How to Care for Impatiens Flowers & Plants


While many impatiens varieties are perennial, they are grown as annuals in most gardens. This is because the plants do not tolerate any frost at all. They grow to 12 to18 inches tall and are available in a range of colors. Unlike many other flowering plants, impatiens thrive in partial shade, making them suitable for north facing beds or for planting under trees and shrubs where they receive dappled sunlight. Caring properly for these bedding plants ensures they thrive and bloom from spring through summer.

Step 1

Plant impatiens in a well-drained garden bed that only receives partial or dappled sunlight. Work a 2-inch layer of compost into the soil prior to planting to aid drainage and add nutrients.

Step 2

Water impatiens one to two times a week, wetting the soil until it feels moist at a 6-inch depth if you stick your finger or a trowel into it. Water just as the soil surface begins to dry, with more frequent watering necessary during hot, dry weather. Water at the base of the plants and avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases.

Step 3

Water container plants when the soil feels dry. Water until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the container, as this ensures the moisture is down in the root zone where the impatiens need it most.

Step 4

Lay a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, around the impatiens in flower beds. Mulch helps preserve the moisture in the soil.

Step 5

Fertilize container grown impatiens every two weeks with a soluble plant food. Follow label application instructions for exact rates and application amounts necessary. Bedding plants rarely require additional fertilization if compost is added to the planting bed, but a slow release balanced fertilizer can be added to the soil prior to planting at the package recommended rate if desired.

Tips and Warnings

  • Impatiens planted under trees will require more frequent watering, as the tree roots will cause the soil to dry more quickly. Do not plant impatiens outdoors until all danger of frost has passed in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Vermont: Impatiens
  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Impatiens in the Home Garden
Keywords: impatiens flower care, growing impatiens plants, annual flower garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.