Yellow leaves on impatiens

Your Garden: What is attacking impatiens?

Dear Roger: I have 10 hanging baskets I made myself. They have one plant per pot.

I need advice about the Sunpatiens or double impatiens. First, the leaves fall off. Then the plant itself becomes very limp.

Last year was a good year for all my Sunpatiens. In 2012, they did the same thing they did this year.

My other pots have begonias, and they are outstanding. – Peggy

Dear Peggy: Sunpatiens is a trade name for a group of relatively sun-resistant impatiens.

My experience is that some are reasonably sun-resistant but tend to droop in afternoon full sun on hot days. I have noticed that this is especially true of forms with dark-colored flowers.

Impatiens tend to wilt as soon as they are thirsty. This is a good thing because you won’t forget to water them.

But, if impatiens remain wilted after watering, you have a bigger problem than just needing water.

The most serious impatiens problems are diseases that can infect the leaves, stems or roots.

Here are the worst offenders that can cause the symptoms you describe:

Impatiens downy mildew is a fungus, Plasmopara obducens. Early symptoms are slightly yellowed or off-color leaves. Later, some flowers and leaves start to drop, and some of the leaf undersides turn white due to a coating of white spores. Gardeners might not realize their flowers are infected, because you have to turn leaves over to see the spores.

Damping off causes stems to die at the soil line and plants to collapse.

Pythium root rot causes lower leaves to wilt, leaves to fall and plants to die.

Here are two solutions to fungus problems:

Use a sterile potting mix, and avoid contact with soil. Don’t use implements that have been in contact with soil on the baskets containing impatiens. Such implements may include hose-end sprayers that have been dropped on the ground.

Use appropriate systemic fungicides.

Few insects make serious attacks on impatiens. Here are the most important ones:

Thrips suck plant juices from the puncture wounds they make. The results are scars or distortion of the vegetation. Thrips feed on flowers, leaves or fruits. Thrips range from dark to light tan or cream. Identification is easier by looking at their wings, which are fringed. You may need a hand lens to see the tiny wings. The extensive damage to the impatiens may be seen before the insects are visible. Wilting is not the main symptom, however. Distorted leaves and flowers are the main indicators.

Leaf miners make ugly, light-colored, winding trails on the surfaces of the leaves. They don’t do the kind of damage you describe. And they seldom kill a plant. They just ugly it up a little.

Aphids form colonies on plants and cause yellow, curled and distorted leaves. They are often green or tan.

The unmoving critters can suck the life out of the leaves. Aphids make sweet excretions called honeydew. Ants love the stuff and encourage and protect aphids to get it for their young. Ladybugs eat aphids and are their natural predators.

Spider mites, as their name suggests, are not insects, but arachnids. They’re very small, making colonies that you can see on the bottom of leaves as black dots that move. Mites feed by sucking out the insides of leaves. The leaves are stippled light gray or gray-green on top from the damage. Some leaves turn dark, then yellow, and fall. The mites can produce webbing.

A weekly spraying of the impatiens with a stiff shower from the hose usually will control such insects by dislodging and disorienting them.

Almost any insecticide will kill them, but well-grown plants with plenty of overhead watering and access to natural rainfall usually won’t be damaged.

Send your questions to [email protected] or call 424-4756.

Learn About Impatiens

Common Disease Problems

Alternaria Leaf Spot: Small, round reddish brown spots with white to gray centers form on the upper surface of the leaves. The lesions may encircle the stems and cause wilt. This disease is worse in warm, wet or very humid weather. Burpee Recommends: Avoid getting water on the foliage. Remove infected plant parts and do not work around wet plants. Provide plenty of air circulation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Damping Off: This is one of the most common problems when starting plants from seed. The seedling emerges and appears healthy; then it suddenly wilts and dies for no obvious reason. Damping off is caused by a fungus that is active when there is abundant moisture and soils and air temperatures are above 68 degrees F. Typically, this indicates that the soil is too wet or contains high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Burpee Recommends: Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater; avoid over-fertilizing your seedlings; thin out seedlings to avoid overcrowding; make sure the plants are getting good air circulation; if you plant in containers, thoroughly wash them in soapy water and rinse in a ten per cent bleach solution after use.

