Impatiens Not Available for 2013 Flowerbeds Due to Downy Mildew Disease

April 29, 2013

Downy mildew of impatiens is a new disease, which was diagnosed in 2012 for the first time in Massachusetts. Symptoms vary from slight yellowing of foliage to nearly total leaf loss. As the disease continues to progress, the leaves and flowers will drop, resulting in bare stems with only a few tiny, yellow leaves remaining.

Unfortunately, there is nothing gardeners can do to prevent or cure the disease. Where the disease has occurred, impatiens must be pulled up, bagged, and disposed of. They cannot be composted. Since the soil is most likely contaminated, impatiens should not be replanted in the same site for at least a couple of years.

In 2013, Mount Auburn will plant begonias, rather than impatiens, in lot beds. However, because begonias do not grow well in very sunny locations, Mount Auburn can make an appropriate substitution with a different plant.

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