5 Disease-Resistant Plants You Should Add to Your Garden Next Spring

By Bailey Schmid, Marketing & Communications Intern

With WPS Garden of Lights in full swing, you can spot a variety of plants and flowers in our light show that you’ll likely see next spring and summer. And now that Wisconsin’s long snowy season has arrived, sometimes it’s easy to push off thoughts of lush green leaves or bright flowers, and unknowingly procrastinate your garden and landscape planning.

We decided to tap into the brain of Lindsay Hendricks, Assistant Director of Horticulture here at the Garden, and she revealed that there are many benefits to planning out your garden before you even touch the seeds, one being whether to add a few disease-resistant plants into the mix.

Disease-resistant plants aren’t necessarily superheroes in the plant world, but they are less likely to develop diseases commonly caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes and other pathogens. Fungi are the most prevalent sources of disease and can cause plants to sprout leaf spots, blights, mold, mildew and even rust.

Here are a few plants, which you may see here at the Garden that Lindsay recommends adding to your own garden if you are looking to avoid the spread of these common diseases.

David garden phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘David’)

This type of phlox is a perennial flower that is resistant to powdery mildew, a fungal white powder that blankets the foliage of plants.David Garden Phlox

Violet Bounce™ New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri ‘Balbouvimp’)

This annual variety of impatiens is resistant to downy mildew, a spore-forming mildew that heavily infects both the flowers and foliage of the plant. Violent Bounce

Jasper cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Jasper’)

Another annual, this one is resistant to late blight, a fungus or decay of the entire plant that begins at the stem and leaves, quickly destroying the entire plant. Jasper Cherry Tomato

Valley ForgeAmerican elm (Ulmus americana ‘Valley Forge’)

These trees are resistant to Dutch elm disease, a fungal (virulent), disease spread by elm bark beetles and has unfortunately destroyed the majority of American elm trees. Valley Forge Elm

Pink Knock Out® rose (Rosa ‘RADcon’)

These rose bushes are resistant to black spot, a fungal disease that begins with black spots on a rose’s leaves and can eventually cause major damage to the entire bush.

Pink Knock Out Rose

Learn more about disease-resistant plants and different types of diseases to watch out for from UW-Extension Horticulture.