impatiens with white coating of downy mildew

If you see downy mildew on impatiens, please contact researcher

by Connie Oswald Stofko Downy mildew on impatiens has been found in Lockport, and if you find it on your impatiens plants, too, a Cornell researcher wants your help. Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, has been providing us with information on this disease that will kill impatiens since my first article on impatiens in 2012. Daughtrey works in the the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, directed…

healthy impatiens by Stofko

Odds may be in our favor for impatiens this year; you can help researchers

  by Connie Oswald Stofko What are the odds your impatiens will do well this year? Well, we had a drought last summer, so that’s good. The dry weather inhibited the spread of downy mildew, which is the blight that has been plaguing  Impatiens walleriana, the plant that shade gardens had come to know and love for decades. Then again, our spring has been wet and cool, which are conditions that help the disease thrive, said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate…

healthy impatiens in Lancaster NYJune 2013 closeup

You can plant impatiens in your shady garden if you want to play the odds

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to plant impatiens this year, you can take steps to decrease your chances of having your flowers killed by the blight called downy mildew, said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University. One thing you can do is to plant your impatiens in hanging baskets where they might be more sheltered from the disease. You can also plant them among other plants so…

Impatiens Bounce courtesy Ball Horticultural

Shade gardeners: new ‘Bounce’ may be good alternative to impatiens

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardeners who are looking for colorful flowers for the shade have a promising alternative to impatiens called ‘Bounce’. A few years ago, downy mildew began killing impatiens walleriana, the regular old impatiens that shade gardeners depended on for decades. Ever since then, gardeners have been looking for alternatives. See some alternatives to impatiens here. I know it’s confusing, but one of those alternatives that we’ll be talking about has a similar-sounding name, New Guinea impatiens. ‘Bounce’…

Impatiens courtesy Margery Daughtrey

Update: Impatiens might do okay in WNY this year, or they might not

by Connie Oswald Stofko If this summer is like last summer in Western New York, you might be able to plant impatiens and have them perform well, perhaps into August, anyway. But there are still a lot of ifs involved, and there are certainly no guarantees. Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University who co-wrote a fact sheet on how downy mildew affects impatiens, gives us an update on what Western New York gardeners might expect from impatiens this…

healthy impatiens in Lancaster NYJune 2013 closeup

How are your impatiens doing? Please let Cornell expert know

by Connie Oswald Stofko Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University who co-wrote a fact sheet on how downy mildew affects impatiens, would like to know how your impatiens are doing. “I saw a photo last week of an impatiens in the Buffalo area with the distinctive white sporulation on the under-surface of the leaves– definitely downy mildew,” Daughtrey said. Daughtrey provided us last year with a photo showing the disease, which you can see below. “Have any of…

coleus replaces impatiens in front yard on Garden Walk Buffalo 2013

Gardeners make substitutes for impatiens on Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko During last year’s Garden Walk Buffalo, mounds of impatiens were flowering robustly at 689 West Delavan, Buffalo.  But just a few weeks later, the impatiens were dropping their leaves. By September, the impatiens were gone, a victim of downy mildew.  This year, Luis Martinez and Jeff Wilson were among the gardeners who had to find different plants to use in shady areas. I visited them during Garden Walk Buffalo, held July 27 and 28. With 376…

Impatiens are dying; choose alternative shade plants instead

by Connie Oswald Stofko For decades, impatiens has been the go-to flower for the shade. But now that a blight is wiping out these wonderful flowers, you’ll have to rethink your plant choices for shady gardens. Some garden centers won’t sell impatiens at all this year, while others will grow a limited supply but will sell them without guarantees. Don’t expect to find impatiens at all next year. What should you plant instead? A couple of local events can help…

impatiens early signs downy mildew disease Margery Daughtrey

Disease that’s killing impatiens may return for years; no treatment exists

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you had problems with your impatiens this year, the good news is that you probably didn’t do anything wrong. The bad news is that your impatiens were probably killed by a fungus-like disease called downy mildew. The disease remains in the soil, so you should plan on planting something different in that spot next year. There is no treatment. “That’s the most challenging thing about it,” said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with Cornell University…

canna lily in Amherst NY

What plants do you overwinter in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Canna lilies are tall, impressive plants that I’ve long admired in Western New York gardens. So when I visited the Master Gardener plant sale in Buffalo this spring and saw a whole area with cannas, I toyed with the idea of actually buying one. When a helpful Master Gardener explained the different varieties, I admitted I was hesitant to buy a canna lily because I’m a lazy gardener. I know you have to bring in the…