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Talkback: Impatiens downy mildew



  • i have a problem with busy lizzies,the roots are ok but the base of the stem has rotted with white small wire worms and small maggots ,is this due to disease or pest please help
  • i went away for a weeks holiday and when i came home all my buzy lizzies have died. they have no leaves or flowers left on on stems and it sounds alot like this downy mildrew disease, they were all in full bloom and healthy before i went away.
  • Likewise, Susan. All mine are starting to die off, having been brilliantly healthy up till the last week or so. They just collapse and disintegrate. We had huge problems with this disease back in 2008 (and also suffered from it last year), but I had hoped that a better summer would mean that the plants would survive this year. No such luck it seems. Since there appears to be no cure, I suppose we have to look for a replacement next year, which is a shame because buzy lizzies are so colourful and so varied. I wonder if the nurseries will start producing trays of the Borneo impatiens as that seems to be immune from this disease.
  • I have busy lizzies in hanging pouches. All have been doing fine and are in full bloom. However, last night I noticed the the busy lizzies growing out of the top of one of the pouches had wilted quite dramatically. On closer inspection of the plant I saw a downy type layer of what looked like mildew on the undersides of the leaves, on the flowers and buds too...this downy layer of whatever it is, looks very much like frost. Can someone please tell me whether this is downy mildew and if it is what should I do? I've removed/cut away all the affected leaves, stalks, flowers and buds - is this enough though? Or is there more I should be doing? I'm a new gardener and would really appreciate some advice.
  • It's happening in South Wales too. Exactly the same, have had a glorious show of busy lizzies in patio tubs. Went away for a week and have come back to just bare stems, looks like they've been struck by lightning! No obvious pests.
  • AT LAST ,its not my imagination, i lost all my busy lizzies last year, thought it was something i did wrong, all the ones i have planted have rotted, SO dissappointed as i LOVE busy lizzies as they last so long and give such a colourful display, what i cant understand if its known about WHY are the garden centres selling them ???
  • I have the same problem Just outside London. After giving a wonderful display for about 4 weeks the plants started dying. I first thought slugs have eaten them but when I did shake some plants I could see white powder dropping off. I didn't have a clue what it was until I read the comments above. Thank you all. I will have to look for some other plants to cover the beds now at end of June!
  • I have suffered the same problem with my Impatiens. Having read the comments on your site I contacted the vendor, a local nursery, and the diagnosis was confirmed. No mention of a refund or replacements was made and when I raised the subject I was informed that I had no right of redress. This, I was informed, was once of the occasional hazards encountered in horticulture and, hopefully, could not happen again (to this species, at least). Is that so? It seems wrong that garden centres and nurseries continue to sell this species if this is a known problem.
  • I recently bought some 60 busy lizzie plants from a local nursery shop only to find that upon planting they seemed to deteriorate before my eyes! I initially thought that slugs or some other garden pest was at the root of the problem. I have since had to remove all the busy lizzies including some that had already been established and now am starting again. I have yet to return to the nursery near to Pontypridd and inform them....I don't expect a refund but I hope that they accept that the infected plants came from themselves and will act according to the instructions for eradicating this disease. Will post again when I have more information.
  • Same thing happened in the last 2 weeks to my busy lizzies, i'm in Dublin, Ireland. They looked great after planting and then one by one wilting. After reading this, i looked on the underside of the leaves & sure enough they were powdery white. I just pulled them all out, bagged them and threw them out.
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