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As gardening season nears, it’s time to … meet the new plants

Revived Impatiens

Downy mildew has claimed many an impatiens plant in the Fort Wayne area, as well as around the nation, in the last couple of years. Last year, some garden centers didn’t sell impatiens, although others did.

This year, expect to see more sun-tolerant species and new varieties billed as less susceptible to mildew.

Home Depot, for example, will have Viva! SunPatiens in its garden centers this year, according to its website. A hybrid of New Guinea impatiens and wild impatiens, these plants, while not a substitute for impatiens that grow in full shade, will do well in full sun and part shade and tolerate heat.

Your impatiens eye will likely be caught by new Patchwork hybrids with large, tri-color blooms, says Galbraith. Look for Cosmic Burgundy, with 2-inch flowers in deep red with white-starred centers tipped in pinkish purple, and Cosmic Orange, with orange flowers with violet-and-white starred centers.

The hybrids still have susceptibility to mildew, according to the breeder, but Galbraith says he’s never had a problem.

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