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New Guinea impatiens are the hottest option for color in the garden and there is no shortage of new varieties hitting the market. I am going to ramble for a little bit on the reasons we need New Guinea impatiens (aka New Guineas) and then you can see some of these new and beautiful varieties available.

Why New Guinea Impatiens?

New Guinea impatiens 'Bounce'

New Guinea impatiens ‘Bounce’

It wasn’t too long ago that impatiens were a gardener’s go-to plant for color in the shade. So what has changed? A disease called Impatiens Downy Mildew came into the picture. Downy mildew affects all hybrids and varieties of Impatiens walleriana (garden impatiens), also called busy Lizzie. The pathogen that causes downy mildew is a type of water mold and more closely related to algae than to fungi.  You can read more about it from the University of Florida here. (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp309)

What does Impatiens Downy Mildew look like?

Impatiens Downy Mildew pretty much causes your impatiens to look beautiful one day and melted to the ground the next. Its gross. I was trying to remember when this started to be an issue in Central Florida and it had to be sometime in 2010. I can find photos from my SeaWorld days with impatiens in  2010 but in 2011 I only find New Guineas and caladiums. Remember these big beautiful beds of “regular” impatiens?
The good news is that New Guinea impatiens are tolerant to impatiens downy mildew and will not melt on you!  We are not left wanting, because these new varieties are just awesome. The colors are just as vibrant as your old impatiens too.

 New Guinea impatiens

New Guinea 'Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange'

New Guinea ‘Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange’

New Guineas have slightly longer leaves, tend to be a darker green and the flowers last much longer.  One brand that you will see when shopping are “Sunpatiens.” These are varieties of New Guinea impatiens that will perform well in full sun. In my experience these will do great all summer, but the key is that you need to plant them in May so that they can get established before the summer’s heat and humidity. If you try to plant them in July it takes very attentive watering in the first few weeks. That being said, I am especially a fan of this Sunpatiens tropical spreading orange with the variegated leaves and vibrant orange flowers.

New Guinea impatiens will get large!  I wouldn’t be afraid to plant these at least 24″ apart and know that they will canopy over and fill in the space with solid flowers in 6-8 weeks.
So, the newest colors to hit the market?  Enjoy!
New Guinea 'Big Bounce Lavender'

New Guinea ‘Big Bounce Lavender’

New Guinea 'Sunpatiens Compact Royal Magenta'

New Guinea ‘Sunpatiens Compact Royal Magenta’

New Guinea 'Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange'

New Guinea ‘Sunpatiens Spreading Tropical Orange’

New Guinea 'Divine Scarlet Bronze Leaf'

New Guinea ‘Divine Scarlet Bronze Leaf’

New Guinea 'Sunpatiens Compact Coral Pink'

New Guinea ‘Sunpatiens Compact Coral Pink’

New Guinea 'Sunpatiens Compact Neon Pink'

New Guinea ‘Sunpatiens Compact Neon Pink’

New Guinea impatiens 'Bounce Violet'

New Guinea impatiens ‘Bounce Violet’

New Guinea impatiens 'Divine Orange'

New Guinea impatiens ‘Divine Orange’

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