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May 16, 2014


How have you done with impatiens over the past few years?

No doubt you've heard about that nasty little spore that caused the Impatiens Downy Mildew problem that's swept from the South to the West and then across the Northern states and finally all the way to the East coast. 

If you have had this mildew kill your impatiens plants in your garden you should probably continue to avoid them. Unfortunately the spores are known to linger in the soil for up to 5 to 10 years. Here is a link to an article about the Impatiens Downy Mildew. 

Some people said they were going to just grow them in hanging baskets hoping to avoid the ground contamination. That sounded smart to me as long as they came to you free of disease.  If you end up with sick plants they recommend digging them up, removing any of the plants leaves laying around, bag them up and dispose of them.  Don't put them on your compost pile.

Summer 2013
Last year I wanted to test an area with a few plants to see how it would go and put a few out back at my fairy garden and they did fine.  These were from a local grower.

I'm delighted that we have some local growers in the area who are providing the garden centers (except the big box stores) with their impatiens. That's the best case scenario because they leave the local greenhouse and come to us free of disease.  Unfortunately one of the reasons that the downy mildew spread so quickly was because plants that were infected were trucked to retail centers and spread amongst gardens all over the country rather quickly.  Know the source of where the plants come from before buying them

Summer 2013
I chose wax begonias last to put around the fountain area last year because I wasn't willing to take the chance of planting that whole area only to have it all die back. 
My only disappointment was that on the right side which is the heaviest with shade, the begonias didn't grow much.  The impatiens are better at flowering with less sun.

Summer 2012

As you can see in 2012 the impatiens did real well.  I really like how they fill out and they really are my favorite for shade gardening.

Summer 2011

I'm feeling gutsy this year and may go ahead and give the impatiens a try again, especially since I know my garden centers can get them from local growers.
Early summer 2010
I know the stronger colors show up better so I will keep that in mind when I look!



  1. Oh my goodness, what a charming fountain area, it's beautful and oh so, peaceful! I have impatiens in hanging baskets and they are doing well. Hope they do well for you! Whatever flowers you choose for the fountain area will be just gorgeous!

  2. Liz,

    I hope things work out with your impatiens as they look lovely in your garden. I have way too much sun for them so if you replant them this year I will have to enjoy yours.

  3. Never had a problem with them, they come up every year but only get one colour.

  4. I haven't planted impatience for a couple of years and was thinking of trying them this year. I will take your advice, though, and avoid the big box stores and find mine from a local grower.

  5. I have not had impatiens in a few years. This house is not conducive to shade plants (where I can see them). Your garden area there is just GORGEOUS, Liz. You can tell that is a labor of love...and yes, while the stronger colors show up better I like the serenity of the lighter colors, too. xo Diana

  6. I bought two flats of impatiens this week. I'm goin' for it. I put them in pots and the ground. I'm crossing my fingers. I guess time will tell.

  7. As much as I love Begonias I have to admit the Impatiens looked spectacular for you. If you do them I so hope it works out for you without any problems.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  8. Nice area! There was a problem with Impatiens over here too, I can't remember the last time I saw them for sale.
    Good luck with what ever you choose.

  9. I've always had good luck with impatiens...until last year. I put the plants out, they looked fine for a few weeks and then just died. So,no impatiens this year. I got them at of of the big home improvement centers, so I'm guessing them came with the disease.
    Love your little fairy garden with the mini hostas...too cute.

  10. Your garden is always so beautiful! I hadn't heard that about the impatiens. I love those flowers and have them often in our garden. Will have to get them from a local nursery.

  11. I opted to pass on impatiens once again this year. There are the odd ones available but I'm not going to risk it. I went with torenia for my tipsy pots this year and so far they look really good. Hoping they improves as the season progresses. Good luck with yours. Your garden is looking wonderful.


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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