Downy Mildew: This fungus causes whitish gray patches on the undersides and eventually both sides of the leaves. The whole plant may defoliate and die. Burpee Recommends: Remove plants as soon as symptoms occur and destroy them. Avoid overhead watering. Provide adequate air circulation, do not overcrowd plants. Do not work around plants when they are wet. Once regular impatiens (not New Guinea) have had downy mildew they cannot be grown in the same area again. Plant in containers.

Powdery Mildew: This fungus disease occurs on the top of the leaves in humid weather conditions. The leaves appear to have a whitish or greyish surface and may curl. Burpee Recommends: Avoid powdery mildew by providing good air circulation for the plants by good spacing and pruning. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Root Rots: A number of pathogens cause root rots of seedlings as well as mature roots. Burpee Recommends: Practice crop rotation and do not plant related crops in the same area for several years. Pull up and discard infected plants. Make sure your soil has excellent drainage. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects that can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps who feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

Cyclamen Mite: These mites damage plants by sucking juice from stems and leaves. They multiply rapidity in hot, dry weather. They can only be seen using a magnifying glass. Plants will look distorted and stunted, and may not bloom. Flowers will be distorted, streaked and blotched. Leaves can become cupped, curled, dwarfed and thickened. Burpee Recommends: Discard plants that are severely infested. Avoid working with infested plants. Keep plants watered in dry weather. For heavy infestations consult your Cooperative Extension Service for insecticide recommendations.

Mealybugs: Mealybugs are 1/8 to ¼ inch long flat wingless insects that secrete a white powder that forms a waxy shell that protects them. They form cottony looking masses on stems, branches and leaves. They suck the juices from leaves and stems and cause weak growth. They also attract ants with the honeydew they excrete, and the honeydew can grow a black sooty mold on it as well. Burpee Recommends: Wash affected plant parts and try to rub the bugs off. They may also be controlled by predator insects such as lacewings, ladybugs and parasitic wasps. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pesticide recommendations.

Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. They may be red, black, brown or yellow. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. There is often webbing visible on the plant. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations.

Sunscald: Leaves are bleached and faded, often turn white with brown crispy edges. There are no signs of pests and diseases. Plants were usually recently moved. The bright light and heat from the sun break down the chlorophyll which leads to death of the leaf. Burpee Recommends: Transplant impatiens to a spot that has more shade in the afternoon. Do not place impatiens in a south or south-west exposure. Choose a sun loving plant or a New Guinea Impatiens for sunnier locations.

New Guinea Impatiens Have Yellow Leaves – Knowledgebase Question

New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri)
Posted by plantladylin
Yellow leaves can be caused by many things including lack of nitrogen, insufficient light, water-logged soil (plant roots need oxygen to thrive), dry soil, or iron deficiency. If the older bottom leaves are yellow, but new growth is green, it’s usually a lack of nitrogen. If new leaves are yellow, with green veins, it’s usually a lack of iron. (Lack of nitrogen is a more common problem than lack of iron.) Soil should be kept moderately moist (but not wet). Finally, transplant shock can contribute to yellowing. You didn’t say whether you fertilized or not. I’d suggest trying a balanced fertilizer to see if that helps. Also, this fall or next spring, I’d recommend adding a generous layer of organic matter/compost to your bed. This will help with your clay soil, more so than adding top soil. I’m not sure what the “clay breaker” was, so can’t comment on that. Continue to add organic matter every year, as it breaks down rapidly. Over time it will improve your soil’s fertility and drainage.

do impatiens come in yellow?

