From the time they were discovered in East Africa, impatiens have become one of the largest selling annual bedding plant. After 40 years of breeding, Impatiens have come a long way with new varieties introducing a rainbow of colors (except blue), single and double flowers and assorted heights. Impatiens provide a non-stop splash of color to any shaded area. It will bloom all season long until a killing frost will finally put it to rest.
Impatiens are one of the easier plants to grow. Given the right conditions, they will provide mounds of brightly colored flowers 1-2 ft. tall from spring to fall. They are great in borders, containers, window boxes and hanging baskets and pouches.
Primarily considered a shade/ semi-shade plant. Newer varieties called sun impatiens (Viva) tolerate full sun.
Because it is a heat-loving, tropical plant, it should be planted after all danger of frost has passed or when the soil temperature is 60F.
Plant 6″ to 12″ apart in well-drained, rich organic soil. The closer you plant them the faster they will fill in a border. in shade/semi-shade. Plant impatiens in shade to part shade. They can tolerate full sun but will not grow as well and need protection from the hot afternoon sun.
Impatiens like moist but not wet soil in order to grow well. Be sure they get 1″ of water every week and water more often in the heat of summer and if in full sun. If allowed to dry out they will wilt dramatically and sulk dropping its leaves and flowers. Wilting also causes stress and drains energy making them more susceptible to insect or disease damage.
When planting, feed with a slow-release fertilizer or monthly with a balanced fertilizer. Feed more often when container grown or if plants are competing for nutrients such as growing under a tree. Too much fertilizer can cause leggy plants and reduced flowering.
If your Impatiens are tall and leggy by mid summer pinch them back to 6 inches and they should regrow as bushier plants.
Propagation: Softwood cutting taken in late winter, early spring. Seeds-sow indoors 10-12 wks before last frost date. Seeds need light and temperatures of 70-75F to germinate cover with plastic to provide humidity. Germination takes 15-20 days.
Root rot- over-watering, poor drainage
INSV Impatiens necrotic spot virus-leaf & stem ring spots that are yellow, white, gray or brown/black.
TSWV Tomato spotted wilt virus – ring spots on foliage transmitted by thrips
Fungal leaf spots-plant stress
Spider mites, thrips, mealybugs and aphids.
* impatiens downy mildew, a fungus (Plasmopara obducens)