plants that will put a smile on our garden faces.
Difficulty: Easy

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    • Barb Rosen
      Barb Rosen Wilmington, DE
      on Apr 4, 2013

      Thanks for this, Donna! Not being able to use our old stand-by, colorful impatiens, for shady areas is a big dilemma, Great to have a list of possible substitutes to try. much appreciated!

      • Debbie Borthwick
        Debbie Borthwick Canada
        on Apr 4, 2013

        I've heard of this problem, but haven't seen it...yet. I had impatiens in my gardens last year, but didn't have any issues. But, I doubt I'll plant them this year, I don't want to take the chance.