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Impatiens Will Probably Die

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The sign at the nursery didn’t mince words – THESE PLANTS ARE PROBABLY GOING TO DIE ONCE YOU PLANT THEM.

Doesn’t sound like a great sales pitch, does it? But the sign was hanging over a table full of those wonderful shade impatiens that have been stricken by a disease called Downy Mildew, which is why most of us didn’t plant any this year.

To have such a popular plant hit by such a devastating disease is hard on homeowners, landscapers and everyone in the plant industry who grows such a traditional bestseller. But because Downy Mildew is carried on the wind, stays in the soil, and currently has no cure, flower folks smartly planned ahead for this season offering plenty of alternatives – (although really there is nothing quite the same) – and giving customers fair warning that the few shade impatiens they had for sale would probably die once planted in the landscape.

I notice one house in our neighborhood was brave enough to give them a try anyway. I’m keeping my eye on their impatiens patch to see if they survive.

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