Impatiens are popular as shaded garden plants and indoor plants. They are small, compact plants that grow glossy green leaves and flowers in white, pink, red, lilac, rose and salmon. These plants grow well in pots and baskets as long as they receive enough light and moisture and are grown in the right soil. Like any plant, though, they may fall prey to insects like mites, which suck the juice from leaves and stems.
According to an Ohio State Fact Sheet, spider mites are actually small arachnids. Adults have four pairs of legs and an oval body, with a long mouthpiece used to feed on plants. These insects are too small to be seen with the naked eye but cause massive damage to plants by sucking their juice.
Ohio State says that plants with mite infestations become discolored and covered with web-like formations. Leaves and stems may become wilted and die. Extreme infestations can kill plants.
One of the first treatments for mite-infested impatiens is pruning. Locate leaves and stems with web-like formations that signify mite colonies, usually located on the undersides of the leaves, and cut the affected stems and leaves off to immediately eliminate some of the mite population.
Miticides are pesticides that are designed to kill spider mites and their young. When you're keeping you impatiens indoors, though, you need to be careful about what you put on them. Toxic substances like pesticides might kill the mites but may also harm children or animals near the plant. Use organic treatments like neem oil, instead, to avoid poisoning the plants or anything else in the area.
Mix 1 part alcohol to 1 part water, and spray the plants thoroughly as a homemade solution. The alcohol will kill the mites without damaging the impatiens or any animals in the area.