Is it safe to plant impatiens? Last year we were told not to plant because of a fungas and impatience were not being offered in most nurseries. I see them for sale again – is it safe to plant them?

The situation is basically the same as last year.  You can plant them but the chances are that they will fail.  Click HERE for more information on Downy Mildew.  There aren’t any fungicides you can use to control.  Greenhouse growers can produce the plants in their controlled conditions but there’s nothing the public can use.  If you have no history of the disease where you plan on planting them, you may get away with it but the disease is still spreading.  It would be best if everyone stopped growing them in the hope that the disease will subside but that isn’t happening.  It is probably best to assume that this is a forever situation.  Wax begonia are the next best substitute.  They are working on breeding disease resistant varieties but that will take several years at least. There are some people that insist on having impatiens so we still carry a small amount each year.

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