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The end of Busy Lizzies?

drc726

By drc726

39 comments


Having lost one of two Busy Lizzies myself this year I was sad to read this in this mornings papers.

‘Mildew that threatens to wipe out busy lizzies after arriving from imported cuttings
One of Britain’s most popular plants is in danger of being wiped out by a virulent disease.
Busy lizzies, a hanging basket favourite, are at risk from a fungicide-resistant strain of mildew.
Known as impatiens downy mildew, it was first identified in the UK in 2003 and is thought to have arrived from imported cuttings.
It spreads on airborne spores and appears as a white powder on the underside of leaves, causing them to yellow and fall off.
Amateur gardeners across Britain are seeing their infected plants reduced to bare stems.
Until now it has been controlled by metalaxyl fungicide, which is only available to commercial growers.
But horticulturalists warn it has thrived in the wet, mild summer, and is now resistant to the fungicide.
Now that nurseries are failing to eliminate the disease, it is breaking out in more and more gardens.
Dr Phil Jones, of the Food and Environment Research Agency, said the spores can survive for ten years.
He said: ‘Something different happened this year on imported cuttings, so they are metalaxyl resistant.
‘The issue in parks and gardens is that they can produce resting spores which can survive happily over winter even in extreme conditions.’
Andrew Tokely, of Thompson & Morgan, one of Britain’s longest-established plant and seed firms, said: ‘There is no cure. It could be the end of busy lizzies.’
The Royal Horticultural Society is urging gardeners to destroy any plants displaying symptoms.
They should dig up infected plants and avoiding replanting busy lizzies in the same ground for at least a year’.

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Comments

 

Most of mine were useless this year, they were very weak, I`ll get rid of the last few just to be on the safe side, shame because they`ve been so popular for our pots ,baskets and borders...

13 Aug, 2011

 

That clears up the Impatiens mystery. Now if there were only something to clear up the disease! Now might be a good time for the government or Universities to test out how Streptomyces lydicus helps with this.

14 Aug, 2011

 

That would be great if it worked, but I have not seen it mentioned in regard to Busy Lizzies Tugb?

14 Aug, 2011

 

mine have been rubbish, they were lovely when i bought them full of leaf and flowers i thought it was the weather but maybe it was this mildew sad because they always gave such value for money :(

14 Aug, 2011

 

I noticed my next door neighbours are totally devastated. However, I bought two pots of bizzy lizzies, the dark leaved variety, I think they're called New Guinea, and they're absolutely fine. Maybe this variety aren't infected?

14 Aug, 2011

 

I have lost all mine.

14 Aug, 2011

 

I have just thrown mine away there was nothing left of them ,but the two plants out the front are still going strong. Will the soil in the container need to be disposed of?

14 Aug, 2011

 

mine didnt do anything this year Denise, all leaves dropped and that was it :o(

14 Aug, 2011

 

I don't grow these... but the photo above looks very pretty...

14 Aug, 2011

 

mine have been fine until this last couple of weeks and now are leggy and yellow-- I just thought it was the weather....., those in mixed hanging baskets are ok at the moment , I grew them from mini plugs.

14 Aug, 2011

 

I don't grow them either but I like the ones in the photo..

14 Aug, 2011

 

Its sad to lose them all Containerch/Sanbaz, thats what happened to my other one, went completely bare overnight. Those in the photo (taken last week) have survived.
Mavisc, I get the impression its safer to get rid of the compost if you think they are affected. Difficult to tell isnt it Pam as it may just be the end of their season coming?
Thanks TT and HB.

14 Aug, 2011

 

Oh dear - the ones I planted over at the far side of the garden to fill a space have all been infected. I'd better dig them up, I suppose. Thanks, Denise. Not good news though, is it! :-(

14 Aug, 2011

 

I was very sad to read it this morning Spritz.

14 Aug, 2011

 

I put some into two half baskets on the wall ... they were wonderful for about six weeks but have now become spindly stems ... usually they go on until the first frosts ... I shall throw away the whole contents when the Lobelia are over ... thanks for this info. Denise . . . . . . .

14 Aug, 2011

 

Thank's for the information about the compost, I had put it to one side so now I will dispose of it Drc726.It is a shame as they are nice.

14 Aug, 2011

 

I heard about the downy mildew this morning,Denise..so different from powdery mildew isn't it?.Mine seem ok ..yet..and only been taking a few yellowing leaves off,which is usually the ageing process,hopefully.
Shirley,it may not be this disease on yours..you could try cutting them back to see if they flower again..and see what happens..Mine are in a shady position in a pot,so haven't started going leggy yet..but they will.They seem to go all at once..It is such a shame,as I do like busy Lizzies..I won't be putting them in the compost bin,when I eventually pull them up,or the compost either..just in case...and I will give the pot a thorough clean,as a precaution....