After studying the tone of your red brown plum (fade does odd things to color) roof, and the wonderful blond brick and the facade – I have these observations. Staining brick is easy and does no harm to the masonrys clay properties – here, however, only certain sorts of olive undertone neutrals .. .close to gettysburg gray or lighter like richmond gray’s tone those .. would work with the roof . . and I don’t know if they can mix that as a masonry stain – the range of color options with masonry stain is going to be a lot more limited . . The brick chimney is so beautiful . . so let’s work with what we have. I think if we get most of the brighter yellow off the house, we can take the brick into blond / buff / territory and you will love it. Because the double slider goes nearly to the corner of the house, we definitely need to pull the shutters off the window left of the front door . .the others may survive in our traditional scheme, but these need to go. This will help balance the left side of the house – also get some painted trim on the left front corner, and plant a screen of evergreens . . they don’t have to be a linear hedge . . you could do an off center arc that was open a bit more to the front door but not to the street .. .with varied heights at maturity and maybe a sugar maple nestled in front of them so that when you have fall color the extravagant color on the maple will read out against the conifers. The blond brick means that the block needs to be as close to but darker than the blond brick – no matter what else we do. There is no scenario in which we want to call more attention to that area .. the color on it now needs to be taken towards tan just a tad – and know this – even for pros, tans/camels/yellows are THE most difficult color to select. Here’s why – they are very light dependent and that flows from the latitude. Great yellows always look really tan on the swatch – especially outdoors. Here, you want to try to take this area a little more brown – so it matches the darker / cooler elements in the brick. This is one you are going to have to sample on that wall and stand back to get right . . start with bm wilmington tan or waterbury cream or chestertown buff . .. bring them all home on the paper swatches and put them next to the brick its possible that bm richmond tan might even work here . . . that would be the best sort of tone to get on the house for where we are going . . but it needs to flow and that may be too green – what you have is nearly perfect . . so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater there . . these are both / all historic colors so they are proven shades over centuries . . they will just be a start – bring home enough swatches near these two colors that you can put them on the brick and stand back .. the block wall needs to echo the brick but we can do a half tone deeper and cooler / tanner / browner . . . then get sample pots and test (on plywood you can carry around the house) Then, you’ve definitely got to work with the white windows. I think we do something transitional with this house – lose the shutters and work with sophisticated colors – it will feel pretty traditional because of the house form, but be fresh. I’d like to see traditional / fatter white trim around the non shutter glazing – that means, we want the white to read out against something . . . you are tired of the yellow . . but if you go white you lose your contrast . . then, for traditional . .. a soft green is our only hope . . . but barely green, really a muted camoflauge tone – pale like an soft tone . .lighter than the brick . . so it sort of recedes test – bm spanish olive Your white needs to be a warm white but not fight the blond and olive shades .. something like bm maritime white for outdoors . . . a brown undertone white – on the fascia, door and window trim (except for the house corner – let that be the olive tone . .) If you really really want the shutters / want more cottage feeling .. paint them maritime white too – I think you will see that the whole house will be a bit more stately without them – the window proportions get a little closer to prairie style . .search here for that . . . go online to frank lloyd wright museums at taliesin / taliesin west and buy house numbers in this style . . buy some bronze and white glass arts and crafts exterior sconces . . . your garage doors are nearly prairie as is . . Even if you are traditional, no matter traditional or contemporary in your approach, I think the best front door color (because it will resonate with the roof and bring all the colors together) .. is bm tulsa twillight Since your front door doesn’t face the street, it won’t read contemporary on the house at all . . but sort of cottagey and welcoming . . and let people know for sure where the front door is . . For a path . . . colored salt finish concrete with a buff tone . . saw cut the control joints to resemble square pavers … from curb to the center of the front picture window . . .pediment planters might flank this halfway to the house . . For contemporary, I would want to know what stain colors in the olive undertone greiges you could get and then I’d go from there . Or, I’d have them stain the brick white (they do that) and do the rest of the house in a purply ralph lauren sort of navy, work with a nautical ship concept . . . maybe have you add some horizontal cable railings to a deck off the sunroom side and carry them around the front integrated into the screen somehow . . White front door – cut in a porthole . . nickel industrial nautical fixtures . . hope this is helpful . . you do have a challenge here, but I think these colors will take it earthy and the beautiful brick will get to shine

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea impatiens is a species of the vast genus impatiens, which flower in all colors (except true blue and yellow). The New Guinea impatiens was discovered on a plant hunting expedition to Southeast Asia. The growing habits of impatiens make them ideal low-maintenance plants. Many impatiens varieties were originally stowaways on trading ships from Africa and naturalized in Central and South America.

Description of New Guinea impatiens: New Guinea impatiens form compact, succulent subshrubs with branches growing 1 to 2 feet tall by summer’s end. Leaves are long and narrow, green, bronze, or purple. Flowers, growing up to 2 inches in diameter, are white, pink, lavender, purple, orange, and red.


Growing New Guinea impatiens: Fertile, moist soil high in organic matter is preferred by New Guinea impatiens. They are more sun-loving than the other impatiens. They will tolerate more sun if their roots are kept moist. Incorporate a slow-release fertilizer into the soil before planting. They should only be planted after the danger of frost has passed and the ground has warmed. Space 9 to 15 inches apart.

