Impatiens downy mildew is growing more widespread, and can quickly devastate plantings of this popular shady-loving annual flower.

Impatiens downy mildew is growing more widespread, and can quickly devastate plantings of this popular shady-loving annual flower.

Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Department, has had a tough time keeping up with demand from reporters this spring as they rush to cover the dramatic spread of impatiens downy mildew.

“Deer, chipmunks and plagues of locusts have been blamed for the sudden loss of leaves on impatiens — many gardeners who have seen the problem have not yet figured out that it was a plant disease that destroyed their plants,” she told the Chicago Tribune.

In the last week Daugherty was cited in articles of three of the leading papers in the country:

Fortunately, impatiens aren’t your only flower option for shady sites. For alternatives, see this factsheet from Nora Catlin, CCE Suffolk County.

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