Gardens Ablaze

Impatiens
I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself,,,Sir Peter Smithers

Featured Retailer:

Wind & Weather - At Home with Nature Since 1976

Detailed Annual
Profiles

Annual Herbs

Begonia

Calendula

Coleus

Coreopsis

Cornflower

Euryops

Fuchsia

Heliotrope

Larkspur

Marigold

Ornamental Cabbage

Pansy

Petunia

Poppy

Purple Knight Alternanthera

Salvia

Scented Geranium

Zinnia


Shade


Site Map

Home
Annuals
Architectural Elements
Backyard Habitat
Biennials
Bonsai
Bulbs
Cactus/Xeriscaping
Companions
Composting
Container Gardening
Crafts
Gardening Q/A
Garden Ornamentation
Gargoyles
Greenhouses
Ground Covers

Herbs

Houseplants
Insects/Diseases
Landscaping
Organics

Perennials
Ponds
Propagation
Recipes
Roses
Seeds
Shade Gardens
Shrubs/Hedges
Tools
Trees
Vegetables
Vines
Weeds
Wildflowers
Wildlife 
Shop Gardening

 



Find Gifts for Weather Buffs at Wind & Weather! Shop Now!

 

 

Impatiens rank in the top 10 of my favorite garden annuals. It's very hard to pick just one favorite flowering ornamental, but Impatiens suit so many purposes and provide so much color for such a long period that I cannot imagine my garden without them.  They are a mainstay in medium shade to all but the heaviest shade, look fabulous in mass plantings, are so easy to propagate that it's almost ridiculous, and don't require much care other than appreciating halfway decent quality, well drained but moist soil and adequate watering. Impatiens also make excellent container plants, and cascade beautifully over the sides of a container for a lush look that requires minimal effort on the part of the gardener.  This is definitely my kind of plant!

Impatiens are actually tender perennials but are generally grown as annuals.  They can be propagated by cuttings or seed.  Cuttings are by far the preferred method.  As described on the main Annuals page, you can literally fill the neighborhood with this plant if you just take cuttings at regular intervals and keep the soil moist.  Impatiens seed is very fine and is finicky about conditions.  If you give the seedlings the right conditions, they will sprout and grow quickly, but I know that in my garden - where there is often competition from weeds and uneven watering - I have had minimal luck starting this plant from seed.

There are only three drawbacks to using Impatiens in your landscape. 

Sun - Too much sun will wither this plant so fast it will make you cry.  Do give it a shady spot that gets half a day or less of full sun - preferably morning sun.

Water - If you let Impatiens dry out too much they will wither quickly and die.  One negligent day will do it.  Make sure these plants have a moist soil at all times.  Mulch is a must. 

Color - If  you are looking for blues or yellows, Impatiens are not the plant for you.  They range in color from pure white to pink to salmon to orange to red with some bicolors.  

New Guinea Impatiens:  New Guinea Impatiens are the new kid on the block in the Impatiens world.  They will tolerate more sun than the regular impatiens, but are still not full sun plants.  They make showy container plants and are good border choices.  They have the same drawbacks as the regular impatiens as far as watering and color, but if you can provide a moist soil with some relief from the sun during the hottest part of the day, they are an excellent landscape plant that will bloom reliably until the first frost. 

Impatiens are one of the edible flowers, but they really don't add much to dishes in the way of flavor, and they are not one of the commonly used culinary flowers. 

Incidentally, I am just this year seeing Double Impatiens in the garden shops.  I am having a terrible time getting a good picture of one that I bought, but to the left is my best effort so far.  My initial observations on this plant are promising. This is a profuse bloomer like all the impatiens and it roots easily from cuttings, although I think it is quite a bit slower in growing to a full-sized plant.  Despite this, I have rooted probably 30 cuttings so far from this one parent plant, and all are doing well.  The flowers are absolutely beautiful, unfolding like a miniature rose.  If you see one of these in the garden store, buy it!

More information on Impatiens is available in the Gardening QA Section.  Click here to see what other gardeners are asking. 

 

 

Custom Search


Wind and Weather

Gardens Ablaze

Wind and Weather

E-Mail      Home     Shop

Hit Counter