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White and orange impatiens

Credit: Angela Altomare
Your rating: None Average: 3.8 of 5 (77 votes)

Botanical name: Impatiens

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10, 11

Sun exposure: Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral

Flower color: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Purple, White

Bloom time: Summer, Fall

Impatiens is a beautiful annual that makes an excellent houseplant or summer bedding plant. It is also known as "Busy Lizzie" and its name is a Latin word that describes the way its seeds shoot out of its pods when ripe (the slightest touch can make a ripe impatiens seed pod burst open and scatter its seeds). Impatiens like shade and moisture.


  • Plant impatiens transplants after the last spring frost in humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil. Make sure the plants have some shelter from the wind.
  • The closer impatiens plants are, the taller they will grow, so space accordingly (impatiens plants can grown anywhere between 6 and 30 inches tall). For flower beds, plant 8 to 12 inches apart so the plants will stay low to the ground.
  • You can mix in compost or a slow-release fertilizer before transplanting to help the plants.
  • If you have impatiens plants in containers, use a sterile or soil-less growing mixture to ensure better drainage for the plants.


  • The most important thing to remember about impatiens plants is to water them regularly. Keep them moist, but not too wet. If the plants dry out, they will lose their leaves. If you over-water the plants, this could encourage fungal diseases.
  • Remember container plants will need more water.


  • Spider mites
  • Impatiens Downey Mildew (IDM)
  • Flower thrips
  • Root knot nematode
  • Whiteflies
  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • Gray mold
  • Fungal leaf spot

Recommended Varieties

  • Tom Thumb Series (Impatiens balsamina), which is a dwarf variety with large, double, brightly colored flowers.
  • Super Elfin Series (Impatiens walleriana), which is a spreading plant with a wide variety of pastel colors.
  • Swirl Series (Impatiens walleriana), which have pretty pink and orange flowers whose petals are outlined in r


I have a New Guinea Impatiens

By Sue Brighton

I have a New Guinea Impatiens and it has gone straggly and the leaves have started turning yellow and falling off.
I have thought of cutting it back so that the nourishments goes back into the roots. It isn't flowering at the moment there is lots of new growth on the straggly bits so not sure what to do can someone please advise.

Hi Sue, It is recommended to

By Almanac Staff

Hi Sue,
It is recommended to trim leggy plants to keep a bushy shape. When pruning, cut the stems back to a leaf node and give the plant water and fertilizer to promote new growth. This is also a good time to repot the plant in new fresh soil.

I have 5 lovely potted new

By stacee

I have 5 lovely potted new guinea impatients here in New Zealand, my 3 tangerine coloured ones are almost in full sun but are doing great, I have had my 2 purples ones for at least a month which recieve almost as much sun, but now the colour is stripping out of the blooms, they start purple when first blooming but then start going whitish on the petals, this is happening with both pots.. I thought too much sun but the tangerine ones dont do it and they get more sun. Any ideas?

I got a New guinea Impatiens

By Liz Boyer

I got a New guinea Impatiens plant for Mother's day and had it outside all did wonderfully! However it started to get cold outside so I brought it in and put it in the kitchen window. It is starting to turn brown and doesn't look good. Could I have ruined it by not bringing it in before the first frost? Should I move it to a warmer spot? The kitchen window gets light but not sun (it's on North side of house). It's still in the same pot. What should I do to keep it alive?

Hi Liz, New Guinea impatiens

By Almanac Staff

Hi Liz,
New Guinea impatiens need a warm sunny location inside. Keep the plant evenly moist and fertilize weekly as long as it is actively growing. Next spring cut it back by about half to encourage new growth and repot it into new fresh soil.

My daughter bought me an

By Candy Perkins

My daughter bought me an impatience plant for Mothers Day. I kept it hanging under my north porch. It didnt grow but didn't die. It just stayed the same. It didn't blossom. Last week I brought it in my house because it was getting cold. Now it is on my table it gets indirect sunlight. It is starting to grow. Its weird, It did nothing outside. Do you know why it did that.

It's hard to say why your

By Almanac Staff

It's hard to say why your impatience didn't bloom. Maybe it is getting a little more sunlight now. Give it some tender care and it may bloom for you!

For potted impatients, do

By BridgetWol

For potted impatients, do they need to be repotted every so often? If so, how often?

