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Impatiens Walleriana Make a Colorful Comeback

Impatiens walleriana virtually disappeared from garden centers in recent years due to downy mildew disease. Luckily, this popular annual is back and available to grow this spring.

Impatiens walleriana Courtesy Ball Horticultural Company

Once the most reliable bedding plant for season-long color, Impatiens walleriana virtually disappeared from garden centers in recent years as impatiens downy mildew disease decimated stocks of the popular, affordable annuals.

But this spring, new disease-resistant varieties will be widely available.

How to Grow and Care for Impatiens

Look for the Beacon series by PanAmerican Seed, which makes its debut this season; it joins the Imara XDR series by Syngenta Flowers, which was introduced in 2019.

Both thrive in full shade or partial sun, forming mounds roughly 12 inches high and 12 inches wide (Beacon’s spread is slightly broader). If you see healthy impatiens at your local nursery, they’re likely to be one of these two varieties—but if they’re not tagged, it pays to ask.

How Much Do Impatiens Cost?

If you’re willing to grow from seed, you can find Imara XDR at Park Seed ($4.95 per 30-seed packet) and Beacon impatiens at Burpee ($5.95 per 25-seed pack; $29.95 for 24 plants).

This year, 3 percent of Beacon profits will benefit the OI Foundation, which works to improve the lives of those with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease—promoting health in humans through the sale of healthy plants.