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June 16, 2018
I live in the Southeast part of the state. When and how is how is the best time to
trim my impatiens?
Impatiens are annual flowers that do well in the shade. Some of the new sunpatiens
are varieties that also do well in the sun. Annuals are normally not pruned unless
the plants get long and leggy and you need them to bush out more. If that condition
happens, then prune when it does. Otherwise, keep them well watered and fertilize
them lightly every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
June 9, 2018
April 15, 2017
Are the Sunpatiens doing well in the sun?
While I understand your skepticism since the first sun-loving New Guinea impatiens
needed tons of water to survive, the new Sunpatiens are thriving in full sun to partial
shade with regular water and producing huge blooms. A true winner in my opinion.
November 28, 2015
This plant was purchased at a yard sale yesterday. No one could identify it. It
would be helpful to know what it is and whether it can be planted in my yard as a
perennial or annual.
It is unfortunately an annual that unless it was protected from a freeze, would be
dead this weekend. It is a New Guinea impatiens. It needs a bit more sunlight than
a common impatiens, but would not be overly happy indoors this winter either. You
probably don’t want to hear this, but I would just start with a new plant next spring.
My husband has planted several hostas in our yard and put impatiens between each.
The deer have eaten ALL the impatiens and are taking bites from the hostas. Can you
suggest anything to sprinkle, etc. around these plants to keep the deer away?
Actually, I am surprised that they are going after the impatiens first instead of
the hostas. Hostas tend to be one of their favorite plants to eat. There are several
products on the market for deer repellents, including Scram, Deer Away and several
others. You can also mix raw eggs with water and spray that on your desirable plants.
To take it a step further, you can install electric fencing around the desirable beds,
or just invest in a good dog. Whenever you have animal issues, try a variety of approaches.
Some people swear by Irish Springs soap hanging in the plants, while others have luck
with human hair—but these animals are becoming much more familiar with human smells
since they are living in such urbanized areas now.
I have several pots of impatiens and some of the plants have brown spots on the leaves.
A few of the spots have holes in the middle. Also some of the leaves are turning yellow.
Not all of the pots have this trouble and we can't figure out what the problem is.
Every year our impatiens do this. The plants grow huge and blossom well but the spots
ruin the looks of the plants. Can you help me?
There are several possibilities but the two most common would be Impatiens necrotic
spot virus (INSV), (which used to be called Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus on impatiens),
or Alternaria leaf spot. INSV is spread by tiny insects called thrips. Symptoms can
include stunting, brown or yellow circular spots on leaves, ring spots, black or brown
stem discoloration, or mosaic patterns (variegated patterns of light and dark green).
There is no cure for this disease, other than sanitation. Alternaria leaf spot is
another possibility. Often, one cultivar is severely infected while other cultivars
appear disease free. Look for small (about 1/8 of an inch), round, light tan circular
spots surrounded by a purplish border. Severely infected leaves can turn yellow and
drop from the plant. Alternaria leaf spot could be confused with spotting from impatiens
necrotic spot virus. Avoid prolonged leaf wetness, and if only a few plants are infected,
dispose of them. Daconil can help in control of this disease. The holes you are seeing
in the leaves is probably from dried tissue from the disease. Make sure you are cleaning
your containers well at the end of the season and disposing of the used potting soil.
Start with fresh soil every season, especially if you experienced problems the year
before. If you are uncertain what the problem is, take a good sample to your local
county extension office. The county office can send the plant to the disease diagnostic
lab for a proper identification. Once you know the problem, you will have a better
chance in controlling it.
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