Wednesday, May 15, 2013

avoid common impatiens this season!


The downy mildew that affected Impatiens in so many states last year is predicted to strike again this year. Cold wet conditions encourages the spores to grow and they stay active in the soil for several years. "The main victim of downy mildew is impatiens walleriana, those pink, orange, lilac or white bedding plants sold by the millions in garden centers and big-box stores." William Hageman, Chicago Tribune

We have sometimes used impatiens in the shaded window boxes on the north side of our house, usually mixed with ferns. We are using just ferns  
this year. I planted little bagged root balls a few weeks ago, here is their progress so far...
just starting to fill out, will be fun to see them progress.

New Guinea Impatiens are resistant to the fungus and more attractive but require more sunlight which means they won't work in our window boxes.

Read more about it here in an article by Anne Raver for the New York Times Garden column. She thinks Mother Nature is doing us a favor by forcing homeowners to find more interesting alternatives. 

What annuals do you like to plant in the shade?

Thanks for visiting!


  1. I have a hard time with my window boxes in the shade, my usual combination is ferns, ivy and fuschia. I have a couple urns I use for the New Guinea impatients. Happy Planting, Cindy!

  2. I so much prefer the New Guineas anyway! My favorite plant for shade (in container!) is mint. I have a little neglected corner in full shade where I have three pots full of mint and they're happy all year. And the bees love it! Your garden is truly spectacular!


I would love to hear from you!