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New Beacon Impatiens

Summer’s best loved flowers for shade

Intensive breeding efforts and collaboration among international seed breeders has produced two new impatiens varieties that are highly resistant to downy mildew. Like the original Busy lizzies, they flower from spring into winter, need no special care, and provide a swathe of colour in shady beds.

The new varieties are ‘Beacon’ and ‘Imara XDR’. Both have gone through extensive trials overseas as well as in South Africa. Beacon’ has proved to be the more resistant variety at present.

During plant trials in October 2018, BallStraathof planted ‘Beacon’ and ‘Imara XDR’ between the susceptible Super Elfin varieties. By January the Super Elfin varieties had downy mildew and by the end of February had been decimated.

Impatiens ‘Beacon’ did not show any spores and maintained their neat habit. This resistant variety continued flowering into the colder months, confirming their claim to season long colour.

Impatiens walleriana ‘Beacon’ grows into a tidy, mounded plant 25 – 30cm high and wide, with flowers carried on top of the leaves. The initial flower colour range consists of bright red, salmon, white, violet shades, orange, and coral. New colours will be introduced annually. Plants are identifiable in stores from other varieties by a ‘Beacon’ label.

Getting the best from impatiens

  • Plant en masse. As bedding impatiens, they are designed to make a show, the more the better.
  • They do best in semi shade such as morning sun (with afternoon shade) or dappled sun. The shadier the bed, the less they flower and will ’stretch’ towards the light.
  • Plant in fertile, well-composted soil that drains well.
  • Space plants 15 to 20cm apart.
  • Water regularly. Impatiens like consistently moist but not soggy soil. The more sunshine the plants get, the more water they need, with less in shadier areas.
  • After planting, feed with a liquid fertiliser and thereafter once a month. Use a liquid fertiliser for flowers, not a nitrogen-rich one which will produce soft, sappy growth and more leaves than flowers.
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Peebles Plants is a wholesale plant grower and supplier of quality annuals, vegetables, herbs and perennials. We meet the needs of Garden Centers and Landscapers in and around Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North West.

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