Impatiens were a go-to plant for me for many, many years. My small urban home lot has a lot of shade. I planted impatiens by my front door, on the side of my house, in my back yard. They provided reliable color in shades of red, white, lavender and salmon.
Impatiens came in single and double flowered varieties - the double flowers looked a lot like roses. They needed almost no care. They made nice mounds and also looked great in baskets and containers. Groundhogs, the bane of my property, didn't touch them. Neither did anything else.
If I got bored, I would grow New Guinea Impatiens, which are a different species, but I don't really like them that much. I don't know why. I have a basket of them hanging from my front porch nearly every year. But they never grabbed my heart the way the regular impatiens did.
Then, my impatiens started dying on me, which is when they broke my heart.
In 2012, my impatiens died, practically overnight. I came home one day to find nothing but green sticks with yellowing, dropping leaves. They were thriving when I left for work. They were so stripped, in fact, I thought that an animal had feasted on them.
That winter, a local gardening expert, Kathy Purdy, warned me about a downy mildew that was attacking impatiens. I had some impatiens (in fact, the plant above was one of them) rooted inside my house. She recommended that I not plant it outside come spring.
In 2013, I bought impatiens from Burpees, mail order. They lasted a couple of months. Then, they died, every last one of them, even ones I had in hanging baskets. The hanging basket plants lasted longer, but into the void they finally went.
I miss my impatiens.
I wonder if I will ever be able to grow them again.
If not, I will have to (technical gardening term), suck it up, and find a replacement.
|An impatien alternative?|
Meantime, I'm looking for replacements that make my heart sing. I'll blog more about my effortsanother time, once I know how they do for me.