Impatiens Water Needs – Learn How To Water Impatiens Plants

Impatiens Flower Covered In Water Droplets
(Image credit: gladassfanny)

For colorful blooms in the shade garden, there is nothing like the flowers of the impatiens plant. Attractive foliage fills the bed before blossoms appear. Because of their preference to grow in partial, afternoon, and/or filtered shade, many impatiens’ water needs are different from sun-loving plants. Read more to learn how to water impatiens correctly.

About Impatiens Plant Irrigation

Watering impatiens in your flowerbeds and borders depends largely upon the soil in which they’re planted and the kind of light they get. Soil, ideally, will be rich and well-draining with a good amount of compost and organic matter worked in before planting. Morning sun, partial morning sun, or filtered sun (such as through tree branches) is a good fit for most older variety impatiens.

Newer types of this flower, called SunPatiens, can take more sun than older varieties like balsam and some New Guinea impatiens. All types, though, appreciate moist soil and may wilt when not enough water is provided to them – one way to tell when they're in need of watering.

How to Water Impatiens

Impatiens plant irrigation should be consistent but need not be daily during comfortable temperatures in late spring and summer. When temperatures are in the high 80’s or 90s, it is more likely these flowers require watering every day. Mulch helps retain moisture so you may not have to water as often.

Quickly soak the area where impatiens plants grow but don’t water them excessively. Spring watering, especially if you’re growing your plants from seed, may be needed just once or twice a week. Soil for young seedlings should not be allowed to get soggy. Soil that stays too wet causes seedlings to sometimes damp off.

These plants are susceptible to water mold (Plasmopara obducens), often called downy mildew, causing stunting, leaf drop, bloom drop, and rot. Learning how and when to water impatiens helps avoid this and other disease problems.

Again, water consistently when possible. Don’t water following rain until the soil is dry. Water at the same time of day. Early morning or late afternoon are appropriate times. Don’t water when the sun is shining on the plants.

Try to water as much as possible at the roots, not getting the foliage wet. A soaker hose on low for a brief time is an easy and appropriate way to accomplish proper watering for impatiens. The hose may be covered with mulch so as not to detract from the beauty of your flowerbed.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.