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Impatiens flowers are bright annuals that deserve a place in every garden! The impatiens, also known as impatient or garden balsam, are one of the rare annual plants that thrive in the partial or total shade to lighten up with its usually vividly colored flowers.
These new hybrids are more receptive to sun exposure and disease, expanding the range of uses and colors! The flower flourishes tirelessly from June until the first frost. It is well suited to beds, pots, borders, and window boxes to which it brings liveliness, beauty, and elegance.
Today, in this article, we are going to take a look at how to grow and plant the impatiens flower. You can learn the following:
* Botanical description
* Main features
* Where to plant impatiens?
* When and how to plant impatiens?
* Care and maintenance
* Pests and diseases
The impatiens is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the balsaminaceae family, native to swampy forests or humid and shady places in tropical and warm temperate regions.
The flower is cultivated as an annual in the garden in some areas or as a houseplant. Additionally, the impatiens are non-hardy perennials and do not resist cold winters and perish as soon as the first frosts occur. The genus counts more than 900 species. The impatien is a fast-growing, bushy clump that grows to an average height of 25 to 80 cm in a few months.
The stems are easily brittle, thick, and stiff, sometimes tinged with red, and bear numerous alternate, opposite, or whorled leaves from 2 to 20 cm long, carried by a long petiole. This luxuriant, fleshy, and shiny foliage, sometimes slightly translucent, is covered with numerous flowers from June until the first frosts in the garden.
The impatiens are 2 to 6 cm in diameter and consists of five heart-shaped petals. Semi-double or double, the shape resembles as tiny camellias, single and flattened, sometimes helmet-shaped or with a curved spur as in the singular impatient niamniamensis with hooked flowers as in the parrot beak. The shape of the flowers differs between varieties and hybrids.
Single or bicolored, they offer an infinite number of bright and sparkling colors, perfectly highlighted by the dense foliage.
They come in pastel shades, or even in shimmering shades ranging from pure white, purple, and lavender-blue, through all shades of pink and red, scarlet, and crimson to yellow or coral. With a silky and velvety texture, the petals of some impatiens are subtly marbled or marginalized or display a throat stained with a contrasting tone. This cold perennial plant does not resist low temperatures.
Where to plant impatiens?
The Impatiens is a perennial frosty plant which does not resist cold temperatures and which must be brought back in winter because it dies from 0 degrees C.
You can take the pots out in beautiful weather as soon as the temperature rises above 15degrees C, and frost is no longer a problem.
Even though recent hybrid varieties are more tolerant of sunshine, the impatient remains one of the positive values in the range of summer shade flowers, the only annual capable of flowering in total shade. Hybrids are relatively resistant to unburning exposure if their roots remain cool during the summer.
When potted outside, protect them from the wind. Like any tropical plant, it likes humid environments and can be particularly at ease in a greenhouse or veranda and sheltered from drafts. It is easy to grow in cool, moist, and well-drained soil, as it does not tolerate either drought or stagnant humidity.
When and How to Plant Impatiens?
The planting of our Impatiens in mini-clods is done in spring from April to May, or even in June, depending on the region, in all cases after the last frosts, in the ground or pots. Planting is possible under cover from March onwards.
In the ground – Count about eight to 10 plants per m2, spaced at least 20 cm apart in all directions. You can plant in numbers to obtain large flowering tablecloths under the trees, for example. Plant them in staggered rows. The soil must be fertile and well-drained.
In pots – Most impatiens are the kings of the summer flowerpots! Mix it up! Space the impatiens’ mini-clods 20-25 cm apart for a dense and lively composition.
Care and Maintenance
The Impatiens is an annual flowering plant that is carefree and, above all, almost maintenance-free. You should regularly add fertilizer and water as well.
In the ground – The impatiens can’t stand drought. Watering must be regular, especially if it is not raining, or the weather is dry, but not excessively so. You should water once or twice a week, as its roots are sensitive to excess humidity, which causes root rot. Regularly remove wilted flowers and dry stems to keep it looking good and to stimulate flowering.
In a pot – With its rapid growth, you should water once a week, let the soil dry between watering and avoid any risk of rotting. Remember not to allow water to stagnate in the saucers. If necessary, place the pots on a bed of clay balls to increase the level of air humidity that this tropical plant needs indoors.
Pests and Diseases
Resistant to disease, the impatient does not fear much. Outdoors, remember to protect it from slugs that appreciate its young foliage and read our tips for keeping away gastropods!
Avoid excess water, which can cause grey rot (Botrytis) of the crown, central stem, and flower buds. In case of infection, repot in a draining, not soggy mixture and water sparingly.
Impatients grown in greenhouses or verandas are sensitive to red spiders that develop in a hot, dry atmosphere and cause yellowing and then leaf fall. Spray non-calcareous water regularly on the foliage to maintain a moist environment around the pot to prevent attacks. In the case of infestation, spray with soapy water.
Indoors, they can also be attacked by aphids and whiteflies (whiteflies) during the summer.
Impatiens are one of the bright annuals capable of flowering in the total shade! The flower blooms in brilliant or soft colors for the most charming six months of the year. Additionally, it can flourish and thrive in the house or on the veranda all year round. Very floriferous, fast-growing, it looks beautifully incredible both in the earth or pots. A star in window boxes or containers, it is also essential in the foreground of a flower bed, in a shady flowerbed, or to illuminate the shade of undergrowth.