The Q&A Archives: Starting Double White Impatiens

Question: I have good luck starting double white impatiens from cuttings, I then pot them in foam cups in pro mix and put them under gro-lux lights and fertlize with 1/4 teapoon per gallon of water, in about a month the growing tip turns brown and all the leaves fall off.
I can do the same with purple doubles, and have no problem. What am I doing wrong??

Answer: Since the purples are fine, I suspect it is not something you are doing. Instead, I would look to the mother plant for the cause of the problem. Impatiens are subject to a number of diseases or problems such as wilts and virus infections and it is possible that the mother plant is infected but that symptoms only become apparent under the relatively stressful conditions of rooting the cuttings. You might want to consult with your county extension (825-0900), who may in turn send a sample to the plant pathologists, about the problem and see if they can determine the specific cause and suggest a solution. On the other hand, it may be that the white variety is more susceptible to stress. Make sure you are not over or underwatering, that temperatures are warm enough, and that air circulation is good. You might also review your fertilizing practices.

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