Propagating New Guinea impatiens: By seed or by cuttings. Only two varieties of New Guinea impatiens are available from seed so far. Sow 10 to 12 weeks before planting outside. Germinate at 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not cover, since seeds need light to germinate, but mist to keep moist. Cuttings root quickly and easily in 2 to 3 weeks.

Uses for New Guinea impatiens: Impatiens should be used in masses of color in beds and borders. Cluster three or more in groups beside garden features. Plant them in containers and in hanging baskets.

New Guinea impatiens related varieties: Tango, grown from seed, has fluorescent-orange flowers. Sunshine hybrids, grown from cuttings, are a series that include many with variegated foliage and flowers in all colors — white, pink, red, orange, lavender, and purple. They also have bicolors. Look for constellation and meteorological names: Cirrus, Gemini, etc.

Scientific name of New Guinea impatiens: Impatiens species

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers. Discover your favorite annual flowers. We’ve organized them by color, sunlight, soil type, and height to make it easy to plan your garden.
  • Annuals. There’s more to an annuals garden than flowers. Learn about all of the annuals that enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers. Complement your annuals with these delightful perennial flowers. They are also organized by height, soil type, sunlight, and color.

Problems with Lavender ?

Common Problems Growing Lavender

Lavender is an easy plant which thrives under the right conditions. New gardeners or those not experienced frequently have some problems with their Lavender plants.
You might be wondering “Is my Lavender Plant dead?” Well, if the above ground portion of the plant looks dead it is dead. Unlike other perennials Lavender will not spring back up if the top is totally dead.
The other problem might be dead areas or sections of the plant that doesn’t look so hot. You are probably asking the question “Can I save a dying Lavender plant?” Dead areas can be removed immediately when found. Simply clip them out all the way back to the ground.
Whether the plant lives depends on the problem and the cause of why it is sick. Read on to find out What’s wrong with my Lavender?
Every experienced gardener has had to deal with a plant dying so don’t give up. Learn about common problems people face when growing Lavender plants.

Wet Soil Conditions & Humidity

One of the biggest problems and causes of Lavender dying out is the overwatering of potted Lavender or excessive soil moisture for those plants grown in the ground. Lavender grows in loose, slightly sandy or gritty alkaline soil that is fast draining. Learn about what Lavender likes in terms of planting and growing conditions.
Over wet soil conditions leads to fungus and root rot problems. This can cause wilted black leaves where the plant is dying back. Treatment involves cutting back of the diseased areas and allowing the plant to dry out. Read about my trick for Lavender plants and excessive rain.
Fungus can live almost anywhere. The most common fungii are Botrytis (gray mold) and Pytophthora (root rot.) They occur principally because of excess moisture either in the air or soil.
What can you do? Clear out around the plant as much as possible such as removing dead leaves, stems or debris. Use a heat reflecting mulch of coarse builders sand, pea gravel or washed shells. Use proper spacing when planting to allow good air circulation.
Frequently, once started it is too late to save a plant suffering from this condition. High humidity in the air can promote this type of problem as well. What do you do? You can take cuttings from the remaining healthy sections and root them to get a new plant.
Lavender prefers loose soil that will not compact around its roots preventing the excess moisture from draining away. Plant in raised mounds to allow for proper water runoff. Place a handful of sand or small gravel in the bottom of your planting hole to allow for good drainage. Learn about the best potting soil mix for those Lavender plants grown in pots.
Plants occasionally wilt during the heat of the day to conserve moisture if it’s really hot. I am not talking about full flop over limpness but a slightly noticeable droop. If you see droopy wilting Lavender do not run for water but check back in the early evening and see if the plant looks different before fetching that watering pail.
Plants can wilt from too much water meaning that the roots are waterlogged and cannot absorb what is there. If this happens your plant is a goner. The health of any plant starts with the roots. Happy roots usually mean healthy plant.

Plants do well in dry, stony poor soils which makes it an excellent plant to grow on a hot sunny bank where the water can easily run off.

