Gardeners rejoice! B&Q are bringing back the Busy Lizzie

This gardeners' favourite has been unavailable at the home improvement retailer since 2012!

Busy Lizzies are back and better than ever thanks to new B&Q super breed!

Six years ago B&Q made the heartbreaking decision to stop selling the popular Busy Lizzie plant, due to an outbreak of Impatiens Downy Mildew. This fungus-like disease wiped out entire crops of the much-loved bedding plant.

This airborne predator led to B&Q working exclusively with Syngenta Flowers, one of the world’s leading breeders of flower seeds and cuttings, to develop a new resilient breed. The results are the new ‘Imara Bizzie Lizzie’ that’s more resistant to Impatiens Downy Mildew than ever before.

Thanks to this breakthrough innovation from Syngenta Flowers, the ‘Imara Bizzie Lizzie’ will be introduced exclusively at B&Q this May – in time for bank holiday garden projects!

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The new Imara Bizzie Lizzie

Busy Lizzie

‘We are extremely proud to be bringing back the busy lizzie.’ says Steve Guy, Market Director for Outdoor at B&Q ‘There has been a pent-up demand for the plants within the gardening community, and a genuine love among customers. This has driven our perseverance to address this need in the market by developing a resilient and beautiful plant with great garden performance. We’re confident our customers will love the ‘Imara Bizzie Lizzie’ just as much as before.’

busy lizzie

B&Q’s new super breed ‘Imara Bizzie Lizzie’ comes in six joyously bright colours. Available in a variety of packs, pots and planted container formats, from £2.50.

The name Imara means ‘Strong and resilient’ in Swahili. A fitting tribute to the region of East Africa where the Busy Lizzie originated from.

What is Impatiens Downy Mildew?

This fungus-like disease appears as a grey powder under the leaves, causing them to curl, turn yellow and drop off. In light of the disease’s pervasive nature and resistance to fungicides, and given B&Q’s  the company made the decision in 2012 to not sell busy Lizzies. The decision helped growers control the fungus and protect the plant’s future.

busy lizzie

‘Syngenta Flowers is a research and development company. We extensively tested Imara Bizzie Lizzies indoors and outdoors.’ explains Joost Kos, Head of Research and Development at Syngenta Flowers. ‘We have exposed it to the disease to ensure its resiliency. Imara Bizzie Lizzies are a new generation of busy lizzies that perform much better against the disease. Retaining all the qualities that gardeners love. Offering continuous flowering, bright colours and easy care. We’re proud to be the first to deliver this innovation back to the market.’

At peak B&Q were selling 20 million Bizzie Lizzies a year. The hardy plants are popular for adding a riot of colour to flower beds, pots and planters. Busy Lizzies are easy to grow in sun or shade, flowering all summer even with the unpredictable British climate.

Thanks to B&Q gardeners can once again embrace the bright and bold blooms of the beloved Busy Lizzie.

Related: Plant up a colourful herbaceous border for your garden

Let’s get busy with ‘Bizzie Lizzies’ this bank holiday weekend.

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