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Talkback: Impatiens downy mildew

Will garden centres continue to sell these to the unsuspecting public next year and if so will there be refunds available if mildew reoccurs? The new guinea impatiens is much more expensive to buy and I CAN'T SEE HOW i could afford to use these plants on a large scale Ruth harris


  • Hi Guys, this has happened in Lowestoft too. I am a retired commercial grower, and when this happened to my Busies I was so upset - and my pride was hurt! The weird thing was that there were no obvious signs. I looked for mildew (any) but nothing was visible. Normally if Busies take a bad shock you can trim them right back and they will grow back, bless 'em. Dead is dead! If this problem becomes embedded (no pun intended) it will be a major blow for growers and gardeners alike.
    Does anyone know if they problem is due to our odd Spring weather or how downy mildew is spread please.
    All the best, Penny
  • Like Kathleen I too have lost some busy lizzies in 2 pots on the patio. These were some I bought early July for a bit more colour,the ones I bought at the start of the season are all fine,so I don't know what has caused it.At first I thought of slugs or snails or even vine weevil but there is no sign of any of these pests.
  • Hi, Exactly the same problem here in N.Derbyshire. 200 impatiens planted from a very large grower in early July. All ok till late August when the first began to die. Now they are all gone. Normally they last till November. Symptoms are gradual defoliation leaving bare stalks. No sign of mildew on the back of leaves. The stalks then die also. Root structures look normal.
  • we bought 160 from a well known supplier and all have died, they were all in tubs round the garden. We thought at first that it was due to slugs or snails, but it started with spots on the leaves, which then turned yellow and fell off. We have left them in situ at the moment hoping they would come back. This is in Staffordshire.
  • I too lost all my Busy Lizzies - what a disappointment - i am pretty new to gardening and so far my displays have been lovely but my raised flower beds look so sad ;-( will i need to replace all the soil/compost in the beds before i plant anything else??
  • Downy mildew is quite rife in Royston. Gardeners thought, at first, that slugs, snails and finally, pigeons were causing the damage. What to do for next year??
  • I live in the south of Spain and have busy lizzies in pots in my patio all year round.For the first time ever they are all dying the same way- the stalks go all mushy and fall off.Could this be the same thing that is happening in England?
  • All my Busy Lizzies suffered the same fate as that described by John Gascoigne and others, above.I too was baffled as to the cause, as the problem just spread across the display until all plants were totally stripped of flowers and leaves.This was in Stafford town.
  • I have always chosen Busy Lizzies for pots and borders as they are very forgiving when I fail to water them! They require minimum maintenance and often flower well into the autumn. Couldn't find any begonias so purchased / grew all Busy Lizzies this year and lost most of them; so the North West has had problems too!
  • I my husbands busy lizzies are also the same as the others reported. Does the soil need to be treated as he has found one of his wall flowers that he put in place of the busy lizzies has started to die off. He pulled it up and there was very little root left on the plant. We live in the Loughborough area of Leicestershire.
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