UK DIY chain sells six million downy mildew-resistant Impatiens

One of B&Q's Garden Centres - photo: B&Q

One of B&Q’s Garden Centres – photo: B&Q

B&Q, a Kingfisher-owned 300-store retailer in the UK is to sell from 30 April six million downy mildew-resistant Imara impatiens, developed by Syngenta Flowers. In Horticulture Week editor Matthew Appleby reports that B&Q has the world rights to sell these plants for 2018. They are not available online. In Appleby’s article Joost Kos, Head R&D Flowers at Syngenta Flowers says the breeder has been developing a resistant strain through secret selective breeding since 2011 and has extensively trialled Imara at Jealott’s Hill, Coletta & Tyson and elsewhere.
Breakthrough Impatiens walleriana
Impatiens walleriana Imara – photo: Syngenta Flowers

Impatiens walleriana Imara – photo: Syngenta Flowers

Today, Syngenta Flowers issued a press release about the launch of Imara in the UK, Germany, France and Netherlands. “This breakthrough Impatiens walleriana is stronger and more resistant to downy mildew than ever before. Since the widespread outbreak of downy mildew in 2011, the Impatiens walleriana market has drastically declined. However, Imara offers disease resilience so growers can bring this popular plant back into production and retailers can reinvigorate the market by putting a consumer favourite back onto shelves”, states Syngenta Flowers.
First on the market
Michael Kester, Global Head Flowers at Syngenta adds: “Syngenta is a research and development company. We do innovation, so developing a new generation of Impatiens walleriana has been important to us. We are very excited to be first to market with this breakthrough and bring back a product that will delight consumers with outstanding performance in sun, shade, rain or shine. We know this will translate to a strong, sustainable consumer demand to benefit retailers and growers.” In addition to its resiliency, Imara should offer growers a reliable, low-maintenance and economical plant for greenhouse production as it is robust and durable, holding up well during transport so plants stay in top shape when moved to retail. “Imara also creates benefits for retailers to offer a product that is flowering on the shelf, which will attract more consumers and create value,” says Kester.
Imara – photo: Syngenta Flowers

Imara – photo: Syngenta Flowers