5 pointers for growing impatiens

Impatiens have earned enormous popularity for both their long-lasting display of showy blooms and their ability to thrive with little sun.

5 pointers for growing impatiens

About impatiens

  • Plant them beneath a shade tree or in borders or containers that receive partial to moderate shade.
  • Given regular water and fertilizer, impatiens often bloom nonstop from late spring until well into fall.
  • A few new varieties will tolerate more sun, but if you try them, be prepared to provide water twice a day in the heat of summer.

1. Tip for the seed planters

If you start with seeds, expect hybrid impatiens to grow fast.

  • You can sow seeds as late as March, and they'll still be ready to set out in June in the warm 18°C, shady conditions they require.
  • Don't cover the seed tray; the seeds need plenty of light to sprout.

2. Get the most out of your plants

  • For compact, well-branched plants covered with flowers, pinch out the growing tips of your impatiens before you plant them and keep pinching back stem tips every few weeks.

So you'll always have a few flowers, nip out only half of the stem tips at a time on individual plants.

3. Try a different type

  • Try New Guinea impatiens in large pots or as feature plants in a small flowerbed.

Many have beautifully variegated leaves, and the flowers can be more than five centimetres across.

4. Keep things neat

  • Keep a broom handy when growing impatiens in patio pots, because the plants constantly shed old petals.

If the pots are small, pick them up every few days, carry them to another part of your yard, and give them a good shake to get rid of the old flowers.

5. The kids will love them

Delight your children by letting them grow touch-me-nots (Impatiens balsamina) in their own corner of the garden.

  • These upright, oldtimey flowers produce an abundance of plump capsules that explode at the slightest touch, sending seeds on their merry way.
  • They produce so many seeds that they often come up on their own year after year.
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