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'Rococo' New Guinea impatiens love full shade. Good substitute for gardeners worried about impatiens downy mildew

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog rococo'Rococo' is a New Guinea impatiens which loves full shade. It could be a good choice to replace impatiens walleriana in the garden. I. walleriana were devastated by impatiens downy mildew last season.

blog impatiens downy2b0426These plants are infected with impatiens downy mildew. The flowers fall off, then the leaves and the plant collapses. Photo by Doug OsterLast year many gardeners were affected by impatiens downy mildew. The disease struck at the end of the season, killing many impatiens plants. The airborne spores drifted north and attacked as fall approached.

Impatiens walleriana is one of the species which contracts the disease, it's the most popular variety for gardeners to plant in the shade.

Since New Guinea impatiens are immune, they can act as a substitute. Many New Guinea impatiens however are bred to grow with some sun.

'Rococo' is a New Guinea which loves full shade. They come in colors ranging from deep red to soft pink.

They will be available at Home Depot stores this spring.

As the flowers emerge they resemble rose buds and when unfurled have ruffled blooms.

The plants can grow 16 inches high and 24 around.

The variety is in the Viva line, the same company who brought us SunPatiens (which I love) and many other introductions.

Here's a recent story I did on impatiens downy mildew which should answer any questions you have about the disease.

I'll be growing plenty of impatiens walleriana this season, but I expect to loose many of them at the end of the season. There's a long list of shade loving annual plants to fill the garden including torenia, begonias, caladiums, coleus and more.

There are also lots of perennial shade lovers which don't have to be planted every season, some of which are native plants.

Every season offers new challenges, it will be interesting to see if impatiens downy mildew is as rampant as last year...I hope not.

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