Blooming season: spring to fall
Plant habit: mounded, upright
Characteristics: shade tolerant, low maintenance
Uses: beds, hanging basket, container
For many years, these types of impatiens have been the go-to bedding plant for shady areas. They grow rapidly, flower profusely, and tolerate a significant amount of abuse, including heavy shearing and wilts that would send other species to the compost heap. Since about 2012, when a disease known as Impatiens Downy Mildew showed up in the Birmingham area, these hardy stalwarts have taken a blow to their reputations. This disease can cause a picture-perfect bed of impatiens to turn to leafless sticks seemingly overnight. Other shade-tolerant plants, with IDM resistance, have gained popularity as replacements, including other species of impatiens, like Fanfares, Sunpatiens and New Guineas. If you want to remain loyal to the wallerianas, remember to water early in the day so the foliage will be dry going into the night. Wet foliage at night can be very susceptible to fungal infections.