Some of you may be aware of problems reported nationally concerning downy mildew disease (race 2 and 3) affecting the common Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana). This is caused by an airborne fungus; it is worsened by humid conditions and plants can be specifically infected following a wet spring. Downy mildew symptoms on infected plants include yellowing leaves and a characteristic white fungal growth specifically on the undersides of the leaves. This is followed by leaf loss which eventually leaves just a mass of slimy stems, often with a tuft of yellow leaves at the tips. Plants will eventually die off.
Click here to download the Garden News article on Busy Lizzies and downy mildew.
There are no chemical downy mildew treatments or controls available at the present time to help, prevent or eradicate the problem. It is recommend that infected plants are disposed of, burnt or buried deeper than 50cm (20in). Affected areas should be rested from growing Impatiens walleriana for at least a year to avoid recontamination. This strain of downy mildew disease is specific to the common Busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) only, so other bedding plants, including New Guinea Busy Lizzie types, can be grown without risk.
At Thompson & Morgan we want you, our customers, to get the very best from our plants in your garden this summer. With this in mind we have withdrawn the affected busy lizzies from our 2012 range due to the problems with downy mildew. We will review this again for 2013.
There are plenty of alternatives to keep your beds and patio containers looking at their best this summer. Take at look at our suggestions below for some great alternatives to Busy Lizzies (Impatiens walleriana).
SunPatiens® is taking the plant world by storm with its exceptional vigour and ability to withstand rain, wind, humidity, scorching heat and cool shade.It's a plant of superior qualities: quicker to establish, stronger root system, thicker petals and much larger flowers than normal Impatiens. Just one plant covers an area 3 feet square!
Cut the risk of disease with this robust, downy mildew resistant New Guinea Impatiens. Busy Lizzie ‘Divine’ flowers endlessly, in a wonderful bright colour mix, from June to November on strong, spreading plants that will quickly fill pots and cover beds and borders.
An exceptionally large flowered variety compared to normal Begonia semperflorens cultivars. Begonia ‘Lotto’ Mixed plants produce neat blooms with yellow centres in a sumptuous mix of colours. Perfect for creating a show-stopping display in containers, beds, baskets, and Flower Pouches™!
A striking combination of a range of flower colours and contrasting rounded foliage in bronze and green. Begonia ‘Organdy’ Mixed F1 is drought and wet tolerant and thrives in all weather conditions. Superb in Flower Pouches® baskets, beds and containers.
Fill your borders with this extraordinary ground-covering petunia! Specially bred to grow only 25cm (10") high but to spread for up to 90cm (36"); just a handful of Petunia ‘Ramblin’ plants per square metre will give a quick blanket of colour. Perfect for edging borders and paths, or trailing from baskets and window boxes.