Impatiens downy mildew is a growing problem in gardens across America. Defoliation and flower dropping are two signs your plants are infected.
- Impatiens are an enormously popular bedding plant that love the shade, though there are sun tolerant varieties.
- What this sweet-looking plant can't stand is too much heat and humidity. That potent combination leaves the plant open to downy mildew.
- When the mildew first strikes, leaves curl under and turn light in color, blossoms drop and a fluffy white growth manifests under the leaves.
- To reduce humidity, space your plants so that air can circulate between them. Incorporate some sand or pea gravel to enhance drainage in your bed. Cover with mulch, 2 to 3 inches. Plant your impatiens through the mulch.
- Growing the plant in a pot can help. Use a soil-free potting mix only. That's the key to protecting against mildew. Make sure your pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
- Rosemary or Neem oil can help you treat plants in the ground that show signs of downy mildew.
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