Friday, March 29, 2019

Impatiens Downy Mildew

Friday, March 29, 2019

During the past year and especially last spring when gardeners were thinking about what annuals they usually grow or purchase for their gardens, I mentioned that progress was being made with Impatiens Downy Mildew which in previous years knocked out impatiens in much of the East Coast but also in many points worldwide. I mentioned how the plant industry was recommending many other plants as substitutes which like impatiens could tolerate some shade. New Guinea Impatiens were recommended as were various seed begonias and coleus.

I am offering this research update because I don't want to leave folks thinking that the problems are gone and impatiens purchases will be completely fine this year. Obviously, there is a wide chain of seed and there is always the possibility that seed that grew plants that were susceptible to IDM is still out there and might be used. 

This article from one of Ball Seed's publications says that things are looking better in the research arena but final research and testing, eventual seed production, growing and testing, are still required. I was interested to see mentioned that the disease was in the soil for a long time but only in very recent years did it begin to multiply. I will never be a scientist but I do know that half a degree in temperature change has taught me how quickly new insects make their way to Vermont and invasive plants or plants we never before saw as invasive are suddenly overtaking areas where we previously planted them intentionally after purchasing them from dependable nurseries and greenhouses we had used for years. 

Check out the news release and keep a good eye on all your plants!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

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