Decision to persist with impatiens pays off for Suttons

Suttons horticulture manager Tom Sharples has said carrying on selling impatiens when most competitors took the plant off the market in 2011 because of downy mildew problems has paid off, with sales figures down by just 18 per cent.

Sharples said Suttons recommends that impatiens only be planted in pots and containers with fresh compost. He added that the only complaints he has received are from gardeners who have planted out in beds, where spores from previous infections can remain.

Multinational companies such as Syngenta, Ball and Takii are working on GM solutions to eliminate downy mildew from what was Britain's best-selling bedding plant, said Sharples.

He added that the HomeGrown Revolution range from James Wong is selling well, partly because Wong has been so busy holding talks about the range of unusual seeds, which is now in 500 garden centres, with no-one turning it down.


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