Answer: Unfortunately, impatiens are occasionally subject to a number of soil-borne problems when they are planted in the same beds year after year. The diseases that affect them include verticillium, pythium, and rhizoctonia root and stem rot. In some cases a viral infection can be spread by insects such as thrips, as well. As you might guess, controls begin with using sterilized soil, clean equipment, clean, healthy plants, and controlling insect pests. Your best bet is to take some samples to your County Agricultural Extension office (285-4630) for a more precise identification of the problem and the most up-to-date controls, particularly since it seems to be spreading beyond your bedding annuals. Best of luck to you!
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