What Are the Best Tips for Growing Impatiens?

M.C. Huguelet

Available in a wide variety of colors from most gardening centers, impatiens are a common choice for gardens, particularly in North America. While growing impatiens is generally a fairly simple process, a few tips can help even amateur gardeners keep these annuals in bloom throughout the warm months. First of all, it is important to note that impatiens can be sensitive to the sun, and should thus be planted in those areas of the garden that are not hit by intense sunlight. Secondly, when growing impatiens, it is critical to customize watering habits for the location in which they are planted. Finally, impatiens should be fertilized as needed to encourage lush growth.

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, cold weather, insects and irregular watering can affect the health of impatiens.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, cold weather, insects and irregular watering can affect the health of impatiens.

When growing impatiens, gardeners should take note of the fact that these plants can be negatively affected by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. If possible, therefore, they should be planted in a location that is either partial or fully shaded. Those whose gardens lack a shady spot may still be able to grow impatiens, but they will likely need to monitor the plants carefully, especially when the weather is hot and dry. In such conditions, impatiens planted in direct sunlight may need to be watered twice each day to prevent withering. It may also be possible to purchase impatiens that have been specially bred to endure harsh sunlight.

Another important step in growing impatiens is customizing a watering schedule based on the nature of the location in which they have been planted. Impatiens which have been planted in a partially shaded spot often require the least attention, and may need watering only once or twice each week. Here, care should be taken to ensure that the plants are not left in standing water. If impatiens are sharing soil with a large plant such as a tree, however, they may need additional watering to compensate for resources lost to the roots of the larger plant. Generally, impatiens which have been planted in pots or window boxes dry out quickly, and may need watering once or twice daily to remain lush.

Finally, applying a nutrient-rich fertilizer can also be essential when growing impatiens. If using a normal fertilizer formulation, the plants generally should be treated every two to three weeks. It is also possible to apply a slow-release fertilizer at the time that impatiens are planted, and to treat the plants again midway through the growing season.

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