Expert Advice for Growing Abundant Impatiens in Your Garden

Impatiens, commonly known as Busy Lizzie, is a delicate plant that produces vibrant blooms throughout the summer and autumn months, continuing until the frost arrives. These versatile plants can be grown in various containers or borders, offering shades of red, pink, orange, purple, and pastels, with both single and double flowers available. Impatiens are divided into two categories, the old favourite Busy Lizzie, Impatiens walleriana, which went out of favour due to downy mildew disease but is now back with disease-resistant varieties, and the larger New Guinea impatiens, Impatiens hawkeri, with bold foliage and brilliantly coloured blooms. These half-hardy annuals cannot survive cold weather, so they are best enjoyed during the warmer months and discarded at the end of the season, or moved to a frost-free area to prolong their blooms. To grow impatiens, purchase them as plug plants or garden-ready plants in spring or summer and plant them outside after the last frost in sun or part shade. Ensure to keep them well-watered, fertilized, and deadhead them for more blooms.

How to grow impatiens - where to grow impatiens

Tips for Growing Impatiens – Ideal Growing Conditions

If you’re planning to grow impatiens, it’s best to choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Bear in mind that these plants have delicate stems, which makes them vulnerable to damage from strong winds. To ensure optimal growth, consider planting your impatiens in raised beds, borders, hanging baskets, and window boxes. With these practical gardening tips, you’ll be able to add vibrant and flourishing impatiens to your garden.

How to grow impatiens - planting impatiens in a pot

Are you looking to add some color to your garden or balcony? Impatiens, commonly known as busy lizzies, are a great option. You can purchase them as plug plants or young plants in the spring. While plug plants may be more affordable, you will need to nurture them before planting them out. Get started by placing them in individual 9cm pots and growing them on a well-lit windowsill or in a heated greenhouse.

Bear in mind that impatiens are vulnerable to frost, so it’s best to plant them only when there is no risk of frost. For growing in pots, use a multi-purpose compost that’s free from peat. If you’re planning to grow impatiens in your garden, enhance the soil with garden compost or soil conditioner. To ensure proper drainage, raise the pots off the ground if they are on a hard surface. Depending on the size of the container and the variety of impatiens, space them 15-30 cm apart. Finally, water them after planting.

To keep your busy lizzies thriving, make sure to care for them properly. They require moist but not waterlogged soil, so don’t let the soil dry out. Feed them regularly throughout the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Deadhead flowers frequently to encourage new growth and remove any diseased or damaged leaves. By following these simple steps, your impatiens will continue to provide vibrant color throughout the summer.

How to grow impatiens - deadheading impatiens

If you’re looking to grow impatiens, keeping the compost evenly moist is crucial, but be cautious not to overwater. From mid-summer, use a potash-rich liquid fertilizer every 10-14 days. Deadheading impatiens by removing faded flowers and yellow leaves once or twice a week can keep them looking great and prevent grey mold from forming. To encourage a compact bushy shape, cut back any straggly shoots.

Growing impatiens from seed is an option, but it requires a long growing season, warm temperatures, and a well-lit environment. Starting from scratch may not be practical unless these conditions are met. Sow the seeds in late winter at a temperature of 21°C and transplant the seedlings into individual small pots when they are big enough to handle.

When grown under proper conditions and care, impatiens are generally trouble-free. Aphids and slugs can be problems, but inspecting plants regularly and hand-squishing small infestations can prevent them from becoming established. Downy mildew disease can harm non-resistant varieties of Impatiens walleriana, and infected plants should be removed and discarded as there is no cure.

Busy lizzies can be grown from impatiens plug plants or ready-to-plant potted plants. Specialist nurseries may have a wider variety of options than garden centers and nurseries. Thompson & Morgan, Suttons, and Van Meuwen are great places to buy busy lizzies.

Overall, impatiens can make a lovely addition to any garden, and with the right care and attention, they can thrive beautifully.

Impatiens walleriana

The Impatiens walleriana, commonly known as Busy Lizzies, have a compact growth with a height and spread of about 20-30cm. If you’re looking for a variety of colours, then the ‘Accent Mixed’ strain is perfect for you as it has a wide range of hues ranging from soft pink, white, red, purple and bicolors. However, if you want a species that’s more resistant to diseases with a similar colour range, then the ‘Beacon’ series is the best option available. On the other hand, New Guinea impatiens are larger with a height and spread of 50cm, they have bold contrasting foliage and large blooms that can be either single or double. The ‘Divine’ species boasts a striking mix of violet, pink, red and white, while the ‘Sunpatiens’ varieties are free-flowering and vigorous and come in various colours. If you’re looking for rosebud-like double flowers with large, dark green leaves, then the ‘Wild Romance’ series is perfect for you as it comes in colours such as white, red and pale pink.

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