Growing houseplants can’t get any simpler than cultivating impatiens. These popular flowers make great window or container box plants, thriving excellently in bright but shaded places. Requiring just light watering every other day and a bit of non-tedious care and maintenance to thrive, the idea of dying impatiens would seem far-fetched.
But the unexpected, worst-case scenario can happen and you’d be faced with the prospect of having to deal with the once gorgeous plants losing their shine and gradually dying. If you have no idea of how to revive dying impatiens, losing them all is a possibility.
In this guide, we’d explore the different ways of reviving dying impatiens and some simple, but effective preventive measures to ensure you never have to worry about your precious impatiens dying on you again.
How To Revive Dying Impatiens
Also known as Busy Lizzie, impatiens are grown as perennials in hardiness zone 11. In all other regions, they are grown as annuals. At the height of their blooms, they produce bright and colorful flowers easily adding a vibrant atmosphere to the area.
Though typically problem-free plants, problems can occur and the best way to resolve them is to, first of all, get an accurate diagnosis. One benefit of taking time to accurately diagnose the problem is that you can easily prevent a recurrence.
There are several reasons you inpatients could be dying with most of them linked to subpar impatiens care and maintenance routine. Let’s quickly take a look at the causes and symptoms of dying impatiens before discussing how to revive your Busy Lizzie.
Causes and Symptoms of Dying Impatiens: Impatiens Problems
Some of the symptoms indicating that an impatiens plant is dying include leaf discoloration, stunted growth, absence of flowers, rotting stem, too many leaves without blooms, wilting, mushy black stems, and whitish wooly appearance on the underside of leaves.
The symptoms are usually caused by any of the following either acting singly or in combination with other factors.
Improper watering – Impatiens love well-draining soils that are constantly moist. Soggy soils provide the perfect environment for the growth of harmful fungi. Ultimately the plant develops root rot that affects the ability of the paint to absorb water.
Without water, the plant begins to wilt. The stems are also affected turning a darker color from the bottom. This is the root rot progressing upwards.
Heat – Impatiens thrive at a minimum temperature of about 65°F and a maximum temperature of about 70°F give or take a few degrees. Anything outside this range leads to wilting in the case of high temperatures and ultimately death in both cases.
Too much fertilizer – With good potting soil, impatiens don’t need much plant food. Too much fertilization, especially nitrogen, can result in the overproduction of leaves at the expense of flowers. This can promote pests infestations and all that it entails.
Pests – Impatiens pests usually show up as root-knot nematodes, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and tarnished plant bugs.
The tiny, worm-like nematodes are difficult to spot, typically unleashing havoc deep inside the soil. They feed on impatiens roots causing plants to appear sickly and stunted. Leaves discoloration is also one of the symptoms of these attacks.
If your younger Impatiens are not thriving as expected and the blooms look deformed, this could be the result of tarnished plant bug infestations. The bugs usually show up at the beginning of the growing season and reach their maximum potential towards the end of summer.
The actions of other pests like thrips, spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs, etc usually affect the leaves. Discoloration, curled or distorted leaves are symptoms associated with them. Some like thrips, in addition to damaging the blooms, may also act as vehicles for transferring harmful viruses.
Diseases – Bacterial, viral and fungal diseases such as verticillium wilt, downy mildew, bacterial wilt, etc, are known to cause the death of impatiens.
With the fungal verticillium wilt, the plant ultimately wilts and turns light brown or yellow. This affects the older plants first where they eventually turn ark brown been before dying.
Downy mildew is also a common impatiens fungal disease. They usually appear on the undersides of infected leaves, stems, and buds as blotches of varying colors including light brown or gray. The symptoms of downy mildew include yellow or brown patches on the top side of leaves.
Be suspicious of bacterial wilt attacks following the rather fast wilting and collapse of your impatiens. The disease typically affects the stems leading to rotting stems.
How to Save Your Dying Impatiens
Now that you can diagnose why your impatiens are dying, the next step is applying the right fix.
Some vital steps to take in reviving dying impatiens include:
The solution to improper watering
For over-watering leading to root rot, the solution might be simply adjusting how often you irrigate the plants. Reduce the frequency and ensure the soil is never soggy.
If a formerly well-draining soil seems to be retaining too much water, check to see that the drainage holes are not blocked.
Ensuring that the soil is never waterlogged or soggy is the best way to prevent root rot
That said, if root rot has taken over the roots, it’s best to isolate, uproot, and dispose of it so it doesn’t affect other impatiens. There is no saving it. And to prevent the diseases from spreading to other plants, treat the soil with commercial fungicide for flower bed impatiens.
For potted impatiens, simply discard the soil; then wash and disinfect the pot before using it again.
The solution to temperature issues
If the plant is wilting as a result of exposure to too much sun, relocating the plants to a shadier area would be awesome. Potted plants can simply be moved while garden impatiens can be transplanted to a shadier part of the garden.
Mulching the soil with organic material is another way to keep the soil cool on hot summer days.
Solutions to Pest and bugs issues
Different solutions are available depending on the diagnosis.
Tarnished plant bug – These tiny bugs can be eliminated by spraying infected leaves with pyrethrin-based plant insecticide at the break of dawn. The bugs are inactive at this time making it easier to eliminate them. You could also hand pick each one from the leaves if the infestation is mild
Nematodes – Unfortunately, there is no effective solution against nematode attacks. The fast-spreading bugs usually infect roots leading to swellings on the roots.
The best fix is to remove and dispose of the infected impatiens. You might want to dig up and remove the soil around the roots of the plant too.
You can prevent nematode attacks by adding and thoroughly mixing bark chips or compost into the soil before planting your impatiens. This is known to promote the growth of nematode-resistant impatiens.
Also, a fertilization regime incorporating a solution of fish emulsion and water is beneficial in terms of preventing attacks by nematodes. Simply pour the solution on the soil during the growing season.
For other impatiens pests problems, Spraying on affected impatiens Neem oil is considered the best and most effective treatment option. This eliminates the pests.
Solution to impatiens diseases
Bacterial wilt – Immediately uproot the affected plant and dispose of it to prevent spreading it to other plants. There is no way to revive the Impatiens.
Downy mildew – Like bacterial wilt, impatiens affected by downy mildew can’t be revived. Again, the best course of action is to dig up and dispose of the infected plant. Then spray the healthier plants with a fungicide to guard against infection.
Verticillium wilt – Impatiens affected by this fungal disease cannot be saved. The standard solution of uprooting and disposing of infected plants is the route to take.
Fortunately, simply keeping the plant healthy can prevent these diseases. Sticking to the best practices when it comes to impatiens care is recommended.
Now you know how to revive dying impatiens. Impatiens are generally easy to grow as long as the correct growth conditions are maintained. While is not usual to experience problems that escalate to dying impatiens plants, it does happen. These can be due to fungal root rot as a result of overwatering. Nematodes, excessive heat or cold, bacterial wilt, and pests infestations are other problems that can ultimately kill impatiens.
Knowing how to revive a dying impatiens is closely linked to an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Sometimes, the solution is simply a matter of changing the watering schedule to ensure the soil is never too wet or soggy. Uprooting and disposing of affected impatiens is recommended for problems like extensive root rot and some bacterial/fungal diseases.