Special to the OBSERVER
Hello fellow gardeners. You may have already found that the greenhouses do not have any standard impatiens on their racks. That's right, no impatiens. Remember last fall I told you about the downy mildew disease that infected them. The growers have not found any cure as of yet, so no impatiens. I told you that I would list some alternatives to grow in partial shade. These are some I have tried and some I want to try. There are many more than I am listing. I am only listing annuals or plants that have to be taken indoors to survive our winter.
Have fun and try something new!
BROWALLIA - Light purple, amethyst or white blooms.
VINCAS - I grew the magenta variety in a container last year and it was beautiful from spring-fall. I'm talking about the mounding ones, not the trailing purple-blue.
BEGONIAS - There are many different kinds of begonias, google them and see all the great choices.
COLEUS - Are grown for their absolutely stunning leaves, not for their blooms as they are minimal. A favorite is Stained Glass with beautiful petite trailing scarlet and lime green foliage which I have grown for two years now.
NEW GUINEA IMPATIEN - These will grow in shade and are not susceptible to downy mildew.
TORENIA - trumpet shaped blooms that remind me of a pansy face.
IRESINE AND ALTERNANTHERA - Colorful leaves.
CALADIUM May not be hardy in our zone and will need to be lifted and stored in the fall.
FUCHISA Can be overwintered in the house with pruning and supplemental lighting.
CYCLAMEN Beautiful leaves with stunning flowers that jut above the leaves.
HELIOTROPE - Wonderful purple flower with a beautiful scent.
If you are still not sure of what to plant instead of last year's impatiens, check out Cornell Cooperative Extension's website for even more ideas: ccesuffolk.org/floriculture-program/. Impatiens downy mildew's devastating disease doesn't have to be a complete disaster, turn this negative into a positive and experiment with new plants you have never tried before, we all may find a new favorite!
Enjoy your gardens.
Joyce Fisher, Master Gardener Volunteer, Allegany County Cornell University Cooperative Extension