Decline of the Standard Impatiens

Pink & White Impatiens

The Standard Impatiens have long been a shady favorite in Southern gardens.

Impatiens are a tradition for those of us with shady gardens.  It is hard to find a more cheerful flower with vibrant colors that enjoys both shade and heat in our long summer months.  Growing up in New Orleans Impatiens could be seen growing in all the neighbor’s yards.

Sadly, Green Meadows Landscaping has noticed the disease killing Impatiens in neighborhoods across North Dallas.  This disease is killing standard and double Impatiens (Impatiens Ballerina).  Several of our growers have made the decision to no longer sell Impatiens.

Downy mildew attacks healthy plants, and within a week your plant is dead.  Symptoms can include changing leaf color to a yellowish color and leaves that curl slightly.  Leaves and flowers will begin to drop quickly.  There is not an effective treatment for downy mildew.  The disease is transferred through wind currents, water, and other contaminated plants.  Because this disease cannot be treated and spreads so quickly throughout neighborhoods the recommendation is not to plant Impatiens.

Sunpatiens are recommended for use in landscaping in place of standard or double Impatiens  Sunpatiens

Sunpatiens are an alternative to the standard Impatiens.  Colors options range from white to orange, shades of pink and purple.  The Sunpatiens will take more sun than the standard Impatiens.  Check flower tags carefully when you are buying from local retailers or farmers markets to make sure you are getting Sunpatiens.  Green Meadows Landscaping is able to offer several different varieties of Sunpatiens.

Variegated hosta, shade tolerant Caladium, shade plant, pink caladium Coleus, shade plant, variegated

Leafy alternatives include Hostas, Caladiums & Shade Coleus

There are a lot of creative choices when it comes to finding a new favorite.  Begonias have long been paired with Impatiens, often used in front of Impatiens to create depth in the landscape.  Begonias can still be used.  They do not seem to be affected by the mildew.  Hostas are a leafy perennial that come in various shades of green and variegation.  Hostas die back completely in the winter.  Most hostas grow 18-24″ tall. Caladiums are brightly colored leaves that come in shades of pink, red, green or white.  They can be grown from bulbs planted when the soil temperature warms up mid-April.  Shade Coleus are also variegated colors of green, red, purple, and white.  Coleus are hardy plants that do well in our hot Texas weather.  If you have questions about what variety would work best in your landscape give Green Meadows Landscaping a call.



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