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Growing Impatiens Indoors

By Wanda Thibodeaux

If your home is drab and dreary, flowering indoor plants can enliven it with color and fragrance. Impatiens, also known as snapweed and touch-me-nots, are an attractive choice for indoor growers. Following a few guidelines will have these plants blooming profusely.


Plant your impatiens in soil that is rich and has plenty of aeration for drainage. You can put a few small stones, bark or vermiculite in the soil to make sure it cannot pack down completely. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Generally, impatiens like soil that is more acidic (about 5.8 on the pH scale). If the soil is too basic, add a little sulfur or aluminum sulfate. If the soil is too acidic, add a little calcium carbonate.


Keep the impatiens watered, but don't overdo it. Impatiens like more water than some other species, but they don't tolerate soil that is waterlogged. Watering every three to four weeks should be enough if the soil is kept moist. If the water sits on top of the soil, then it is too dry and won't absorb water well. If the water runs straight out the pot, then the soil is either waterlogged or the plant has become root-bound. You can spritz the soil with a spray bottle between regular waterings to keep the soil from becoming too dry.


Use liquid fertilizer once a month. Impatiens like soil that is rich in nutrients, but plants grown indoors can lack what they need because they are confined in pots that are not exposed to natural means of soil rejuvenation. Wait until the tips of the roots reach the edge of the pot to use fertilizer; this indicates that the plant is large enough to require more from the soil than it may be able to absorb.


Monitor the temperature in your home. At night, don't let the temperature dip below 68 degrees. During the day, don't let the temperature rise above 75 degrees.

Cuttings and Number of Plants Per Pot

Take cuttings from your impatiens when the plant starts to become unruly. This allows you to keep the plant well-shaped and to encourage new growth. The cuttings then can be used to propagate new plants. Aim for only one or two plants per 5-inch pot.


About the Author


Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.