Tuesday, June 19, 2018

20 Mar

Don’t Give Up on Busy Lizzies Just Yet!

Many gardens and nurseries have been affected by the wide spread outbreak of Impatiens Downy Mildew in the last few years. This makes it all the more difficult to find fantastic quality Busy Lizzies (Impatiens Wallerina) in nurseries because many companies have decided not to carry on growing these popular bedding plants.

Here at Jersey Plants Direct we have decided to continue growing our seed raised Busy Lizzies at our specialist Plug bedding Nursery in Jersey. We feel it is important to give our customers a wide range of choice and that is why we will not stop producing them.

Busy Lizzies have been grown in the garden for many years and despite the risk of Impatiens Downy Mildew are still extremely popular amongst our customers. They provide bright colourful displays unparalleled by other bedding plants and are known for their all-round versatility.

We are confident that with our stringent hygiene programme and vigorous approach to sourcing clean seed from established suppliers, that all of our plants will arrive at your door in excellent condition.

Our customer services team are always monitoring the situation and will contact our nursery staff if our customers report any problems. If the symptoms described are consistent with Impatiens Downy Mildew and you have planted Busy Lizzies in your garden before we would suggest not growing them for a few years. The disease is air-born, so despite the strict controls in place at our nurseries we would also advise first time Busy Lizzie growers to test them in their garden before buying large quantities.

Despite a slight reduction in numbers there are still many thousands of our customers ordering Impatiens and having a great success with them. Believe it or not, last year the number of customers successful in growing beautiful Busy Lizzies far outweighed the number with problems.

We believe one of the big reasons why Busy Lizzies are less available is because there may be a financial risk for growers to produce large quantities if they do experience problems. As a result there will be a limited number of Busy Lizzies on sale in large retailers and garden centres, but rest assured if there is still demand from our customers we will continue to grow them.

For those gardeners growing on Busy Lizzies from small plug plants I would suggest these 10 “easy to grow tips” to help keep them healthy and avoid disease problems.

  1. Sterilise tools, old pots, and the area used to pot on and plant your Busy Lizzies.
  2. Use fresh, good quality compost/peat/peat reduced.
  3. Place pots/trays in warm place with plenty of air movement and light.
  4. Place on a slatted bench or raise pots to allow them to drain and not get too wet.
  5. Put them in the shade during the day on sunny days.
  6. Water early in the morning.
  7. Never water in the middle of day in strong light and if you do, make sure to shade them after.
  8. Allow plants to dry out a little between watering to make the roots strong and the plant harder. Too much watering leads to a soft plant more prone to disease.
  9. When closer to planting out you should place them outside during the day to harden them up.
  10. Sit back and enjoy the colours.

Quick guide to Impatiens Downy Mildew

  • Always remember Impatiens Downy Mildew is host specific and will not cause a problem with other plants.
  • The disease is spread by air and can stay in the soil for a few years so good hygiene is essential in the garden. Also check your neighbour has not had a problem as there is a good chance it may spread to your garden.
  • The disease like damp wet moist conditions so do not over water and plant in good sunny open areas.
  • Avoid over watering in Tubs and Baskets.


  • Yellow of the leaves which drop very quickly to the floor
  • White fungal growth on the underside of the leaves
  • Plants reduced to just branches within days

 You can see our full range of Busy Lizzies by clicking here!



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