Impatiens is a group of bedding plants known for their exceptional flowers and shading ability. They’re typically grown in flowerbeds, as well as window boxes, containers, baskets, raised planters or as perennial borders. According to Bachmans.com there are more than 850 species of impatiens. These plants are native to countries such as New Zealand, Australia and South America. Because they generally grow in tropical conditions, they do better when cultivated in similar climate conditions.
New Guinea impatiens flowers were brought to the United States from New Guinea in 1970. Although the initial plants didn’t do well, newer cultivators improved over the following 25 years as impatiens became a popular landscaping plant. They have bronze, green or variegated leaves and showy large flowers. The plant’s flowers have a wide range of colors ranging from white and pale pink to brilliant reds and oranges. Most species are sold as plants at garden centers and greenhouses. Some species such as Javas can be grown from seeds. They need well-drained moist soil, moderate fertilizer and afternoon shade.
SunPatiens is an unusual plant that’s ideal for flowerbeds, borders and foundation plantings. According to Sunpatiens.com, they grow as tall as 15 to 20 inches high and come in varieties including Tropical Orange, Tropical Mango, Tropical Punch and Tropical Ice. These plants love heat, but can also grow in shade. They provide color to a garden throughout the summer and then continue to bloom into fall.
Busy Lizzies, also known as patience plant or sultana, is North America’s leading bedding plant, according to Simple Gift Farms.com. This impatiens flower blooms throughout summer and comes in several cultivators including variegated leaves, doubles and uprights. All varieties grow best in a damp shady environment. Growth is promoted by pinching back leaves. They’re seen growing in containers or hanging baskets and do well provided they have adequate moisture. Because these plants can’t tolerate full sun they will die if grown in a dry, sunny area.
Rose Balsam is an impatiens usually grown in flowerbeds and borders. This impatiens produces cup-shaped flowers resembling roses. Colors of flowers range from creamy yellow to rose and lilac. Although the flowers are attractive, they’re hidden by leaves, so this variety isn’t as popular as other impatiens. It has pale green lance-shaped narrow leaves and does best in well-drained loam soil which consists of sand, silt and clay. The plant grows best planted in partial shade and needs sheltering from wind. Common pests include spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, aphids and root knot nematode. They also battle spot virus, fungal leaf spots, gray mold and impatiens necrotic spot virus.
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