Impatiens have been a favorite fall, winter, early spring blooming plant, but the Impatiens walleriana variety we have most commonly sold has developed a problem. Downy mildew has affected walleriana in other areas of the country for a few years now, and last year showed up in Texas gardens. At this time, no treatments are effective to prevent downy mildew in wallerianas.
A different species, Impatiens hawker, also known as New Guinnea impatiens, does not get powdery mildew. So we will be stocking New Guinea impatiens this fall and spring, and will no longer carry walleriana. New Guinneas will be available in 4.5″ pots and hanging baskets, and come in a range of bright colors, plus white. New Guinneas get a little larger, so they are planted a little farther apart, 12-14″. They do best in mild temperatures, so cover to protect if temperatures go below 40 degrees, and expect them to poop out when temperatures start going above 85 degrees.
As temperatures start down this fall, think of New Guinneas, as well as Dragon Wing and Whopper begonias, dianthus, violas, and torenia for your part-sun areas, and a host of other color for full sun areas.