Asked May 8, 2015, 2:54 PM EDT

impatients a few years ago had a virus? of some type. Is it safe to buy and plant these at this time? I hope so as they are a wonderful summer fill-in around borders, etc.

Baltimore County Maryland flowers downy mildew impatiens

1 Response

You are most likely referring to impatiens downy mildew, a fungus. At this time we do not recommend planting them. Substitues for impatiens nclude cultivars of wax, winged and tuberous begonias, vinca, New Guinea impatiens, coleus, plectranthus, hypoestes, iresine, torenia, lobelia, and nicotiana. You could even try some grass-like alternatives such as cultivars of isolepis (optic grass) which is a sedge, and juncus and luzula which are rushes, and stipa which is a feather grass.
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