Many gardeners choose impatiens for shady flower beds and borders. Typically, impatiens look neat and tidy at planting time. But after about a month of growing in the soil, they often begin to appear overgrown and shaggy. Remedy this unattractive situation and encourage your impatiens to flower with renewed vigor by cutting back the stems of the plants. Impatiens will respond to this pruning by putting forth a new surge of flowering growth.
Monitor the growth of your impatiens after you place the plants in the soil. They can start to look shaggy after a few weeks of rapid growth.
Use a pruning shears to cut back the stems of the plants. Cut them to about 3 inches above the base of the plants.
Watch for the impatiens to respond within one or two weeks. They will produce vigorous, bushy shoots. This happens because plants have buds all along the stems. When you cut back the stems severely, the remaining buds will shoot forth with growth.
Remove any leaves or blossoms that do not fall by themselves to keep the impatiens looking neat and attractive.