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by Melissa
(Manchester, CT)


I have two hanging baskets with Impatiens. I live in the Northeast where we just got a plethora of rain in the last week.

My hanging baskets are under a porch so they get a lot of shade but were also not too exposed to the drenching rain.

I held back from watering them everyday because they were getting some moisture from the water dripping down in between the cracks of the floor boards above.

On Wednesday they began to look a little wilted so I watered them. Within an hour they were back to looking lively.

I did not water them on Thursday and Friday. Saturday morning they looked very sad and wilted again. This time when I watered them they did not come back.

I have been supplying them with lots of water the last 48 hours but they still look very drab. Some of the stems are purple and some leaves look completely lifeless.

Does this mean they are dying?? I don’t think they have Downy Mildew because I’m not really seeing white specks and they are in a hanging baskets. Please help me! What can I do to revive my impatiens?
Thank you so much!!

Hi Melissa, that is very upsetting – from what my experiences have been with impatiens they are really forgiving of being under/overwatered. The New Guinea impatiens, which these are, have been developed to be low care and reliable for summer flowers.

Downy mildew can certainly be a problem when the humidity is really high, and the temperatures are warm at the same time. Somehow, I don’t think this is the problem; this type of mildew usually hits one plant at a time, not all of them at once.

I have a thought; do you have a propane or natural gas barbeque close by – I can’t tell for sure, but that looks like one under a tarp in one of your pics? Double check the propane bottle or the connection; this type of damage is typical of what happens to many plants if they are exposed to Mercaptans, which is the odorant that is deliberately added to natural gas so you know there is a leak. To check this out, move the baskets to somewhere that they wouldn’t be exposed to the chemical, if this is a possibility.

Also, you may want to make sure that you use the barbeque out in the open, to prevent the fumes from rising up to the level of the plants when it’s in use.

It may be that you will have to trim off most of the flowers while the plant recovers; flowering takes a lot of energy, and if you don’t do this, the plant most certainly will die. There is still time for them to rejuvenate and bloom again, if you do it now.

Once the flowers are off, check the water level in the soil daily. Don’t overwater, because without the flowers taking all that moisture, they may not need as much.

Have patience, and they might just perk up once the air dries out a bit.

Hope that helps,

Comments for Dying Impatiens

Jun 27, 2013
Bad News!
by: Jacki

I just came across this information;

Impatiens Blight