Landscape Services Cape Cod

Beautiful Landscapes Are in Our Genes

What Happened to the Impatiens?

Oct 14, 2014

The summer of ’13 was a blooming nightmare for Impatiens lovers on Cape Cod.

Where this colorful plant once decorated lawns and landscapes, there were instead dying flowers and patches of empty soil, the result of a killer fungus called downy mildew.

A white, fuzzy mold, downy mildew could be seen on the backs of affected Impatiens plants. Once it attacks, it’s impossible to remove this type of mildew, but it can be prevented with fungicides, bacteria, and watering management.

Here are ways to prevent the spread of downy mildew:

  • Begin to treat your plants as soon as you notice a gray or tan furry growth on the undersides of leaves and stems, or leaves that appear “water-soaked.”
  • Apply preventive fungicides to healthy flowers to head off the mildew. Two organic brands are Serenade and Actinovate.
  • Introduce healthy bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis and Streptomyces lydicus, to help healthy plants fight an influx of downy mildew.
  • Alter your watering days so that the ground has a chance to dry out between waterings. Mildews and molds love dampness.

I recommend using Bonide Fung-Onil Multi-Purpose Fungicide Concentrate on plants and in the soil. This fungicide concentrate, containing Echo Lite Chlorothalonil, provides a broad-spectrum control of diseases such as leaf spot, rust, blight, fruit rot, mildew, scab, and mold on vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, shrubs, shade trees, and lawns. For effective disease control, mix as directed and apply with a garden sprayer for thorough and uniform coverage.