Image by Beth Coll Anderson
By Heather Rhoades
Impatiens flowers are bright and cheerful annuals that can light up any dark and shady part of your yard. Growing impatiens is quite easy, but there are a few things to know about impatiens care. Let’s take a look at how to plant and how to grow impatiens.
Planting Impatiens Flowers
Impatiens plants are normally bought as well rooted plants from the garden center. They can also be propagated from seeds or cuttings very easily. When you bring your annuals home from the store, make sure that you keep them well watered until you get them in the ground. They are very sensitive to lack of water and will wilt quickly if they lack water.
You can use impatiens flowers as bedding plants, border plants or in containers. They enjoy moist but well draining soil and partial to deep shade. They do not do as well in full sun, but if you would like to plant them in full sun, they will need to be acclimated to the harsher light. You can do this by exposing the impatiens plants to increasing amount of sunlight over the course of a week.
Once all danger of frost has passed, you can plant your impatiens out in your garden. To plant your impatiens flowers, gently squeeze the container that you bought them in to loosen the soil. Invert the pot in your hand and the impatiens plant should fall easily out. If it does not, squeeze the pot again and check for roots that may be growing through the bottom. Excess roots growing through the bottom of the pot can be removed.
Place the impatiens plant in a hole that is at least as deep and wide as the rootball. The plant should sit at the same level in the ground as it did in the pot. Gently backfill the hole and water the impatiens plant thoroughly.
You can plant impatiens flowers quite close to one another, inches apart if you like. The closer they are planted together, the faster the plants will grow together to form a bank of lovely impatiens flowers.
How to Grow Impatiens
Once your impatiens are in the ground, they will need at least 2 inches of water a week if planted in the ground. If the temperatures rise above 85 F., they will need at least 4 inches per week. If the area where they are planted does not receive that much rainfall, you will need to water them yourself. Impatiens plants in containers will need watering daily and watered twice a day when temperatures rise above 85 F.
Impatiens flowers do best if fertilized regularly. Use water soluble fertilizer on your impatiens every two weeks through spring and summer. You can also use slow release fertilizer at the beginning of the spring season and once more half way through summer.
Impatiens do not need to be deadheaded. They are a will self clean their spent blooms and will bloom profusely all season long.