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October 17, 2013
Have You Spotted This Deadly Disease?
Downy mildew Downy mildew. It sounds so harmless—even soft and cuddly. But in the world of impatiens, it's the kiss of death.

Why should you care? It's been popping up in states throughout the U.S. Downy mildew (Plasmopara obduscens) often develops in greenhouses where bedding plants are grown. But because it takes time for symptoms to show—powdery substance on leaves followed by leaf and flower drop—it's easy to bring home diseased plants without realizing it.

The University of Minnesota Extension explains how to identify and control downy mildew in home gardens. Because it can survive in the soil, you shouldn't replant infected beds with Impatiens walleriana or any I. walleriana hybrid, which are the plants affected most by it.

But there are other good options for shade that you can plant instead, including New Guinea impatiens hybrids; they're highly resistant to downy mildew. Or choose other shade-lovers, such as coleus, caladium or begonia.

And become a downy mildew warrior: If you spot it, deal with it!

learn   how to spot and treat the deadly disease called downy mildew.
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