How to Feed New Guinea Impatiens


New Guinea impatiens (Linearifolia hybrida) is an attractive flowering plant that you can grow as an annual in all climate zones and as a carefree perennial in areas that receive no frost. Coming from the island of New Guinea, north of Australia, this plant often has multi-colored leaves that add to its visual appeal in the garden. It is more tolerant of full sun than other species of impatiens---it needs more sun in order to bloom.

Step 1

Delay fertilizing your New Guinea impatiens for the first two weeks after you plant it. Be sure to keep the soil moist, whether you are growing your impatiens in a pot or in a garden bed.

Step 2

Feed your plant with 100 ppm (parts per million; see Resources) nitrogen twice each week for two weeks. Water your plant between fertilizer applications if the soil is dry.

Step 3

Fertilize with 200 ppm nitrogen twice each week from then on. Water your plant between fertilizer applications if the soil is dry.

Step 4

If you see signs of a magnesium deficiency, which causes die back of shoots and stunted upper leaves, use 8 ounces of magnesium sulfate for each 100 gallons of water once a month. For 25 gallons of water, use 2 ounces of magnesium.

Step 5

Fertilize with fish emulsion if you prefer to use a more natural plant food. Follow the instructions on the label.

Things You'll Need

  • Complete balanced fertilizer
  • or
  • Fish emulsion


  • University of Massachusetts
  • The Flower Fields
  • Auburn University

Who Can Help

  • Backyard Gardener
  • Weidners
  • Fertilizer PPM calculator
Keywords: New Guinea, impatiens care, flowering plants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.