In general, repot a young

By Almanac Staff

In general, repot a young plant every 12 months and established plants every 2 years—or, repot when they appear top-heavy or the plant gets root-bound. You'll see a heavy mass of roots growing out of the drainage hole at the bottom or the roots may appear at the top of the soil. Also, if the roots look rusty and unhealthy, promptly repot. Repot at the beginning of the growing season (spring), not during active growth.

I planted impatiens a few

By Kedbach

I planted impatiens a few months ago (just in planters). One is great and is growing healthy! The other started dying and I noticed a type of mold or fungus (Not sure what kind), so I left it alone for a few days. Only half of the plant seemed to be affected, because the other half continued growing, so I continued watering as needed. It began dying off once again, but when I returned home from vacation, more of the plant has regained its health, and it is growing again without the fungus or mold, but still is only about half of the planter that is healthy. Any idea why or how the fungus or mold corrected itself and my plant continued to grow?

Your guess is as good as

By georgewilson

Your guess is as good as mine, but it always helps to keep leaf moisture down with impatiens. Don't water the leaves, just the base of soil, and reduce any moisture and humidity. Perhaps by going on vacation, you achieved this goal by happy accident.

Hello, I planted three New

By JudithPoodith

Hello, I planted three New Guineas out in front of my dogwood tree...the sun slants through, and gives them some good indirect light. My question is...when I went to plant the third impatiens, I came to a wide, very woody root from the Dogwood. I had nowhere else to put the plant, so, I placed it on the root, but added plenty of good, rich soil around the impatiens. I am wondering whether it has a chance...maybe the roots will grow outwards, into the soil? What do you think?

White spots on most of my

By Timothy Andrew Kelch

White spots on most of my impatiens blooms. What is he best way to treat them?

I planted my impatiens in a

By idabug

I planted my impatiens in a flower box in front of my home about 6 weeks ago. I have put them there before with great success but this time many of the petals on all the plants are turning brownish and they don't seem to be thriving. Do they need fertilizer? More water? Please help!

It's difficult to be sure

By Almanac Staff

It's difficult to be sure what might be going on from here. If you have had success in the past you know something about impatiens. You have soil-less mix and/or organic soil for good drainage (diff sources suggest both)? Moist but not soggy conditions? General purpose fertilizer? and are applying more than you would apply to plants in the ground (how much depends on container size, etc.)? Part to full shade?
With all of that and the advice above, we can only suggest the article in our 2014 Garden Guide: There is a mildew affecting impatiens. Its initial signs are similar to those of water stress. (See the Garden Guide here:
New Guinea impatiens are not vulnerable to the mildew, btw.

Help! I received a beautiful,

By Kathy S

Help! I received a beautiful, full new guinea impatien last month. I've got the watering down and it gets indirect light. Lately, it's not as full, looks skinnier if that makes sense and leaves are turning yellow and dying. It still has flowers and buds. What could be wrong? Thanks!!

New Guinea impatiens need

By Michael E

New Guinea impatiens need about 4-6 hours of direct sun every day. They're more of a sun plant than a shade plant.

I have beautiful impatient

By Kathy c davide

I have beautiful impatient plants in pots with many blooms, but it seems the blooms fall off so easily.......over watering?

I don't know about blooms

By Almanac Staff

I don't know about blooms dropping, but bud drop happens with impatiens and is a sign inconsistent watering—usually too much water.

Just bought impatiens and

By Don Savera

Just bought impatiens and have stuck them in the ground. Do I snap off the little blooms now in order to get better bloom later, as some suggest, or not?



Don - I've never snapped off

By Curls

Don - I've never snapped off the blooms. They've growth and looked good in a few weeks or so after I've planted them.

I have a VERY shady back yard

By Nancy Kocurek

I have a VERY shady back yard with dappled sun on and off throughout the day. In the late afternoon here in Austin, Tx. I get some direct overhead sun. I love impatiens and in the past they have done well in pots. I have four pots of impatiens that were full of blooms and gorgeous. The plants still look green and healthy and no signs of insects or disease BUT the blooms have almost gone away. The pots that get more sun have more blooms. I thought they could bloom in total shade - no???

Contrary to popular belief...

By Ronald C Jett

Contrary to popular belief... impatiens will tolerate and thrive in morning sun...not the intense sun of the latter day, but the morning sun.Try moving your pots to a place where it can get morning sun or at least some sun.

