Garden woes

I am losing my impatiens. If it were ‘impatience’ that would be a good thing, but losing the other kind is not.

A couple of weeks ago I heard on the radio about a virile fungus that was infecting B.C. impatiens plants. Some people were bringing their bedding plants back to nurseries, claiming they’d been sold diseased plants, while others were trying to coax entire beds back to health. It was all to no avail.

This fungus is hardy and seems to have no herbicidal cures. The news report said that impatiens may not even be offered as a bedding plant in the stores around here next year.

Shortly after hearing that, I noticed a couple of plants in my garden had stopped blooming, even though they’re in the spot where impatiens usually thrives  till October. I stopped watering them, thinking perhaps they’d been over-watered—though we’ve had hardly any rain this summer and they get only a few sprinkles from the lawn sprinklers.

Today I see that those plants have collapsed entirely.

Fungus-infected impatiens

Impatiens infected with fungus. Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly

On looking at the underside of one of the leaves, I see the culprit, the downy mildew that characterizes this fungus.

Mildew-infected impatiens

Underside of mildew infected impatiens leaf. Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly

The way this spreads (spores on the wind) no doubt all the impatiens that I’ve been babying through this hot dry summer will soon succumb too. I am so sad.

Healthy impatiens.

Healthy impatiens plants not yet infected – back garden. Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly


Front garden impatiens, not infected. Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly

I have done what the article suggested, taken out the remains of the diseased plants, and removed them from the garden. We’ll see how the rest of the plants fare in the coming days.


2 thoughts on “Garden woes

  1. The “LIke” is because you shared valuable knowledge–if everyone would quickly remove and eradicate infected plants the disease would have less chance of spreading.

    I know how sad you fee to watch your flowers wither. People sometimes ask me why/how I live without pets, not realizing my plants, indoors and in the garden, ARE my pets.


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