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How to Grow
Your Best Impatiens

Follow our expert advice this season,
then relax and enjoy the best impatien flowers
your home ever had

Impatiens do not "just die"

Impatiens are ready for planting at your home after 6-8 weeks of growth at the nursery. Thus, they have already survived these early days where some individual plants may die

In your landscape, there are only 3 basic things that can make things go wrong:

  1. Not enough water
  2. Too much water
  3. Fungus

Water is the most important ingredient

Consistent moisture is the trick to premium impatien flowers. Never let impatiens get dried out. Do not rely 100% on your sprinkler system for impatiens. Look at your flowers every day and notice if there are any "missed" irrigation spots among your flowers.  Hand watering with your hose assures complete coverage

Never over water as too much wetness will rot your roots or cause black fungus. Both conditions are deadly to your flowers. If we get a period of daily ongoing rains, manually shut off your sprinkler system to cut back on unnecessary water

Impatiens in the shade & East/North sides

Impatiens in the shade require much less water than South or West sun exposures. This is another reason to not rely on your sprinkler system for water. If you have impatiens in the shade and some in the sun, use less water in shady locations

Impatiens in the sun & South/West sides

Expect to water often, depending on how hot, windy and sunny the conditions. Water moderately as often as every day to keep soil consistently moist

Impatiens in pots

Impatiens in pots can be difficult.  In just one day, pots can become dried out or over wet. Fungus can start more easily in pots as well

Smaller pots are much more difficult to water properly than larger well drained containers. Impatiens often do poorly in smaller pots. The rule is "the bigger the better" when planting in pots

Stick your index finger into your flower pots' soil down to the second knuckle to test for moisture. You'll be feeling the soil 1 3/4 to 2 inches down. If it's moist at that depth, water is not needed that day. Check pots every two days until you know what you're doing by sight

Impatiens in pots - use good soil which is very loose, very well drained

What is sold as "potting soil" at about $1.49 per bag is a very dense, heavy, wet mixture, basically composed of muck and sand. Never buy this mix. Look for bags of professional mix which cost from $4.00-$6.00 per bag for small bags and up to $12.00 per bag for larger quantities. This mix is dry, light, disease free and an excellent medium for your impatiens.  The label will say 'Nursery Mix' or 'Pro Mix', but look for higher price as your first indication of what to buy

Impatiens under larger trees

Growing impatiens under some trees such as Black Olive and Ficus is difficult and sometimes impossible

These trees cast a heavy shade depriving your flowers of light. Some trees tend to "poison" your soil over time. Consider hiring a tree man to "open up" your tree's canopy for more light. Also, you can/should add new soil (a high quality nursery mix, not potting soil) to the base of trees to plant your impatien flowers

Impatiens and mulch

Master Gardener strongly recommends you DO NOT mulch your impatiens

One reason is impatiens grow quickly and fill in open spaces between plants. This fast growth (with fertilizer) naturally shades the soil and keeps down weeds. Impatiens usually grow faster than weeds.  More importantly, mulch can contribute to fungus by holding too much moisture at the base of flower stems. Just one or two days of excess wetness at the stem/soil level can kill all your beautiful impatien flowers

The exception to the "no mulch" rule is in full sun. In full sun you can safely mulch (thin layer about 1/4 to 3/8 inch) but keep the mulch away from the stems of the flowers

Impatiens benefit greatly from food

You must feed your flowers fertilizer to get the lush full look you want

If you ordered your impatiens planted by Master Gardener, we automatically fertilize every plant free with a generous handful of Milorganite fertilizer combined with a generous dose of time release pellets, 14-14-14.  Milorganite is an organic gradual release fertilizer which feeds slowly for the whole blooming season

If you want even better performance from your impatiens, add a quality time-released fertilizer, comes in pellet form. You'll get your best flowers.

More Info

Here's even more information about impatiens.