Question from Helen in Ajax, Ont.:
Just wondering if there is any news about impatiens plants. As you know, we have been told not to plant the regular garden-stand impatiens due to the downy mildew issue that hit them a few years ago. Have the growers been able to develop a replacement? Will we see them in the nurseries this spring? If so, are they safe to plant?
I haven’t heard any updates about downy mildew on impatiens. We may not hear much about it because fewer people are growing traditional impatiens. Also, plant diseases can sometimes be cyclical.
However, breeders have recently introduced a new type of impatiens that is not susceptible to the disease, sold under the trade name Bounce. These are a cross between New Guinea impatiens (which are not prone to downy mildew) and common impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). Bounce impatiens comes in lilac, pink, cherry, white and coral colours.
Bounce impatiens look like huskier versions of the regular impatiens — smaller flowers than what are found on New Guinea impatiens, but there are many on each plant. Plants do well in either sun or shade. I haven’t grown them myself, but this is what the growers report. Bounce impatiens was introduced in 2015, so it’s relatively new.
More about downy mildew and impatiens On Garden Making
Do you have a question or information to share?
If you have something to suggest, please do so in the comments section below. We know gardeners always have lots of information to share.