The Q&A Archives: Controlling Spider Mites on Impatiens

Question: My friend at work has indoor impatiens plants that were outside in the summer. They have had a recent BAD attack of spider mites. I refuse to use harsh chemicals and I have already tried the chrysanthumum spray, but that has killed most of the leaves. Should I give up? Also, what is the average life span of an impatiens plant? Ahme Bowen Minneapolis, MN

Answer: Impatiens plants can live many years in a warmer climate. Trying to overwinter them in Minnesota can be tough, because of bugs such as spider mites. I'd throw the plant out if it's severely infested and the leaves are dropping. For light infestation spray insecticidal soap a few times a week and mist the plants daily. Spider mites don't like misting. Hopefully, you'll get them to make it to spring and be able to put them back outside.

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