If you have shopped at Behnkes over the last three years, you have probably noticed something missing from our Spring bedding plant line up. Yes, you guessed it, shade impatiens have not been available at our store due a nasty little plant fungal disease called downy mildew. It’s an aggressive disease that wipes out peoples’ shade impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) plantings over the summer months, and then overwinters in the soil to attack next year’s planting. We decided to discontinue carrying shade impatiens until a disease resistant strain was developed. We now have one that we can feature. In fact, we are so confident that we are going to plant some out this year in our garden display beds here at the nursery, so you’ll be able to see how well they hold up.
During the last two years we have tried a small number of plants of a series of impatiens called ‘Bounce.’ Although not quite like the old shady impatiens they are a great alternative for them. ‘Bounce’ offers a nice color selection with large blooms and a growth habit similar to Impatiens walleriana which makes them perfect for those garden beds or containers in the part sun/part shade garden. We recommend providing them with morning sun and afternoon shade. Although the ‘Bounce’ series is only available in individual containers and hanging baskets (not in 4 packs) and is more costly up front, one plant will take the place of three or four of Impatiens walleriana and provide a mass of color until the frost hits them late in the season.
One unique characteristic of the ‘Bounce’ impatiens is that the well-branched plants will bounce back like magic after a wilt, hence the name. That doesn’t mean you can forget them though, they will still rely on you for care. The best news in that they are downy mildew resistant so your garden will be beautiful all summer long. Choose from lilac, lavender, cherry, pink, violet and white.
by Marian Parsley, Seasonal Plants Buyer