The Q&A Archives: Impatiens Diseases In Outside Garden

Question: I have transplanted seed grown impatiens in outside garden in eastern late May(shady with early morning sun)for the past 25 years.they grew fine until the last 5 years.They now do OK until mid-summer when they wilt and die off.The wilted plants have little to no roots left.How do I correct this problem?

Answer: Impatiens are subject to a number of foliar problems,
many of them fungal. Unfortunately, many of them will
reinfect impatiens from year to year if they are planted in the
same soil and some may even be introduced during the
propagation process. In addition, frequent watering in the
summer heat can create an ideal environment for disease
problems, especially if air circulation is poor. To reduce the
chances for disease to develop, you might try watering less
often but deeply and avoid wetting the foliage. You might
also make sure that the soil is moist and yet well drained so
that the roots do not sit in constantly soaking wet soil as
they need air in addition to water. If the problem appears
again, you might wish to take a sample to your UMASS
Extension for a more definite identification of
the cause and suggested controls, if any, once it has been
identified with certainty. In the meantime, you might try reworking the soil in the planting areas with plenty of compost and organic matter to try to "feed" the soil with an eye toward keeping the plants growing as vigorously as possible so that they can fight off infection better.

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