14 Aug, 2011

 

I'll inspect them tomorrow, Sandra, will report back . . . . .

14 Aug, 2011

 

It's worrying, isn't it that we seem to be getting more and more pests and diseases from the continent. I must admit that they are not my favourite flower but I would be sad to see them wiped out. And once again there does not seem to be much that a gardener can do. We don't always know where our plants have come from.

14 Aug, 2011

 

I never understand why we do not grow more of our own MM. I asked once and Sainsbury's said that buying foreign fruit guaranteed the product was in the store if our weather let us down!

14 Aug, 2011

 

I haven't either, Denise, but it has been used successfully on many other forms of downy mildew here in the States, is OMRI registered, and is a living organism itself, so the Impatiens mildew isn't likely to develop a resistance to it. I figured that it would be worth a try, but I'm sure that the officials will have to have a go at it first, to keep it all right and tight.

15 Aug, 2011

 

Thanks Tugb

15 Aug, 2011

 

Everybody I know has lost theirs too. I haven't grown the usual variety for about 3 years since I first had trouble with this disease. Interesting that Sheilar should say her New Guinea variety are OK, so are mine and they were last year too.

15 Aug, 2011

 

Ours were a disaster this year and now I know why! The wet summer we've had here certainly can't have helped.

21 Aug, 2011

 

Since I wrote this blog the one picture above has succumbed - almost bare this morning.

22 Aug, 2011

 

mine in the tubs on their own are awful, those with marigolds are better and the ones in the hanging baskets with petunias & geraniums are fine at the moment ( the baskets are under a narrow roof which protects from rain)--- do you think the recent cold, damp conditions could be a contributory cause?

22 Aug, 2011

 

It cannot have helped Pam, sad really.

22 Aug, 2011

 

I still have some that are in flower, but this afternoon I dug up a trugful of flower-less stems, and they'll be burnt next time we have a bonfire. I don't suppose it'll be long before the others succumb. :-(

22 Aug, 2011

 

Sorry to hear that Spritz

22 Aug, 2011

 

It was almost inevitable, wasn't it. :-(

22 Aug, 2011

 

wondered about bedding begonias next year, I was given a double one-- pink with dark leaves-- and this one plant filled a foot square tub-- just an idea....

23 Aug, 2011

 

I have never grown Begonias Pam, but I am coming round to them after seeing the great ones on here.

23 Aug, 2011

 

I am going to get some trailing Begonias for my shaded wall baskets,next year too..I have had them before ,and they make a lovely display..My trough of busy Lizzies still seem ok..I cut them back yesterday,but my elderly next door neighbour has lost all hers..I couldn't see them,from my garden,but she asked me today,why they were all bare ! Anyway,I explained,and me and OH disposed of them all,plus the compost...three troughs and two tubs!.I am going to clean them out tomorrow ..she is almost 81,so it would be a bit much for her..poor lady,she was upset to lose them..

23 Aug, 2011

 

Thats a real shame Bloomer glad you were able to give her a reason so she didnt think it was her fault.

24 Aug, 2011

 

Yes,I did explain it all to her..and she was relieved to hear the reason..as she was so puzzled by it..In a way,it was an ideal time to get rid,as she was having most of her paved area relaid yesterday..so there were less to be moved out of the way..and she still has lots of lovely Pelargoniums to look at,in her other pots..We had lots of lovely rain during the night,so our gardens are looking great this morning ! :o)

25 Aug, 2011

 

poured here too and more to come tomorrow they say

25 Aug, 2011

 

Only just seen this post. Like Sheilar I have the new guinea variety which I planted in the borders about 3 weeks ago. The are looking great so far. Lots of leaves and loads of flowers comming out. I'll let you all know if I spot anything changing.

It would be a real shame to see busy lizzies go. They are a lovely plant. Fingers crossed they can come up with something to save them.

26 Aug, 2011

 

I've read in several articles that the New Guinea variety aren't affected by downy mildew Samjp, mine are doing well too. They seem to like the dull damp weather although probably not the torrential thunderstorm we've just had!

26 Aug, 2011

 

Thats good to hear Lily, I love the New Guineas, such a bright and cheerful plant.

Hehehe not sure theres much that enjoys such a heavy downpour - I know I don't lol

27 Aug, 2011

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