I just got an impatient plant

By Elva Chen

I just got an impatient plant three days ago. It was fine this morning,but when I came home at around 3:30,the leaves are all droopy and most flowers are died.some just bloomed.
I water it each day and it's by my living room window. It was pretty hot today around 70 degres

Droopy leaves are a sign that

By Almanac Staff

Droopy leaves are a sign that the impatiens are thirsty. When the temperature rises, it is best to move the plant away from the window.

How do I "trim back" my huge

By Cheryl Mala

How do I "trim back" my huge impatiens- that's growing great inside- without killing it. Can I cut back the stems and try to root them in water? How far down the stem would I cut? Please advise and thank you for your assistance.

Your impatiens will enjoy a

By Almanac Staff

Your impatiens will enjoy a trim. Cut stems along the nodes, or bumps, on the stems.

I want to plant impatiens in


I want to plant impatiens in a garden that gets full sun till noonwhat do you think

In general, impatiens are a

By Almanac Staff

In general, impatiens are a plant that most prefers part-shade or full shade, depending on the variety.

I bought a beautiful hanging

By June S.

I bought a beautiful hanging Impatiens plant. I left it in the car while a did some shopping and when I got home it was wilted and dried up. Can it be revived, and if so, how?

Can I use some of the cut

By Mariaan

Can I use some of the cut back stems and replant them for new impatients plants

Yes, you can propagate your

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can propagate your cuttings. Pinch back to the top of a lower leaf node and replant these pieces in a shady moist spot.

I live in the Caribbean. I

By sylvia, Trinidad

I live in the Caribbean. I bought a pink impatien in full bloom and transplanted into a bigger pot for the pot that it was purchased in was very small and the plant kept toppling over.
Everything went well for about a week and then the unopened buds started dropping. The plant is well watered and is in a spot where there is part sunny. What is the cause of the buds falling prematurely.

I live in south Australia and

By michelle kandiliotis

I live in south Australia and have been given cuttings from an oriental impatiens. They grow into large bushes and are perennial. I'm not sure if the need to be planted out into a shaggy address or would do better in full sun. The summers are harsh here and the winters quite cold as we live in the hills. Can you advise? I can't find any information on orientals on the web. Thanks

Oops... Meant shady area not

By michelle kandiliotis

Oops... Meant shady area not shaggy address! :)

Darn! I was just about to

By Jeff Gertz

Darn! I was just about to give you diversified tidbits on the care for impatiens planted in shaggy addresses.

I have a beautiful Plant, but

By Skltravel

I have a beautiful Plant, but want to keep it over the winter in the northern ohio area. Can this be done, or do I have to buy new every spring?

Bring the plant indoors

By Almanac Staff

Bring the plant indoors before it gets killed by frost. Place it in bright indirect light and reduce watering for the winter months.

I have 3 beautiful orange

By scars77

I have 3 beautiful orange impatient plants in containers..they have grown and blossomed soo beautifully but this morning I woke up to them limp and green..I do live in MA and last night was the first frost(I think) can I help them?? If I leave them will they come back next summer??

Impatients are annuals and

By Almanac Staff

Impatients are annuals and very sensitive to cold weather. You need to replant them next spring.

I would like to start

By Kelly Bender

I would like to start impatiens from seed this coming February indoors for spring transplanting in another container outdoors. I am finding conflicting information on how many seeds to plant per space. One resource states to plant each seed 8 to 12 inches apart. While another source states to plant 4 to 6 seeds per inch. I would like them ultimately to be low and full with minimal cascading. My boxes are 6 inches deep 6 inches in height and a long 4 feet in width. I would like to sow my seed in pots or containers that will be easy to transplant. Any suggestions?

Plant the seeds about 1 to 2

By Almanac Staff

Plant the seeds about 1 to 2 inches apart about 10 weeks before planting them outdoors. They take 15 to 20 days to germinate. When you plant the seedlings in the outdoor container space them 8 to 12 inches apart. If you plant them closer they will grow tall and not spread as much. Good luck!

This year we planted Sonic

By LAanwa

This year we planted Sonic White impatiens in our raised beds. They have doubled in size and still look beautiful. Temperatures are starting to drop in northern Alabama . Can I dig them up and bring them inside?

You may be able to keep your

By Almanac Staff

You may be able to keep your impatiens going if the container is near a window with sunlight. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.

