How To Grow Impatiens



Next to petunias and geraniums, impatiens are one of the most popular old-fashioned favorite flowers.

Impatiens need well drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

Impatiens like shady to semi-shady conditions. Keep soil moist in sunnier areas. The plants will wilt but a good watering will always revive them.

A lot of sun and too much nitrogen fertilizer will call lots of foliage but fewer blossoms.

Impatiens seeds are extremely tiny. It is estimated that there are 46,000 seeds in half a teaspoon. It is best to start them indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last frost. Scatter the seeds over the dampened planting medium and keep them in a well lighted area. They should sprout in one to two weeks. The seedlings need a temperature of about 62 at night and 72 during the day.

Water the seedlings from the bottom rather than from the top. They are susceptible to damping off.

Propagation can also be done with cuttings. Place 3 to 4 inch stems into a bed of moist sand, loam, or peat moss. It will take about a week for the roots to start forming.

Impatiens grow to 12 to 24 inches tall. When planting place the plants 12-18 inches apart.

Impatiens are sometimes attacked by root knot nematodes when planted in soil. When planted in containers and hanging baskets for instance, there is no problem.

The big pests for impatiens are mites, aphids, thrips, and white flies.

Most Impatiens grow 12-24" tall. In the garden, space plants 12-18 inches apart.

Impatiens don't hold onto spent blooms most of the time but it is good to remove any dead leaves and stems, and to deadhead any remaining blooms.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
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