Wilting Impatient

Asked July 30, 2018, 9:23 AM EDT

I have four impatient plants. 3 are doing great. All 4 were doing fine, then 1 started wilting. I can't see any pests on the plant. All are being watered every other day by lawn sprinklers. In full shade but lots of indirect light. I'm stumped. I've attached sick plant picture and healthy one beside it. Thank you for any help you can give me! Jim Conner

Anoka County Minnesota diagnosis of plant problems impatiens horticulture

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Factors causing plant damage can be grouped into two major categories, living and nonliving factors. Living factors include pests (e.g., insects, mites, rodents, rabbits, deer, humans) and pathogens (e.g., disease-causing microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes). Nonliving factors include mechanical factors (e.g., breakage, abrasions), environmental factors (e.g., temperature, light, moisture, oxygen, lightning, wind), and chemical factors (e.g., fertilizer or pesticide excess, nutritional disorders).

I suspect a fungal or bacterial cause but can't be sure. The plant and the ground around it look very wet which is ideal for disease growth. Irrigating every other day is probably too much. Research shows that plants have fewer disease problems if watered deeply and infrequently or when soil is dry several inches down.

Regardless of the cause of demise, the plant is beyond saving. Pull it up and throw in trash or municipal yard waste site. Watch your other plants closely for signs and symptoms of problems. Here is a good publication to learn more about diagnosing plant problems: https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-714/426-714.html

Thank you for contacting Extension.