You can’t get impatiens everywhere, but we carry this annual because we know some people with shady gardens still love it.
You can plant impatiens, but be aware of the risks.
Impatiens is susceptible to a disease called downy mildew. If your impatiens plant gets this disease, it will die.
But some gardeners still plant it. They hope that their plant won’t get the disease. Or if it does get the disease and dies, they hope it won’t happen until later in the season. If the plants die in August, the gardener can replace their impatiens with mums, and they’re fine with that.
Whether your impatiens will get the disease depends on several factors. One is whether the spores that cause the disease are in your yard. If your impatiens had the disease previously, the spores will still be there. The spores are carried on the wind, so even if your plants weren’t affected previously, they might be affected this year.
Growers can apply a treatment that protects the plant through June. After that, the weather plays a role. Rain can bring the disease on. If the weather is dry in July, the plants might do well. But if July is rainy, your plants might succumb.
There is no treatment that a home gardener can apply for the disease.
Growing impatiens in a hanging basket rather than in the ground may give them some protection from the disease.
Impatiens grows in a beautiful, mounding shape. The flowers come in many colors. They grow well in shade, and it’s hard to find flowers for shade. It’s easy to see why gardeners have loved these plants for decades.
If you want to plant impatiens, we have them. Just be aware of the risks.