Seed supplier advises gardeners to 'forget' impatiens as alternatives do well

Thompson & Morgan young plants managing director Paul Hansord has said gardeners must forget about growing impatiens after downy mildew led to many retailers and growers withdrawing the plant for 2012.

Impatiens: Downy mildew risk
Impatiens: Downy mildew risk

Roundstone Nurseries managing director Peter Cook said it could be 25 years before the plant is rebred. Hansord said he stands to lose £1m in sales of nine-million plants a year while Cook threw away 30,000 boxes in 2011.

But Hansord said sales of Impatiens 'New Guinea Divine', Begonia 'Organdy', Geranium 'Jackpot' and Petunia 'Frenzy' led to average order values going up for 2012 with mail-order sales up eight per cent overall so far. "People are trying other things. The signs are encouraging."

"I'm not sure that impatiens can come back," said Hansord. "There's no point selling something that looks nice one day and not the next."


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