How to Prune Impatiens


Impatiens bloom profusely from late spring until the fall frost, providing bright color to window boxes and containers. When grown as a bedding plant, they create mounds of rich green foliage covered with abundant blooms, making them the top selling bedding plant in the United States, according to the University of Vermont. Routine care includes providing deep weekly watering, adequate nutrients and occasional pruning.

Step 1

Pinch or prune impatiens when they are 4 to 6 inches high by pinching off new growth on the ends of branches. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze out center leaves. This forces new growth to sprout along the branch and creates a compact plant with dense foliage capable of supporting abundant blooms.

Step 2

Repeat the procedure in three weeks, pinching out the center leaves on new growth to encourage further branching. Pinching delays blooming but increases the number of branches that later produce blooms. Overall, pinching increases the abundance of blooms.

Step 3

Trim or prune overgrown branches as impatiens mature. Cut back to the overall shape of the plant to improve appearance and promote healthy growth. If impatiens become leggy or cease blooming in midsummer, prune back to a height of 4 inches. A new flush of growth appears quickly and produces new blooms.

Step 4

Prune impatiens back to the soil level in late fall to move the plant inside for the winter. Place in indirect sun and keep soil moist. New growth appears within a few weeks creating an attractive houseplant that can be planted in the garden in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers or a sharp knife


  • University of Vermont Extension: Impatiens
  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Impatiens in the Home Garden
  • University of Florida Extension: Impatiens wallerana
  • ACES: Impatiens: One of Top Bedding Plants in Alabama
  • University of Minnesota: Gardening for Beginners

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University Extension: Impatiens
  • West Virginia University Extension: Impatiens
Keywords: prune impatiens, trim impatiens, pinch impatiens

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.