B.J. B
B.J. B
  • Hometalker
  • Lexington, MI
Asked on Aug 14, 2013

Impatiens Fungus ?

MaryAnn BCharlotteCathy Collins
+19

Answered

My daughter lives in Canton, Ohio. She usually plants 2 or 3 flats of impatiens. They have looked healthy and beautiful all summer and now they are dying rapidly. She recently bought play sand for the sandbox located next to her garden. The plants right next to the sandbox were affected 1st and it's spreading out from there. The sand had a lot of moisture in it when we put in in the box. We are wondering if the fungus could have somehow come from the sand. Her Impatiens in pots and window boxes aren't affected. Does anyone have any information on this?
Impatiens in window boxes are healthy.
Impatiens in window boxes are healthy.
20 answers
  • Nancy Hand
    on Aug 14, 2013

    I'm not sure if the sand had anything to do with it. Impatiens can rot easy with over watering or a lot of rain.

  • House Of Hawthornes
    on Aug 14, 2013

    There is a mildew that is prevalent on impatiens this year. I thought @Douglas Hunt had done a post on it on Hometalk, but I can't find it right now, so I may be wrong. If you do a search for "impatiens mildew" here you'll find a few people talking about it though.

  • B.J. B
    on Aug 14, 2013

    Thank you. I'll see if I can find it.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 15, 2013

    Here is a post by @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on the downy mildew disease that is decimating impatiens: http://www.hometalk.com/1257106/the-impatien-dilemma

  • Sue
    on Aug 15, 2013

    I had a hard time even finding regular impatients here in Maine. Most place were not selling them because of the blight scare. I di find some and put them in my window box and they are still doing great. No blight yet!

  • B.J. B
    on Aug 15, 2013

    Thanks for the post Douglas. This is sooo sad. Nothing can really replace our beautiful Impatiens. I'm wondering if we have to wait for a mildew resistance Impatiens strain to be developed, or if they will eventually create an effective antifungal agent. Even so, I really don't like to use chemicals in my gardens. I'm going to enjoy every Impatiens flower while I still can.

    • Douglas Hunt
      on Aug 16, 2013

      @B.J. B That's what you should do. From what I've read, they expect it to be years before the problem can be dealt with effectively.

  • Jay
    on Aug 16, 2013

    Yes,its really sad! All my beautiful pots of impatiens just died one after another.It was just breaking off from where the soil line started.

  • Patricia Rauscher
    on Aug 16, 2013

    I love impatiens too and normally plant quite a few. Because of the blight I didn't this year :( I did however still put in about a dozen New Guinea impatiens and they did great, no problems. I am in Indiana, I know a lot of Ohio gardeners did have problems. I really missed my beautiful bright impatiens, they bring beautiful color to my semi- shaded garden spots like nothing else can. I hope they are working on a blight resistent variety.

  • Pam Kaiser
    on Aug 16, 2013

    The garden shop where I buy my flowers did not sell Impatiens this year. They said there was a fungus in some of them.Told me I might be able to get some somewhere else, but I didn't want to take the chance either. So it sounds like it was probably there when you got them.

  • B.J. B
    on Aug 16, 2013

    I didn't know that New Guinea Impatiens would be ok. Thank you Jayashree.

  • MaryAnn B
    on Aug 17, 2013

    After reading the original post back when, I decided not to take the chance on impatiens, so planted wax begonia instead. I like the look just as well.

  • Jo
    on Aug 17, 2013

    Yes, I had the same problem last year. I read about the fungus so I made sure to plant all impatiens in new soil this year....I still lost about half of them. Next year I'm buying all begonias...the green leaf ones have just done beautifully this year.

  • Cindy T. Of Mich
    on Aug 17, 2013

    It is a air born fungi. Sand didn't have anything to do with it. Don't plant Imp. this year.. Maybe next year will be better for them. I miss my Imp. I planted begonia instead. Best of luck.

    • B.J. B
      on Aug 18, 2013

      @Cindy T. Of Mich Thanks for the information. I didn't know it was air born. I've already been looking in my garden books picking out begonias for next year.

  • Sue
    on Aug 17, 2013

    I had a hard time finding impatients as most places were not selling them. I did find one greenhouse that had them so put some in my window box. They have done great and are still going strong. No blight. Glad I took the gamble on them as I love those .

  • Peg
    on Aug 17, 2013

    I respected the garden centers who did not sell impatiens this year due to the downy mildew fungus. I did not want my wild flower Jewel Weed to be infected, it is a native plant. True, the Guinea impatiens were not affected.

  • Nancy
    on Apr 19, 2015

    The downy mildew affected impatiens during the 2012-2013 seasons. It spreads rapidly and has devastated the impatiens plants. As of spring 2014 ALL reputable Michigan nurseries stopped selling impatiens. The disease is not curable at this time. They will not be available for the 2015 season.

  • Nancy
    on Apr 19, 2015

    The downy mildew that infects impatiens spreads through air born spores. It can not be eradicated with fungicides or pesticides at this time. The spores can overwinter in debris.

  • Cathy Collins
    on Apr 30, 2015

    There has been a blight on impatiens for the past few years. They haven't been selling them here on Long Island for a couple of years because of it. I was told that they will be coming back this season.

  • Charlotte
    on Apr 30, 2015

    Is this happening only in the colder climates? Here in Alabama, impatiens are in abundance.

  • MaryAnn B
    on May 1, 2015

    After reading this last year I didn't plant any. There was no problem in my area with this so I plunged in this year...I missed my impatients last year

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