Garden impatiens has long been a favorite for adding color to shady spots in the annual garden. But a new disease threat, downy mildew of impatiens, has caused widespread devastation of this plant in many areas, many gardeners to look for some new choices adapted to low light conditions.
An eye-catching candidate is the new begonia 'Sparks Will Fly' (Begonia hybrida) from Burpee Home Gardens. Adapted to part to full shade and not susceptible to impatiens downy mildew, its vivid tangerine-colored flowers stand out above a mound of bronzy foliage from spring until frost. Reaching about 15-18 inches tall and 15-18 inches wide, it can be used in ground as an edging plant or in containers or hanging baskets. Fertilize monthly throughout the season to keep the plants thriving and pinch back any that start to become leggy. You'll get another visual treat when the flowers flush yellow in fall as the weather cools.
To read more about Begonia 'Sparks Will Fly', go to National Garden Bureau.