Impatiens Downy Mildew

97fa332acfe4c3e84055dd0533d2d848I’ve been reading about fungal spores this morning. I was hopeful that that the Impatiens Blight of last year that turned healthy looking plants into flat pancakes had been eradicated. Afraid not. We now have an acronym, which is rarely a good sign. The disease is called Impatiens Downey Mildew and many articles refer to it simply as IDM. The conventional wisdom is that gardeners should plant coleus or begonias instead.

The problem is, I don’t like coleus or begonias. Last year, I ignored the warnings and filled my pots with impatiens. They did well until late August. It’s a strange disease. Only a few of my plants succumbed. In a pot that contained three plants, only one plant died. And when I say died, I really mean it. Overnight, it went from perky, upright to hanging over the side gasping for air. When I removed the plant, it felt soggy, and it broke off, leaving the roots behind.

So what to do? I’ve cleaned out all of my planters and plan to start with fresh potting soil. The window boxes off of the deck have been earmarked for herbs this year, so the question really is what to put in the planters on the patio. Still thinking about it, but my guess is that I’ll cross my fingers, plant impatiens and hope for the best.

I found a picture from last year. Too pretty not to give them another chance.


About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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