The Q&A Archives: Fungus on Impatiens

Question: I have shade impatiens in a planter box in a very shady area. We have had so much rain that now I see the plant is deteriorating and there is a white fungus around the base of the plant at the soil. What can I do to save the plants and prevent this from happening again?

Answer: Impatiens enjoy shady spots and moist soil, but it sounds as though yours have had too much of a good thing. When soil becomes oversaturated it can eliminate air and the roots of plants can die. Make sure your planter box has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom to keep the soil from becoming a soggy mess during prolonged rain storms. It's difficult to tell whether your plants will recover. You can hope that they will survive, but if not, you'll have to replace them. While you're at it, double check the drainage of the planter box and drill a few more holes to facilitate drainage - just in case there's another prolonged period of rain.

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