Disease-Resistant Impatiens

My neighbor bought impatiens with small green leaves (not New Guinea) from a nursery this spring. The plants look like the type of impatiens I planted years ago that had a disease. Is it safe to assume the new plants are disease free?


Answer

There is good news for impatiens lovers!

There have been some improved resistance Impatiens introduced recently in response to the Impatiens Downy Mildew infections that began devastating gardens in 2012. Both I. walleriana and I. basamina are susceptible to  this calamitous disease strain caused by the water mold Plasmopara obducens.  Plants are defoliated leaving only naked stems in the garden bed. Sadly, the entire growing area then becomes infested with overwintering oospore waiting for the opportunity to reinfect plants in the next growing season.

But now you can look for disease-resistant hybrids that are labeled either Beacon® Impatiens from breeders PanAmerican or the Imara XDR series from Syngenta Flowers. Both have been developed through the dedicated work of growers and tested under trial conditions at state cooperative extension facilities. Additional breeding programs are underway with exciting results, and more disease-resistant impatiens may greet the market soon.

While even disease-resistant plants are not immune to disease, these strains are less likely to be seriously impacted by downy mildew and have demonstrated an ability to remain attractive for a full season. They have fared well in field trials when grown next to infected plants or in an area where diseased plants have been recently removed. Take particular care to follow the breeders instructions on plant spacing and care for best results. Do not over-fertilize.

Happy Gardening!

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

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  • Last Updated May 10, 2022
  • Views 7
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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