The Downy Mildew Story

Downy Mildew is a disease of plants that has started affecting certain commercially grown ornamental plants in Ontario over the last 5 or 6 years. Bedding Impatiens, so widely grown for their excellent performance in shade are one of the plants that have been particularly badly hit. Today, plants will be growing beautifully but tomorrow, suddenly wilt and die fast. There are theories that the disease has come from inbreeding problems within the industry, but wherever it originated, please do not plant bedding Impatiens in your garden until the industry has this problem under control. They will likely die, and you will be out of pocket and have the work of replanting with other plants. Downy Mildew affects all bedding Impatiens varieties, including double and exotic types. Most socially responsible commercial growers are no longer growing these types of Impatiens. We have not grown them for 4 or 5 years now. Instead, there are several other options for colourful annual shade plantings.

Some include:

  • New Guinea Impatiens, various colours
  • Dragon Wing Begonia Red or Pink
  • Baby Wing Begonia White
  • Fibrous Begonia, various colours
  • Tuberous Begonia Non Stop, various colours
  • Bacopa Snow Globe
  • Coleus varieties

Downy Mildew affects all bedding Impatiens varieties, including double and exotic types.

Impatiens