For years, many Webster residents depended on bedding impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) to brighten up the dark areas of our heavily shaded gardens. It was no-brainer gardening with guaranteed success. Grab a couple of flats at the nursery, pop them in the ground and suddenly those drab areas welcomed us with vibrant color. But then several years ago, Impatiens Downy Mildew crept into our yards and shriveled our plants into piles of soft mush.
Spread by windborne spores or water splashing from infected plants, Downy Impatiens Mildew is a highly contagious fungus that affects all Impatiens walleriana plants. In addition, the fungus can overwinter in your soil and infect new plants for years. [See this FACT SHEET for detailed info on Downy Impatiens Mildew.]
Most local growers and nurseries no longer carry I. walleriana, but some irresponsible nurseries and big box stores sold it last year. Bottom line: resist the temptation to plant it, even if you run across it at a garden center.
So back to the initial dilemma…what can you plant that will do well in those shady areas? The WGHS Parents Club is offering several options for shade through our SPRING PLANT SALE.
Divine Impatiens: If you haven't tried Divine before, give it a shot this year. An affordable, high-quality alternative to I. walleriana that is resistant to Impatiens Downy Mildew, Divine can be massed in your garden beds for non-stop color in much the same manner as I. walleriana. Available in jumbo flats.
SunPatiens: If you've got more sun than shade or one of those hard-to-plant areas that straddles sun and shade, SunPatiens® will not disappoint. These sun-loving, heat-tolerant plants bloom non-stop all summer and provide beautiful drifts of color. Available in 4.3" pots.
ORDER DEADLINE: April 3, 2017.