July 27, 2022
Searles Gardening Team
A great way to improve the entrance of any home is by using potted color, and Impatiens are a wonderful choice when used in pots and hanging baskets. Although they are relatively easy to grow there are some useful tips for ensuring you have the healthiest and most colourful plants.
Impatiens provide colour all year round, not just from their vibrant flowers in shades of pink, orange, cerise, red, maroon, magenta, pure white and bicolour, but also from the exotic foliage that some varieties produce. They look great, mixed and matched, or grown in a mass display of single colours.
For the best results, Impatiens need a good quality potting mix, regular watering and a fortnightly application of soluble fertiliser to keep their vigour when flowering.
When planting into pots and baskets, select a container that allows room for a good root system to develop, and use top quality and moisture-retentive potting mix such as Searles Platinum Potting Mix.
Containerised plants tend to dry out quickly in hot and windy weather. To ensure your plants do not suffer from moisture stress, water them regularly - in normal conditions about twice a week should suffice, but in extreme weather, it may be necessary to water them more frequently. In heatwave conditions, Impatiens sometimes become limp and floppy; if this is the case, a good soak overnight will revive them and restore them to normal vigour by morning.
Impatiens like a sheltered position away from frost and wind and with some sunlight. If grown in full sun, they'll remain very compact, whereas if grown in full shade, they become leggy and won't flower so well. So an ideal spot for them is one with shade and sunlight, such as on verandahs, patios and balconies. For more sunnier positions, try growing the more sun tolerate New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri).
The crowning glory of the remarkable New Guinea impatiens is their beautiful multi-coloured flowers. To promote more abundant and lively blooms, fertilise every two weeks with Searles Flourish Flowers & Foliage Soluble Plant Food.
After each flush of flowering, cut your plants back to promote a more compact shape, and they will reward your efforts by producing even more flowers.
Pests & Diseases Impatiens
Few pests and diseases attack Impatiens. Problems to watch for are aphids (spray with pyrethrum, Searles Bug Beater, or hose off with a gentle spray), caterpillars (pick off by hand) and fungal disease, which shows as small black spots on the foliage (spray with SeaMax Organic Fertiliser Liquid). The 'Beacon' Impatiens series are bred to resist Downy mildew.