University of Florida

Downy Mildew on Impatiens

Impatiens in Florida are facing a new foe. Downy mildew disease has been wiping out this popular bedding plant in nurseries and neighborhoods in South Florida.

Early symptoms include yellowish or speckled leaves that may curl downward. As the disease progresses, the undersides of the leaves develop a white, downy-looking coating, and they later fall off.

Downy mildew affects most impatiens sold in garden centers, though New Guinea impatiens and SunPatiens® are not as affected.

Prevention is the only effective management strategy, so look for disease-free plants if you’re intent on using impatiens.

The disease is mainly a problem in cool, damp conditions, so with any luck, summer’s hot temperatures may put the problem on hold.

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