Yellowing Leaves or Foliage

A Lavender with yellowing leaves is a common problem. Lavender leaves turning yellow are indicative of different things depending on planting conditions. A potted or container grown plant with yellowing foliage could indicate too much or too little nitrogen.
Yellow leaves for those plants grown in the ground usually means a moisture problem so humidity and drainage need improvement . Yellow leaves with a gray or sooty black color is a fungal problem.

Lack of Enough Light

The second biggest problem is not enough sun. Lavender comes from a dry climate region that has tons of sun. This plant loves to sunbathe! Think about hot, sunny, breezy days at your favorite beach and you have what it likes.

Get A Sunlight Meter –
Learn how to move or transplant your Lavender plants.

Choosing the Wrong Location

Frequently people plant Lavender where they want it to be and not where it prefers to be. Find a warm, sunny, airy location, and choose the right Lavender variety for your area. Prepare the soil if necessary by loosening it and adding sand to loosen compacted clay soils and promote much needed drainage.
This is one of the keys to success. A loose friable gritty slightly alkaline soil that is fast draining will make all the difference in the world.

Problems with Pruning Lavender Plants

The last problem many people have is with pruning and shaping their plant. If you want a compact bushy plant that has a nice mounded shape you will need to prune twice a season cutting back the green growth by half shortly after harvesting your Lavender flowers.
Learning about when is the best time to prune your Lavender can make all the difference for those of you in areas with extremely cold climate. A little winter care and a few fall preparations for cold weather conditions lessens problems for plants.
In olden times people did not prune their plant and allowed it to grow large forming a big shrub. This occurred in the cottage herb gardens where there were drifts of flowers. These Lavender plants had old woody growth and bare spots but were loved all the same.
Now a days many prefer them as well groomed cushion shaped plants which does greatly increase the flower production. We do grow it for the Lavender flowers don’t we?
Understanding what kills Lavender plants and learning about Lavender plant care – how to care for your plant greatly reduces any problems you might have leaving you time to focus on crafting things from your plants instead. Learn about the many other ways to use Lavender and Lavender oil uses.

Ask a Question forum: Lavender plant dry and going yellow

I bought a Munstead Lavender plant from a local farm and have put it in a pot inside.
It’s leaves are going dry and yellow. Touching them, the dry ones will fall off. Some of the leaves are still ok but I’m afraid it’s slowly dying.
I live in Canada and it’s fall, so I know it needs more light – it’s in a west facing window and gets sun all afternoon. I’m planning to get it a grow lamp asap to help it out.
I read that I should not put it in too big of a pot or water it too often as the roots should not stay wet. I put it in a terra cotta pot about the size of the plastic pot it came in (it was a little tight to get it in). The soil is very tight and I can’t get a finger down into it. So, maybe the pot is too small and the soil too compacted?
I water it once or twice a week. I let the soil get really dry before watering it. I water until the water runs out the hole in the bottom of the terra cotta pot and then make sure it’s not sitting in any water.
What should I do to save my plant?! Grow light, repot in looser sandy soil??? Help!

Ps it doesn’t live where it’s placed in the photo, it lives on a big windowsill.

| Quote | Post #1839485 (1)

Photo: IStock

Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, and those numbers continue to grow. With a buying power totaling $1.4 trillion, the Hispanic consumer carries significant economic clout. To benefit from this demographic, the green industry needs to ditch the heavy Caucasian influence on the hobby of gardening and make it multicultural.

According to Simmons Research, in 2017, 17.4 percent of Americans aged 6 years and older identified as Hispanic or Latino, up from 15.3 percent in 2010. The Hispanic population is increasing across all age groups, with nearly a quarter of Americans age 6 to 34 today being Hispanic, compared with about 10 percent among those age 50 and older. This points to the continued growth and influence of this segment on the American economy.

In 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico, according to “The Multicultural Economy,” a report from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business published by the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

“As America grows more diverse, minority groups are reaping great economic dividends, and business owners would do well to pay attention,” says Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center. “Minority buying power is growing at a faster pace than the white consumer market for a number of reasons, such as demographics, increases in educational attainment and entrepreneurial activity.”

The report states that more than one in six Americans claims Hispanic origin, which helps explain rapid gains over the past few years. From a buying power estimate of $495 billion in 2000, that number has jumped 181 percent to $1.4 trillion in 2016. That accounts for nearly 10 percent of total U.S. buying power in 2016 and means the U.S. Hispanic market is larger than the GDP of Mexico and bigger than the economies of all but 14 countries.

