282 Impatiens walleranaCommon Names: impatiens, touch-me-not, jewel weed, sultana Family: Balsaminaceae (balsam or jewelweed Family)
Impatiens is one of the best known and most popular garden plants for its prolific flowers and ease in growing. It is an evergreen perennial but is often grown as an annual in nontropical climates. Most varieties form low mounds that are usually 8-24 in (20-61 cm) in height with about equal spread. Description is difficult because there are so many varieties with so much diversity. The most widely available though, have bright green leaves and come in an enormous number of colors, from nearly blue to deepest red, salmon, orange, pink, white, striped, speckled and bicolor. The rose impatiens has double flowers that look for all the world like little rose buds, and lovely leaves with white margins. New Guinea impatiens is a hybrid which is more tolerant of sun, often has burgundy colored stems, and grows taller and more upright.
Impatiens walleriana is native to the tropical forests of East African.
CultureLikes moist, fertile soil. Pinch back as needed if plants become leggy or overgrown, as they will in climates with long summers. Fertilize regularly with an evenly balanced formula. Avoid prolonged wet conditions that can lead to rot. Light: Part shade to part sun. In hot summer climates plant in mostly shady locations as plants will wilt under the hot sun even if well watered. Moisture: Moist but well drained. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 10. This summertime annual is a garden favorite almost everywhere. Killed by freezing temperatures. Propagation: Seed or cuttings in warm weather.
For vivid color in summer months where other annuals won't grow because of shade, impatiens are the most dependable summer annual. In frostfree climates they give constant color but bloom best in cool weather. Combine all colors available or select one or two colors for the greatest visual impact. Alternate with caladiums (Caladium bicolor) or shade loving coleus (Coleus x hybridus) for a sea of summer color in low-light areas. Plant red impatiens and red pentas (Pentas lanceolata) along with pineapple sage Salvia elegans and blue anise sage (Salvia guaranitica) for a sure fire way to attract hummingbirds.
This prolific bloomer features a variety of colors and types all bearing tons of flowers from spring until zapped by frost. It is one of the best and easiest flowering plants for shady areas where it can be used to easily and inexpensively create huge carpets of color that will brighten the darkest corners of your garden.
Jack Scheper 08/17/97, updated 06/09/01, 05/12/03, 09/11/03