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Plant of the Week – Impatiens

June 26, 2007 by Jocelyn

Before I launch into all of the great information on my newest Plant of the Week, I’m sorry for not having posted in such a long time! I’ve been very busy in the past few weeks trying to find a new job. (What can I say, $6.59 per hour just isn’t cutting it right now!) I am really hoping to get something soon, so I can stop worrying about it. After that, I will post all the time- I promise! For now, here is your newest Plant of the Week.

 

Impatiens

impatien.jpg

I used to think that Impatiens were boring plants. Why? I’m really not sure, but I can tell you that I now know I was wrong! I started Impatiens from seed this year, and they were without a doubt, the hardiest seedlings I’ve ever had. I didn’t use grow lights, but just set them in a light windowsill. They grew like crazy, and the ones that survived our late Spring snowfall (because I had given them away) are now doing very well, and look really healthy.

Impatiens are one of the best annuals because they will thrive in those shady areas of your yard and are fairly easy to care for. If your Impatiens are looking too leggy, you can easily pinch them down. This will keep them from blooming for a few weeks or so, but they will soon be thicker and start to bloom again! They are also pretty low maintenance plants when it comes to watering. They like moist (but not soggy) soil. If you haven’t watered in a few days, and your plants look wilted, that is a sure sign that you need to water them. If you’re keeping them in containers, you may have to water them as much as once per day, depending on how much sun they are getting.

 

ngimpatien2.jpg

New Guinea Impatiens like the one shown here are generally the most sun tolerant, but many gardeners have said that they have no problem growing their normal Impatiens in sun. All that is needed is extra water, since the plants will dry out very quickly if kept in sunny conditions.

In my opinion, I wouldn’t place any Impatiens in FULL sun. They may grow and bloom there, but they will probably not be as healthy as they could be in a more shaded area. Most of mine are getting a lot of morning sun, then more shade in the afternoons. They seem to be doing very well, and I usually water them every 1-2 days as they are in containers.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions about your Impatiens, and I will be happy to give or find you the answer! I have been doing a lot of research, so hopefully I will just start knowing the answers to any questions I get! It’s kind of intimidating to me because the more research I do about plants and gardening, the more I realize how little I know about the topic! I’ve even started tossing around the idea of going back to school to take some classes on horticulture! Now that would be fun!


13 Comments »

  1. Maria says:

    Hello. I have an impatien that has flowered beautifully all summer long (in shade outside in Minnesota). It is in a pot that I placed in a crock so it can drain (the pot doesn’t touch the bottom of the crock). Now the impatien is not nearly as full and flowering as it has been (none of us are in this heat) and the leaves are starting to turn lime-green. The arrangement is sheltered outside my front door with limited morning sun and then shade the rest of the day. Any idea what is wrong and how I can help it? I brought it inside today thinking maybe it wasn’t liking the humidity. Thanks for your help!

  2. Em says:

    Hello, I have a large north facing windowsill where I am going to try growing a few things. Do you think Impatiens would do well there?
    M.

  3. joni mooney says:

    Hi
    I planted impatiens from seed this year for the first time. when do I start to harden them off and keep the pots outside? We live in central minnesota and can still freeze at night till the end of May. Can they take a late spring frost or should I keep them indoors until June? thanks, jm

  4. Jocelyn says:

    Hello everyone, and thanks for your comments! Maria, it may have been the PH of your soil, although I’m not certain. I’ve never heard of this happening with Impatiens.
    Em, I think that a north facing window would be okay. As long as they are getting bright indirect light, and not a lot of sun they should be okay.
    JM, the expected last date of frost for most of Minnesota is May 31. If the weather is nice during the day, I would start taking them outside for an hour or two at a time during the day. I wouldn’t plan on transplanting them until June 1st or later. They don’t tolerate frost very well, so if it frosts once you’ve already planted them outside, you may want to bring them in or cover them.
    I hope this helps! Thanks for reading, and good luck!

  5. Amber says:

    I have an impatien that my mother gave me last summer… I put it in a pot and actually kept it alive all winter, my mother’s died… I had mine on our computer desk and the light stays on all the time… I was wondering if I took it outside now that its warm again, would it bloom…???

  6. Kim says:

    This year I decided to grow impatiens from seeds. I kept them inside until May, when there was no chance of frost (I live in Maryland). I have planted them outside in planters and in the ground, and they seem to be thriving. The only problem is that there are no signs of buds or flowers. They are very green and the stems/leaves are growing rapidly. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Again, I am new at this!

  7. shellie says:

    I planted impatiens seeds for the first time&have been waiting a few weeks for them to bloom.I been using miracle-gro once to twice weekly but still nothing.What should I do to get them to bloom?And how long will they stay bloomed in the year?

  8. Sarah says:

    I bought some impatiens and planted them on Sunday. It’s now Tuesday and I just noticed that they died. All of the leaves are wilted to the ground and all of the flowers are gone. I know, I should know why they died so quickly, but I’m really not sure about this. All of my other plants that I purchased and planted in my flowerbed are doing great with no fertalizer. I did put some hydrangia fertalizer in the hole before I planted them. IS that the reason for the dealth of my plants? Please help. Also, I do have a very moist flower bed, but the soil isn’t that great of quality. Please help???

  9. Jocelyn says:

    Wow, I’m glad so many of you tried starting your Impatiens from seed. For those of you who had any problems, Impatiens do not need fertilizer. If you are going to fertilize them, I wouldn’t do it any more than once every few weeks or so. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots of the plant and kill it.

    Once your seeds have sprouted, they take a few weeks to grow and bush out before they will start forming buds. Once they do start to bloom, they don’t stop!

  10. MARTA says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I planted 6 impatiens on sunday tuesday 3 of them are doing great and the other 3 look wilted. I can’t seem to understand why. They are all in the same location all watered equally. What did I do wrong?

  11. Jessica says:

    I know impatiens prefer the shade, but is that true for the sprouts as well? I’m starting them from seed indoors…should they be kept under a grow light or in the sun? I have been keeping them in a bright sunlit room, but out of the sun. They just sprouted, should I put them under some light?

  12. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Jessica,

    It’s okay to keep your impatiens sprouts in bright light. Depending on their size, I would keep them out of direct sunlight until they are a few inches tall and have at least 2-3 sets of new leaves. They should be just fine in the sun, however you may find that they need more water. Just keep a close eye on them, and if they seem to start wilting in the sun move them back to bright indirect light. Good luck :)

  13. karen says:

    i just purchased new guinea impatiens already potted and grown from the nursery. my question is i put them on my porch and the weather has gotten cool at nite in the 40’s but no frost. Will they continue to bloom once the weather gets warm or will they ruin? Also, should i cover them at night? I live in michigan.

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