Impatiens is a type of flowering plant. It is a genus that is comprised of between 850 and 1,000 different species. It is part of the balsam family, known as Balsaminaceae. Impatiens appear all over the Northern Hemisphere and in tropical regions. Impatiens are frequently known by various other names, such as jewelweeds, touch-me-nots, Busy Lizzy and balsams.
Impatiens generally grow to between 9 and 30 inches in height, with a spread of 9 to 30 inches, as well. They are fast growing and have shiny leaves that are reddish-green or green in color. The stems of impatiens are fleshy, green and herbaceous. The flowers have 2-inch diameters, and come in solid pink, white, purple, salmon, red and orange. Many Impatiens also come in combinations of color.
There are many different varieties of impatiens in existence. Some of the most well-known varieties include Impatiens pallida, Impatiens auricoma, Impatiens etindensis, Impatiens pritzelii, Impatiens grandisepala, Impatiens hawkeri, Impatiens meruensis, Impatiens morsei, Impatiens platypetala, Impatiens capensis, Impatiens balfourii and Impatiens scapiflora.
Impatiens grow very rapidly, and when cultivated, can remain outdoors until frost occurs. They thrive indoors between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be grown both in and out of direct sunlight. They prefer rich and moist soil types, such as fens, riverbanks, reed beds and edges of forests. Partial sun or full shade is preferable with impatiens.
Seeds for propagation of impatiens should be sown indoors between six and eight weeks before the last frost of the winter in your area. They must be given bright light but not direct sun. Artificial lamps should be used. The seeds need to germinate between one to two weeks.
Impatiens are attractive and bright flowers that are commonly used as ornamental plants, often indoors. Impatiens are generally used in window boxes, hanging baskets and backyard gardens.