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How to Plant Busy Lizzies

By Contributing Writer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Busy lizzies, touch-me-nots, balsam, patient Lucy and lady's slipper are the names given to one flower: impatiens. Impatiens are the most popular bedding plant in the United States. They need little care, grow happily in full shade and flower in a range of bright colors and bi-colors. Impatiens thrive in the dry shade under trees and in the deep shade near houses. Busy lizzies need fertile, well-drained soil, so work a lot of compost into the planting bed. Busy lizzies prefer part to full shade, but some new cultivars can tolerate full sun.

Choose bushy busy lizzies with with straight stems and dark green foliage. Choose plants that don't have flowers as they will settle in faster and experience less transplant stress than plants with opened flowers.

Mix 3 to 4 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil in the busy lizzies' planting bed. If you are planting busy lizzies in containers, make a 50/50 compost/soil mix for the container.

Dig holes just large enough for the roots. If you want taller busy lizzies, space plants 6 to 8 inches apart. If you want your busy lizzies to sprawl, space them 8 to 12 inches apart.

Water your busy lizzies well after planting.


Things You Will Need

  • Trowel
  • Compost
  • Water


  • You can make your busy lizzies bushier by pinching off the tip (the top 1/4 inch of the plant).
  • You can substitute slow-release fertilizer for the compost. If you use slow-release fertilizer, you will need to reapply in mid- to late summer.