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 Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Lizzie 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:06 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Telford UK
Post Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Lizzie
My neighbour has just given me a cutting from her Congo Cockatoo impatiens and it got me nostalgic about one of the old type pink Busy Lizzies growing in the barber's I used to go to 40 years ago. It was a monster and always covered in flowers. Alas, like the plant itself (and many other house plants of the 60s and 70s) , he is no longer with us. Everyone used to grow it but it seems to have died out. Good ones reached about three feet and were covered in pink flowers. I would love to grow one again but can't find it for sale anywhere. If anyone has one lurking about and is prepared to send a cutting or two I would gladly pay postage and a little extra for the trouble.
Cheers,
Martin


Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:41 pm
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 3:55 pm
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Location: North Thames delta UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
I would have thought seed companies them still?

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Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:53 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:03 pm
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Location: Inland Cornwall UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
Alas, traditional Busy Lizzies are now almost impossible to grow.

Impatiens downy mildew become unexpectedly virulent in about 2008 and [depending on whom you believe] it either became fungicide resistant, or the fungicide that worked was withdrawn in 2011. Busy Lizzies have not been a commercial proposition since then. Seed is still available, but the plants succumb before becoming impressive.

The 'New Guinea Hybrids' based on Impatiens hawkeri just don't look the same.

Sakata in Japan have produced the 'artificial' hybrid Sunpatiens which are as close to the traditional look but with mildew resistance as any I've seen yet.

They should be available at larger garden centres, but are not as cheap as the seed raised I.walleriana used to be.

Chad.


Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:43 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:06 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Telford UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
Chad, I thought the mildew had only affected the bedding varieties. I seem to recall not seeing any of the original houseplant type long before (a couple of decades?) the issues with the bedders - unless it killed those off as well. I looked at the Sunpatiens a while ago but they didn't seem to have the same growth form. I guess it's silly nostalgia but I just have a hankering for an original. You never know, I may come across a survivor lurking in some 90+ year-old's place from which I can swipe a cutting!


Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:43 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:03 pm
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Location: Inland Cornwall UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
Martinnicklin wrote:
I thought the mildew had only affected the bedding varieties.


I think it hit the whole lot.

Seed remained available for a few years; being grown in countries with lower atmospheric humidity.

Martinnicklin wrote:
I looked at the Sunpatiens a while ago but they didn't seem to have the same growth form.


Sadly I agree, I too was after [in my case] the 'old' orange one. Sunpatiens was the closest but not the same.

Seed raised [from Chilterns] - that should have included that colour in a mix, got the mildew before they had flowered so I never found it.

Chad.


Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:52 pm
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:44 pm
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Location: NW London UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
I run a bedding plants department for a mid-sized garden centre chain. We've stocked regular Busy Lizzies in 6-packs for the last 3 seasons without any issues. We still advise our customers not to plant them in beds where they have previously had mildew, and to clean any containers and baskets with an outdoor disinfectant and so far I haven't had a single customer complain or report any issues. Apparently there has been a lot of breeding work done to select the least-susceptible varieties, but they're still not widely available as a lot of large-scale growers don't want to risk turning over their capacity to a potentially unreliable crop. It's a bit late in the season now but they are out there!


Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:06 pm
Posts: 564
Location: Telford UK
Post Re: Long shot but does anyone grow the old-fashioned Busy Li
The type I am looking for would not be classed as the regular one. I have found an internet picture (poor quality) of the plant as I remember it from the 70s!

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Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:36 pm
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