Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Warning from the Master Gardner. . . .

I have a few areas of our yard and surrounding gardens that I felt needed some professional  
guidance so I called a friend and master gardener for her help.  She was very informative and a lot was accomplished.  One of the most alarming bits of information she shared was the downey mildew warning this year with the incoming Impatiens!  (and this applies to everyone across the U.S.)  The large nurseries are shipping mildewed goods to our local nurseries and if planted in the ground, it is possible that all of the Impatiens will die along with other plants that they might come in contact with.   


This is Gracie's garden (named for our little grandaughter)
This will be the 8th year of planting all Impatiens!  Now,
I am not sure what to do.  It is self-contained, but
6 flats of Impatiens is what it takes and my fear is
the downy mildew warning  may kill all of the impatiens
and surounding plants.  What to do?  How do you know the
impatiens that you buy has the mildew. . .




This semi shaded area of our side garden is in full
bloom with impatiens about mid-July.


Has anyone else heard of downy mildew so far this season?












7 comments:

Linda Keaveney said...

Haven't heard anything here in Ontario...perhaps it is only plants grown in the United States...
Our impatience aren't even in the nurseries yet...still pansies and potted bulbs...I hope it doesn't come with our Canadian grown plants as well....sigh...
I normally put my impatience in a container or a basket...that keeps the watering more manageable...especially at the cottage, as we are not there all the time...
Did the gardener have any options for you??? In place of the impatiences.... such a dilemma...keep us posted

Cheers!
Linda :o)

Mary Anne said...

The resolve right now is to plant New Ginea Impatiens. They are hardier and don't come with the concern of downy mildew! If you were to plant the standard impatiens, she suggest that you plant them in pots which are self contained and not a challenge to any surrounding plants.

Mary Anne ox

Anonymous said...

The pathogen that causes impatiens downy mildew only infects Impatiens walleriana (the common garden impatiens). It will not infect or spread to other plants in your garden. This disease was found in several regions of the US and Canada in 2011 (including unconfirmed reports in Ontario, Canada). No responsible grower or retailer is going to intentionally sell infected plants. Most growers are using precaution and taking extra steps to make sure they are selling a healthy and disease-free product. If your impatiens did well last season, more than likely you can enjoy them just as much this season.

Mary Anne said...

Dear Anonymous:
Yes, I was aware that the downy mildew infects the Impatiens walleriana and not other Impatiens. I was told that many nurseries could be selling the Imp walleriana and not be aware of the problem. However, with all of this hype, they all have to now be aware of the problem. Appreciate your comments so much. Many thanks! M.A.

lifeonthecutoff said...

I would heed the warning of a master gardener, Mary Anne. From your comments to others, it sounds like you have investigated this further and come to a solution. I think if you stick to the better garden centers (as opposed to the ones in the big box stores) you should be fine.

Have you tried begonias in Gracie's Garden? They still give that burst of color and don't require as much water. Good luck and let us know as summer progresses how it all goes.

Mary Anne said...

Penny @lifeonthecutoff: Miss you and thanks for your comments. I think you are right that the big box stores may not be as careful as our local nurseries. . . .I am jsut going to go with it and hope that they have been careful with the Impatiens crop!! No, never tried Begonias in Gracie's Garden.Hmmmm, Mary Anne ox

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