Busy lizzies struck by mildew

Busy lizzies are a hanging basket favourite with gardeners everywhere, simple to grow and they display beautiful vibrant colours.

Their future, however, is under threat as impatiens downy mildew spreads through the species.  It is thought impatiens downy mildew was brought into the UK with imported cuttings around 2003.  The mildew has thrived over the winter with the prolonged period of wet mild weather and some horticulturists are concerned it could wipe out one of Britain’s more popular plants. 

A fungicide is used by commercial growers to control it but it appears the disease has become immune.  Experts are urging gardeners to fill their beds, baskets and containers with other varieties such as begonias, petunias, geraniums or marigolds until stocks recover.

We truly hope it’s not the end of our cherished busy lizzies!