SunPatiens Showing No Signs Of Downy Mildew

SunPatiens, right, next to Impatiens walleriana with downy mildew.

Although downy mildew only affected Impatiens walleriana in parts of the Northeastern United States last year, its spread across much of Europe should serve as an indicator of what could come this spring or in the coming years here in the U.S.

“The downy mildew issue has been devastating in Europe,” says Mark Seguin, marketing manager at Sakata Seed America. “It’s really unprecedented as far as the market impact it’s had on Impatiens walleriana. Both growers and consumers are looking for a reliable alternative to fill that gap.”

Impatiens photographs Sakata shared of European trial gardens are cause for concern. Entire landscapes have been wiped out, and Sakata indicates these new downy mildew strains affect both seed- and cutting-raised plants. Many European retailers have announced they will no longer include seed impatiens in their assortment because of the rampant disease.

But while walleriana species are susceptible, a product like Sakata’s SunPatiens is proving to be unaffected by it.

“We trialed [SunPatiens] throughout Europe – Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, the U.K,” Seguin says. “We’ve had mass planting at all of our trials, and we have not seen any impact from downy mildew on our impatiens. They have shown to be extremely resistant – what we’re calling totally unaffected by these strains.”

Some growers may argue that seed impatiens are commodities and that a premium product like SunPatiens has a market of its own. Sakata, however, says because SunPatiens are fast growers and provide excellent coverage, fewer plants are needed per square foot than seed impatiens.

“For us, the key point is that in addition to the disease resistance SunPatiens offer, there are additional economical benefits that make it very worthwhile to choose SunPatiens.”

SunPatiens have largely been a hit in the U.S. the last few years because of their ability to flourish in extreme summer conditions. SunPatiens are just as capable of flourishing in the European sun as they are here in the U.S., but Europeans gravitate toward SunPatiens for a completely different reason.

“They are really responding to the all-weather performance in Europe,” Seguin says. “It’s very compelling to say SunPatiens thrive in the heat and sun in North America, and that’s enough for growers and consumers here to add this product. In Europe, that message has had less of an impact. The all-weather impatiens is more resounding, whereas typical New Guineas may not perform as well.”

So yes, U.S. growers have a potentially big problem on their hand in downy mildew on Impatiens walleriana. To Sakata, though, the disease’s spread is an opportunity to show what SunPatiens can do.

“This adds another dimension to the already growing interest in SunPatiens,” Seguin says. “For us, SunPatiens have seen dramatic growth in the last few years. This just adds another compelling reason for growers and consumers to put SunPatiens in their gardens.”

Learn more about Sakata and SunPatiens online at SunPatiens.com.

Leave a Reply

More From Annuals...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 18, 2015

California Spring Trials Sneak Peek: New Annuals For 20…

If you're like us and you can't wait until the 2015 California Spring Trials to see some of the new genetics that will be hitting the market in 2016, never fear. We contacted the breeders who will be displaying their new varieties in California in April, and they gave us a sneak peek. Check out our slideshow to see some of the new annuals making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More

November 14, 2014

First Vegetatively Propagated All-America Selections (A…

All-America Selections (AAS) honors two vegetatively propagated impatiens with AAS winner status.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Growing Tips For Verbena

Rich Schoellhorn, product manager at Proven Winners, shares some tips for growing verbenas successfully.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Greenhouse Grower 2014 New Varieties Guide: Petunias [S…

Greenhouse Grower asked more than 40 breeders to send photos of new introductions they think are worth your attention. The result is the 2014 New Varieties Guide. See what petunias made the cut.

Read More

June 12, 2014

New Begonia Variety And Coleus Series, Plus Two Lobelia…

Terra Nova Nurseries introduces seven new varieties and one new series.

Read More

May 27, 2014

Two New Salvias Added To Southern Living Plant Collecti…

Two new salvia varieties are now available exclusively to growers from the Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Western Garden Collection.

Read More

May 9, 2014

New Petunias Making Their Debut In 2015

Take a look at the new petunia varieties that will be making their appearance in 2015.

Read More

April 23, 2014

Foliage Begonias May Be A Big 2015 Trend [Spring Trials…

A number of breeders debuted their rex begonia and begonia hybrid lines at 2014 Spring Trials.

Read More
Petunia 'Success Violet' from Benary

April 11, 2014

What’s New With Petunias For 2014? [Slideshow]

Breeders are rolling out great new petunia introductions for 2014. Take a look at the variety of petunias they have to offer.

Read More
Verbena 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' from Proven Winners

November 11, 2013

Three New Verbena Superbena Introductions From Proven W…

Three new varieties have joined the verbena Superbena line-up this year: 'Superbena Royale Plum Wine,' 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' and 'Superbena Violet Ice.'

Read More
Calibrachoa 'Mini Famous Double Blue' from Selecta

October 17, 2013

6 New Calibrachoa For 2013

Check out these lovely new introductions in calibrachoa.

Read More

October 10, 2013

Begonia ‘Silhouette Lemon Rose’ Doubles The Bloo…

Begonia ‘Silhouette Lemon Rose’ is a striking begonia hybrid with phenomenal basal and lateral branching. Plant sterility gives maximum continual flowering throughout the season with double the bloom number of a traditional non-stop begonia. Dark mahogany foliage with contrasting emerald green veining provides a dramatic contrast to the soft lemon yellow 1.5- to 2-inch diameter blooms that blush apple blossom pink in high light. This easy-care beauty is ideal for mixed pots and containers, hanging baskets or the summer border. For more information, visit PlantHaven.com

Read More
Petunia 'Flash Mob Bluerific' Burpee Home Gardens

October 7, 2013

18 New Petunias To Add For 2014

Tried and true, petunias are a garden staple. Here are some new introductions breeders are rolling out for your consideration in 2014.  

Read More
Verbena 'Hurricane Hot Pink' from Westflowers

October 7, 2013

New Verbena For 2014

Check out these eight new verbena varieties and consider them for your 2014 greenhouse production.  

Read More
Dahlia Dalaya Shari from Selecta

September 25, 2013

4 New Dahlias For Your 2014 Season

Looking for new dahlia varieties to incorporate in your crop mix? Here are 4 beauties your customers will love.  

Read More
'Wall Street' Coleus from Dummen/Red Fox

September 25, 2013

4 Colorful New Coleus For 2014

Gorgeous foliage makes these new introductions must-haves for next year.  

Read More

September 16, 2013

9 Geraniums For Your 2014 Spring Season

Check out these 9 new introductions featured in Greenhouse Grower's 2013 New Varieties Guide to consider for your spring production.

Read More
Begonia 'Breezy Pink'

September 16, 2013

13 New Begonias For 2013

Looking for something new in begonias? Check out these 13 new variety introductions for this popular genus.

Read More