How to Grow Impatiens

Plants & Flowers
Impatiens Growing

Growing impatiens is easy. These flowers are beautiful and you can enjoy them in your garden. They provide color throughout the year and can look great in your garden. Many people overlook impatiens flowers but they are ideal for beginner gardeners and those who don't want to spend too much time taking care of their plants.

Impatiens: Common Name Confusion

Impatiens are tender plants known for their flowers. These plants can be annuals and perennials. Impatiens have numerous names so there is often some confusion about these plants. It is important to know that they are often called Patient Lacy, Busy Lizzie, Sultana, Sultan's Balsam and Glow-in-Shadow. Perhaps the most popular name is impatiens so this is how most people call these beautiful plants.

It is also important to know that the old favorite, Garden Balsam, is a different plant when it comes to requirements. Garden Balsam, also known as Impatiens balsamina, belongs to the same family as the other impatiens but it has very different character. Its requirements are different to those of regular impatiens so it is important that there is no confusion between these plants.

Basic Plant Information

Impatiens are beautiful plants you can grow outdoors. Some people also choose to grow impatiens as potted plants. These plants are a common option for gardeners so they are often overlooked. These plants can make any garden more colorful and delightful.

One great thing about impatiens is that you can easily grow them from seed. Just like other annual plants, it is possible to grow impatiens in large quantities. Their flowers have bright, vivid colors that will sure make a difference in any garden or patio. These vibrant colors are exactly what sets impatiens apart from other bedding and pot plants you can use in your garden.

These plants are cute and can provide a lot of color to your garden. They are great for shaded areas in the garden, such as under the trees and around rocks. They go great with ferns and many other plants. Many people also choose to grow them as potted plants at windowsills or patios and balconies. As long as there is a shade you can grow your impatiens without much effort.

Popular Varieties

There are several common varieties of impatiens that you can choose for your garden.

Dwarf impatiens are smaller than the regular ones. They don't grow more than 8 inches in height. Dwarf impatiens are known for a spreading and flat growth. Each plant typically covers a foot of space or even more.

Flower colors range from scarlet to salmon-rose and orange-scarlet. This is particularly noticeable with the popular variety Orange Baby. This one has dark foliage with bright orange flowers for the best contrast.

Impatiens Sultannii i Impatiens Holstii are great varieties for those looking for bigger plants. If you need something taller for the shaded areas of your garden dwarf impatiens will not be the best choice. In these cases, use Impatiens Sultannii or Impatiens Holstii. These varieties are ideal as begging plants. They are known for their olive-green foliage, bright flowers and thick stalks. These varieties have two inch flowers that can be rose, pink, scarlet or white.

Another good variety you can try is Impatiens Roylei. This one has lavender-purple flowers that are jewel-toned. This one is the best representative of the name "Glow-in-Shadow". The flowers of this variety have a special radiance that is very noticeable in deep shade.

Where to Plant Impatiens?

One of the first things you need to ask about impatiens care is where to plant these beautiful plants. The good news is that you can grow impatiens almost everywhere, since they don't have many requirements when it comes to soil.

All they need is a fertile soil with plenty of humus and moisture. Moisture is important for these plants. If your soil is not particularly fertile, don't worry. All impatiens ask for is some humus so make sure to add it to the soil.

Another thing to keep in mind is shade. Impatiens require share and prefer darker corners. They can often be found under the trees and in shaded corners. They are great plants for adding some color to these shaded areas in your garden.

If you wish to use dwarf impatiens, keep in mind that they need to be planted in the shade. The shade is their limit so they can spread throughout the all shaded parts of your garden.

How to Grow Impatiens from Seeds

It is easy to grow impatiens from seeds. It is important to sow the seeds on finely sifted soil. You may also use another type of a growing medium, such as horticultural milled sphagnum or vermiculite. To sow, simply press the seed gently into the medium. Make sure not to cover the seeds.

During germination, it is important to keep seeds moist. It is also important to keep warm temperatures, around 70 to 75 degrees F. Keep in mind that impatiens seeds take about 10 to 15 days to germinate. These plants germinate quickly and have a rapid growth so you need to be ready.

It doesn't take long before you can put your new plants into individual peat pots. Alternatively, you may use loose soil with plenty of humus. Keep them there to grow until the frost danger has passed. If you sow impatiens seeds in April they will grow and be ready to bloom by the beginning of June.

How to Root Impatiens from Cuttings

You can easily root impatiens from cuttings, so this is something you can consider. This can be very useful for those who want to keep their impatiens from one seasons to another. Simply take tip cuttings in the fall and winter them indoors. Of course, you may also grow your impatiens from seed every spring. Those who wish to keep their impatiens will appreciate the rooting method because it is easy and effective.

To root your plants in this way, simply take 3 to 4 inch long tip cuttings and place them in water. Alternatively, you may use a moist medium such as peat moss with sand or vermiculate. They will root quickly. This allows you to grow your impatiens the next year.

Photo credit: Jutta M. Jenning

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