Impatiens Plants

Impatiens Keep Dying

Anonymous added on May 22, 2014 | Answered

I have been planting impatiens every year in two flower beds on the right and left side of my outside front stairway. A few years ago, the impatiens on the right side started to die after about a month and a half. They first start to turn limp as if they need water, and then just die off. I sent a soil sample to some soil experts who said it was perfect. The soil and the way I plant are the same for both the left and right side. I've checked the flowers and leaves, but never saw any insects. This has been happening every year since. The areas are perfect for impatiens - partial sun. I have no problem with the flowers on the left side. I am at a loss. Do you have any idea what could be causing this problem. Thank you.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 22, 2014

Are they planted under a tree? If so, what kind of tree? Many trees, especially if they are older, tend to suck all the moisture out of the soil, no matter how well you water. Because of this, plants, especially high water plants like impatiens, can have a hard time growing well. It is possible the tree was not using much water before and is using more now. If the tree is a black walnut, eucalyptus, sugar maple, tree-of-heaven, hackberry, southern waxmyrtle, American sycamore, cottonwood, black cherry, red oak, black locust, sassafrass, or American elm, it may be giving off chemicals that kill other plants. As they get older, the stronger their poisons get on other plants. Another possibility is that you may have planted other allelopathic plants in the area. The most common is sunflowers. Their seed hulls will kill other plants, so if you have either planted sunflowers nearby or have a bird feeder nearby, this could be killing the plants.

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