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Talkback: Impatiens downy mildew



  • I think number 15 has VINE WEAVEL infestation!
  • I have a few "bussies" left over in the green house, they are thriving. All the ones I planted out have died!
    It is time to do something about the money grabbing attitude which is prompting disasters such as we are now experiencing!!
  • I have noticed retail outlets that are not really horticultural selling bedding plants that are substandard due to ignorance, neglect and incompetence. Poor water starved plants and I have seen slugs and snails in the trays. I have bought what appeared to be good healthy plants only to find clusters of slug or snail eggs in amongst the roots!!!
    I say only buy from gardening outlets!
  • This indeed is a massive problem.
    For the last few years our impatiens have had to treated a chemical cocktail of fungacides, and the glasshouses that they are grown in strictly steralised, actions costing a small fortune. This has ensured that the plants leave our establishment clean and with a certain amount of resistance to downy mildew.

    The problems start once they have been planted out in peoples gardens. Unfortunately mildew's in general can be spread by contact or by drift (in the air). Their growth is also excelerated by damp, and mild weather.

    We are in contact with various bodies who recently declared that they may have found the source of the problem. It seems that the weakest cultivars of impatiens, which are the DOUBLES, may be where it has all started. As a result several commercial supply growers are not releasing doubles into the market this year in an attempt to halt this blasted disease.

    May I try and ensure the public that all reputable nurseries and garden centres have done everything in their power to provide clean plants. However it only takes one person down your road to buy some dodgy plants from 'who know's where' and the fungus will spread.

    Believe me when I say that growers are just as dissapointed about this problem as our customers. Busy lizzies were one of our best sellers in the summer season. Its demand has tumbled and will continue to until confidence returns or the disease is wiped out.

    Lets all hope that next years crops stay clean for those of us who have enough patience to try again.
  • I also have lost all my Busy Lizzies. At first they appeared to be normal plants then all the leaves and flowers were stripped leaving thick healthy looking bare stalks. No sign of slugs or snails. When I dug them up the roots were really well established. This happened in both open ground and in pots. The only plants that seem to have survived are the odd ones I put into my hanging baskets. Reading the symptoms of downy mildew I do not think that was the cause. Are there any other suggestions?
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,094

    I live in France and lost all mine in late summer. I had some very pretty double ones which were the first to go. Then we went to the Amalfi coast in Italy in September and I saw the same problem there.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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