Impatiens Flowers Losing Leaves

Nobly for impatiens

Prepared by Karen Russ, HGIC Horticulture Specialist, and Bob Polomski Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Clemson University. (New 03/99. Images added 05/09.)

HGIC 1166

Few annuals that grow in shade provide the range and intensity of color of impatiens. Impatiens are the most popular bedding plants in the United States because of their beauty and ease of growth.

Impatiens flower
Wikimedia Commons Aka, Creative Commons license 2.5

Height/Spread

Impatiens used to be rather tall leggy annuals, but newer varieties are compact, 6 to 18 inches tall and 10 to 24 inches across.

Growth Rate

Impatiens are tender annuals throughout South Carolina.

Ornamental Features

The wide range of flower colors includes red, orange, salmon, rose, pink, white, violet, and lavender blue. New Guinea Impatiens also offer exciting variations in leaf color.

Landscape Use

Impatiens are used for edging shady beds, massing under trees, window boxes and hanging baskets.

Impatiens thrive in filtered or partial shade and must have protection from hot afternoon sun to maintain their colors. The soft, fleshy stems wilt quickly when in need of water. Plants grown in the soil under trees will need extra water and fertilizer since they are competing with the tree roots.

All types do best in a rich, moist soil mulched to maintain adequate moisture. Feed monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer

Impatiens are an easy-care annual that develop a beautiful shape without pinching or pruning and do not require flower removal to be covered with fresh blooms.

Impatiens seed should be started indoors six to 10 weeks prior to planting outside. After the last chance of frost, harden off your impatiens, and then set the plants in the garden. A quicker way to get impatiens is to purchase transplants from a local nursery or garden center. Space tall-growing varieties 18 inches apart and compact varieties 8 to 10 inches apart. The closer they are planted, the taller and leggier the plants grow.

Impatiens may be grown in containers. Use a soil-less growing mix for good drainage. Impatiens grown in containers need more frequent watering and possibly more fertilizing than those grown in the garden.

Problems

Generally impatiens are trouble-free in the home landscape. Diseases can include damping-off during germination, fungal blights and rots, and viruses. Spider mites, thrips, mealybugs and aphids may infest New Guinea impatiens.

Cultural control methods can easily prevent most problems from developing. Grow plants under optimum conditions to keep them healthy.

Impatiens are highly susceptible to moisture stress. If the plants are allowed to wilt, they will drop leaves and flowers. Keep them well-watered, but not soggy, at all times.

Species & Cultivars

Impatiens: Impatiens - also known as Sultana, Touch-me-not, and Busy Lizzie (Impatiens wallerana) - is the best known species, with its mounding habit, long bloom and incredible range of colors. The common name Touch-me-not was given because the slightest touch will cause the ripe, full seedpods to burst open scatter their seeds into the wind. Impatiens often reseed in the garden, but the seedlings will gradually return to producing tall plants with a mix of colors unlike those originally planted.

Source: www.clemson.edu


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Flowers in a little to no sunlight area, color

We have a front flower bed that is about 35 ft x 2 ft on the north side of our home. just recently, after reading the western garden book, decided to do some landscaping and put in a variety of plants that include Canna's, New Zeland Flax, Sage mint, and added some color like Begonias & impatiens and some more. The issue is during summer, we get get a combined 3 to 4 hrs(morning and late after noon) of sun light in the area. Now, it is almost down to 2 hrs, and not every plant is getting enough sunlight. We are in zone 24 and wonder how these plants would do in fall and winter. In addition, wanted to put in some more color that are not potentially poisonous (lantan's are out of question)

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