The report provides national buying power estimates for seven selected groups of Hispanic consumers, with Mexican-Americans representing the largest group and accounting for $797 billion worth of buying power, followed by Puerto Ricans, who account for $146 billion.

While each of these subset groups has a distinct purchasing trend, their growth has some things in common, Humphreys says.

“The most important trend in favor of Hispanic buying power growth is favorable demographics,” he adds. “The Hispanic population is growing much more rapidly than the total population, thanks to natural increases and strong immigration. The population is also increasingly better educated and has increased its entrepreneurial activity.”

U.S. Hispanic buying power is more geographically concentrated than that of non-Hispanics. In 2016, California alone accounted for 26 percent of Hispanic buying power, and just 10 states accounted for 78 percent. The states with the largest Hispanic markets in 2016 were California with $359 billion, Texas with $269 billion, Florida with $144 billion, and New York with $101 billion. New Mexico, Texas, and California had the highest Hispanic shares of buying power with 33 percent, 22 percent and 20 percent respectively, according to Nielsen.

Make the connection

Businesses and brands willing to benefit from this demographics’ spending power must design ads that align with their values, culture and purchasing behavior.

To connect with the U.S. Hispanic population, businesses are launching multiethnic or multiracial marketing campaigns targeted at the bilingual, Latino and English-speaking community, according to Ultim Marketing. But it’s critical to understand that appealing to the Hispanic community goes way beyond translating English ads or social media posts into Spanish. That’s a shallow attempt at connecting with this demographic.

According to Ultim, here are some persuasive reasons to adopt a Hispanic marketing strategy.

  • An average Hispanic household is usually young and large — made up of at least two generations i.e. nuclear family, grandparents, cousins — and will spend at least $96 daily compared to $95 or below spent by non-Hispanic families (i.e. Whites, African-Americans, Asians).
  • Hispanics spend more time online surfing the web socializing, buying and viewing videos on their phones and tablets. This means they are exposed to more mobile ads and online content which turn into leads and higher site traffic.
  • Since Hispanics spend more time exposed to ads, they are easily influenced by compelling advertisements. This means they buy more stuff online than other races in the U.S. Online store owners or service providers interested in having increased Hispanic patronage should consider creating a multilingual site.
  • If you want devoted Latino or Hispanic customers, communicate with them in Spanish, create your product ads in Spanish and provide Spanish customer service. Hispanics are proud of their heritage, and are naturally drawn to brands that promote their culture — even third-generation U.S. Hispanics.

Nielsen’s “Latina 2.0” reports that Hispanic women are strongly influenced by celebrities, designers, trends and media, but they are also brand influencers in many regards, including being early adopters, rating or reviewing products online, and recommending products to others.

To truly win over the Hispanic consumer, marketing ads should have an authentic appeal to the Hispanic consumer’s unique behaviors and tastes by employing unique products and marketing strategies, according to an IBM Market Indicator report. Some multicultural ad campaigns that are popular within the Hispanic community by notable companies include the Pepsi NEXT campaign, Wendy “Mucho mejor” ad, Domino Pizza “power of simpatico” campaign, CVS Pharmacy “CVS y más” initiative, as well as ads by McDonald’s and other top brands, according to Ultim.

Understanding language preferences will help businesses and brands create better marketing campaigns. According to Simmons Research, among all Hispanics there is about an even split between the percentage who prefer to speak mostly or only English versus only or mostly Spanish. However, when we look at Hispanics by generation, those born outside the United States (first generation) favor speaking Spanish by a wide margin. Among second-generation Hispanics, those born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent, a clear majority prefer to speak either all or mostly in English. Even though 48 percent of third-generation Hispanics, those born in the United States to American-born parents, say they prefer to speak only in English, the remainder say that they still prefer to speak Spanish at least some of the time.

Charts courtesy of Refuel Agency

Advertising in Spanish matters, even among English-dominant Hispanics, reports Simmons Research. Hispanics, even many English-dominant Hispanics, still have emotional ties to the Spanish language that carry over to companies that advertise in Spanish. For instance, 49 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics and 27 percent English-dominant Hispanics say, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Spanish-language advertising can drive purchase decisions and brand loyalty for this group.

