KC gardeners keep eye on flower disease

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They are one of the most popular annuals, the Impatiens. A recent report about the spreading of a disease called “downy mildew” has gardeners in the metro fearing the worst. However, it’s not a problem yet in Kansas City. At Soil Service Garden Center, flats of Impatiens are front and center in the garden center.

“Every year, that is our biggest crop,” said Soil Service Manager Matt Archer.

Recently a newspaper article from Washington D.C. surfaced locally highlighting the disease and Archer says his center started recieving calls immediatly.

“We got many phone calls and many customers coming to us, very worried that they were not going to be able to plant these plants¬†in their gardens going forward,” said Archer.

Since 2009, It’s spread to 35 states. Growers and homeowners have seen their brightly colored petals turn yellow and defoliate.

“If downy mildew makes it to this region, it is a game changer,” said Archer.¬† “There is very little homeowners can do once they are infected.”

Archer added, all the Impatiens in his store are locally grown in Spring Hill Kansas.


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