Common Garden Problems

How To Treat Common Plant Problems


Gardeners across the country are experiencing the disappointment of the pathogen Plasmopara Obducens, which causes downy mildew in the ever popular impatiens. This problem is not exclusive to our part of the world and became widespread in 2012. Affected leaves turn yellow and are rapidly shed from the plant. A fine white fungal growth may be visible on the lower leaf surface, but affected leaves decay rapidly. Flowers are also commonly shed, and the plant is often reduced to bare branches with a small tuft of yellow leaves and flower buds at the tip. Affected plants will eventually die. Experts are working on a solution, however at this time there are no resistant cultivars and no fungicide is available for the control of this disease.

As an alternative to impatiens, we recommend New Guinea impatiens (which are not prone to this disease), begonias and annual vinca.


Aphids are green coloured insects which line the stems and undersides of leaves, especially around the new areas of growth. When aphids appear on plants, spray with a solution of water mixed with dish soap, or with an insecticidal soap available for purchase at most hardware stores.

Root Rot

Plants require oxygen around their roots to remain healthy. Too much water lying around the roots of a plant will cause the roots to begin to rot and the plant will die. Thus, plants must never be left in a waterlogged condition for an extended period of time. Use potting soil in containers, and peat moss in garden beds to keep the soil around the roots adequately aerated. Ensure that all containers have drainage holes.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can be caused by overwatering or by lack of fertilizer. If the leaves yellow and drop, the plant is probably suffering from too much water. If the leaves yellow but do not drop, the plant probably needs more fertilizer. We recommend the use of Miracle Gro Fertilizer.