Bridget Behe, professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, conducted research about 10 years ago that examined the role of ethnicity on gardening purchases and satisfaction. The research revealed that a greater percentage of Asians participated in gardening with fruits, vegetables and herbs compared with African-Americans. A greater percentage of Hispanics participated in outdoor water gardening compared with Caucasians, African-Americans and Asians. No persons of Asian descent purchased trees or shrubs in her study, but substantially more persons of Hispanic descent did, compared with Caucasians and African-Americans. In her research she concludes, “Ethnicity could be used as a basis for market segmentation, and differences are indeed present. This could be a result of different ethnic groups having common characteristics and perceptions about gardening. For example, it could be the case that a great deal of African-Americans and Hispanics are most comfortable with vegetable gardening as a way to produce vegetable crops than flower gardening. This may indicate a need for greater advice and communication about flower gardening practices or a better use of positioning vegetable gardening. If Caucasian consumers are the most targeted consumer and the variability of knowledge and education varies for these mainstream customers, imagine the same frustration with the variability of other ethnic consumers. More could be done to improve the level of satisfaction and reduce regret among non-Caucasian customers.”

Since that research was completed, Behe has witnessed the continued impact and influence that Hispanics and their subcultures have had on American culture.

“It only takes some simple research to understand some key demographics in your own backyard,” she says. “Businesses can use American Fact Finder, enter a ZIP code, and get some key information. Then ask yourself, ‘I wonder what plants these communities are interested in or could be interested in.’”

She cautions not to single anyone out, but instead be welcoming and understanding with your marketing message.

“For far too long gardening has been a Caucasian activity. And expanding your marketing message shouldn’t end with the Hispanic community. The green industry could and should be serving other ethnic communities,” she says.

Photo: IStock

Behe’s research, “Evaluating the Role of Ethnicity on Gardening Purchases and Satisfaction” can be found in HortScience Vol. 42(2), April 2007.

The female consumer

The Hispanic female population in the U.S. is not only expanding in influence, but in sheer numbers as well, according to Nielsen’s report. Their population grew 37 percent between 2005 and 2015 compared to 2 percent for non-Hispanic white women during the same time period. There are now 28 million Hispanic females living in the U.S. (17 percent of the total U.S. female population and 9 percent of the total U.S. population) and 77 percent of their growth over that 10-year span came not from immigration, but from Hispanic girls being born in the U.S. Almost half (45 percent) of U.S.-born Hispanic females are under the age of 18, with 94 percent of Hispanic females under the age 18 now being U.S.-born. A full 25 percent of all U.S. females under the age of 18 are now Hispanic. This increase in U.S.-born Hispanic females represents not only a dramatic shift in culture within the Hispanic community, but within the nation and its future workforce (and future consumers), as being ambicultural and bilingual from birth become more prevalent.

As the Hispanic female population grows rapidly in many communities across the U.S., their impact and influence is becoming the primary driver of consumer behavior in an expanding footprint, Nielsen reports. In many cities in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, for example, Hispanic females are now the majority of the total female population. Six states are home to more than 1 million Hispanic females. California has the most at over 7.5 million, followed by 5.3 million in Texas, and more than 2.5 million in Florida. Hispanic females in California and Texas represent 38 percent of the total female population in each of those states. Los Angeles and New York are the metropolitan areas where the most Hispanic females live, with 3 million+ and more than 2.4 million, respectively. In Los Angeles, Hispanic females are 45 percent of the total female population and in New York they are 24 percent of the total female population.

At 3.23 people per household, Hispanics have the largest average household size of any ethnic or racial group in the nation, meaning they are appealing consumer targets for many industries. In comparison, non-Hispanic white households have an average size of 2.30, Asian households have 2.92, black households have 2.47, and the nation, as a whole, has 2.49. Although the average Hispanic household is larger, more likely to be multigenerational and more likely to contain a married couple, the average household income is at just over $65,000 per year. However, the average Hispanic household income has grown 29 percent since 2005, slightly ahead of the national average. One reason for the lower household income is that Hispanics are relatively younger than other ethnic and racial segments, so for the majority, their careers are still in the growth phase, according to Nielsen.

Sources: Nielsen; University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth; Simmons Research “The State of the Hispanic-American Consumer;” Refuel Agency “2017 Hispanic Explorer;” Ultim Marketing, Bridget Behe; Michigan State University

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