Spring Garden Tips

Impatiens, Busy Lizzy

Impatiens410px.jpg

Botanical Name

Impatiens wallerana

Hardiness

Zone 11, grown as annual elsewhere

Height

6 to 18 inches

Width

12 to 24 inches

Flowers

Summer till frost: red, white, pink, orange, purple, yellow, other

Light

Full to part shade

Soil

Moist, especially in sunny areas

Planting and Care

Space small plants 8 inches apart and larger plants 12 inches apart. Keep soil moist, but not soggy. Pinch back leggy plants for fuller growth.

Can be overwintered indoors. Take 3 to 4” cuttings and root in moist vermiculite or a well-drained potting mix. I find setting the pot in a plastic bag left open increases the humidity to encourage rooting without leading to rot.

Once rooted, they can be moved to their permanent container, placed in a sunny location and grow as a houseplant.

You can also bring the whole plant indoors and raise it like a houseplant. Grow in a bright, sunny window or under artificial lights and keep the soil moist. Don't be alarmed if the plant drops most of its leaves. It will soon send out new leaves more suited for its indoor location.

Problems

Slugs, spider mites (especially indoors), necrotic spot virus, sunburn in direct sun

Varieties to Consider

Mini-Hawaiian Series - miniatures in various flower colors

Seashell Series - yellow, peach, apricot, papaya, passion, or tangerine

Fiesta & Carousel - double flowers 'Jewel' Series - variety of bright flower colors

Did You Know

Impatiens wallerana is native to Eastern Africa. It's US native cousin, Jewel Weed (Impatiens pallida), is known to sooth the burn of stinging nettle and poison ivy.

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