Incredible Impatiens

Incredible Impatiens

You may have noticed that the Impatiens game in garden centers has changed rapidly over the years as greenhouses are choosing different varieties that are resistant to Impatiens downy mildew (IDM). At Glenlea Greenhouses we have found some great plants that are IDM tolerant so that you get great colour throughout the season!

Beacon Impatiens

Beacon Impatiens were introduced to the greenhouse market in 2020 and were bred to combat Impatiens downy mildew (IDM) in the garden. This new variety is tolerant to IDM and will not collapse and in your garden like varieties of old such as Dazzler or Super Elfin when affected by the fungus. Use in landscapes in the shade to add colour in those hard to grow spots. Available in your favourite colours: purple, rose, coral, white, orange, and red. 


Love the look of the Impatiens bloom but have spots that are sunnier than others? The SunPatiens variety are able to be grown in the sun or shade! The compact varieties are great for containers and beds and play great with others. No deadheading required to get these plants to rebloom throughout the summer. These landscaper favourites are also IDM resistent so no need to worry about losing your colour half way through the season

New Guinea

The New Guinea Impatiens are very similar to the SunPatiens with their large blooms but these varieties must be grown in the shade. These IDM resistant plants produce massive flowers that are sure to catch your eye! Use in containers or the landscape to add mounding colour to your designs and combine with shade tolerant grasses and ivy to make stunning containers. Grown in your favourite colours such as orange, pink, red, and white.

(Photo courtesy of BallFlora Plant. Pictured from back to front: Canna, Red Head Coleus and Sunpatiens)

You may have noticed over the past few years that we have removed certain varieties of impatiens from our shelves such as Double Impatiens, Patchwork Impatiens and Super Elfin Impatiens. These varieties are susceptible to Impatiens Downy Mildew and can cause a world of headaches for you over the course of the summer. As much as we love the look of these plants and how they perform in our containers and landscapes we have to adapt to what Mother Nature decides to bring us each year. 


Impatiens Downy Mildew only affects Impatiens so there is no need to worry that it will get onto your prized rose bush or that it will affect your favourite petunias. This fungus really loves Impatiens and will only survive on Impatiens plants. Even if you have never had IDM in your yard before this fungus can be blown in from other yards in the neighborhood as it is easily airborn so be sure to keep your eye out if you do not grow IDM resistant Impatiens.


How do you tell if your Impatiens have Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM)? Some of the biggest indications is the young leaves are pale green in colour and are starting to curl downwards. Once you start to see these symptoms check under the leaves to investigate further to see if it is insect damage or IDM damage. You will know for sure it is IDM damage if you see a white powdery layer on the underside of the leaves. The best way to prevent this damage from occurring in your garden is by growing IDM resistant Impatiens or changing up your beds by planting other species for a few years.

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