You can bring the plants

By Bharmon

You can bring the plants inside for the winter I love to have flowers inside when it's so cold outside I keep them on a south side window and water weekly they stay in bloom and look really nice back outside the following summer, with a new look because the stems are about 12-14 " with blooms they are great to have with my new Impatients , one problem I have had this year is the pollen from these plants have really caused allergy inside my home for both husband and myself I am goining to need a green house next year for this reason or add on a little room. Hope this helped

I have red impatiens that my

By Tami Lynn

I have red impatiens that my daughter got me back in April. They are in a pot and stay on my back porch on the window sill, rather shaded area. I water them daily and they were beautiful and growing and doing great, until a week ago. I watered them on Wednesday afternoon and they looked great, when I went out Thursday the whole plant was kinda grayish, drooping, and all the flowers were dead or dying. I haven't don't anything different, they haven't been rained on recently, it's not cold out yet (we live in NC) and I don't know what to do with them now. I don't want them to die, what could this be and can I save them??

Unfortunately, your plants

By Almanac Staff

Unfortunately, your plants may have a strain of downy mildew which is an infection that has simply spread across the U.S. this past year. You could tell your plant store which probably had a recall. It wasn't an insect or anything you did.  However, you now need to dispose of the plants as the disease spreads. Do not compost them; put them in a trash bag and do NOT reuse the soil.  We now it's a bummer but you probably could not have saved them.

I should add that I have a

By Tami Lynn

I should add that I have a yellow celosia that sits right next to it and the same thing happened to this plant. Same exact situation, fine one day, all but dead the next.

many years ago I got a start

By Nancy Charley

many years ago I got a start of an impatien from my mother-in-law as an indoor plant.
all the plants grew quite tall like 3 feet and got real bushy, I have never got one to do that since. were they different, how can I get one to do that again.

We don't know her secrets,

By Almanac Staff

We don't know her secrets, but the success of a plant usually has to do with how it got its start and soil preparation. For example, was it started indoors with a heated germination mat. For an indoor plant, use a potting mix soil such as Sunshine Mix. Also, be sure to do a weekly grooming, removing dead leaves and stems and pinching off spent blossoms. At the end of summer, pinch the tips of the stems back about three or four inches with pruners for a more compact shape. The blooming will stop temporarily but this will lead to the bushy shape you're seeking.

I live in Hawaii. We do not

By Lori Hawaiian

I live in Hawaii. We do not have extreme weather. Although my Impatiens bloom beautifully, why do the leaves sometimes crinkle rather than grow straight? Thank you!

Diseases, pests, or too much

By Almanac Staff

Diseases, pests, or too much fertilizer may cause curling leaves. In Hawaii, impatiens are often attacked by broad mites. These suck sap from leaves (especially young leaves), causing crinkling, puckering, curling, and/or wilting leaves. Corky, brown areas may be evident. The mites also may attack flower buds, and are especially troublesome during the cool, wet, winter season. Broad mites are very tiny and hard to see; they usually feed on the leaf undersides. Mite predators help to control them. For more information, you might try contacting your local Cooperative Extension:

Hi. I have recently moved

By Krysti

Hi. I have recently moved from a zone 5 to a zone 8 coastal area in Washington State so having to learn about flower care all over again. My question is, how do I overwinter Impatiens for this area that has LOTS of coastal rain in the winter months? Do I cut them back and leave them outside, or will they need to be moved inside? Although it does not freeze here, my concern is the constant soggy winter ground damaging the roots (rot). If I do have to bring them inside, when I pot them should I cut them back to force dormancy or just leave them as is and try to give them as much light as possible and hope for the best?

Impatiens do best in Zones 10

By Almanac Staff

Impatiens do best in Zones 10 and 11 for overwintering. In Zone 8, it would probably be best to pot them up and take them indoors for the winter. Place them in bright indirect light and reduce watering for the winter season. For more advice, we'd recommend contacting your county's Cooperative Extension service; they'd be most familiar with plant care in your area. You can find contact information at:
Also, please be aware that Impatiens walleriana and cultivars (and the wild jewelweed) are experiencing more and more trouble with downy mildew, including in the Pacific Northwest. Garden centers are beginning to offer more alternatives, including New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri), which doesn't seem to be affected at this point. You might look into that species instead, to avoid problems.

My gardener removed all of my

By Bruce Herman

My gardener removed all of my impatiens when he put lime on my lawn. Is this normal?

Were these planted in a bed?

By Almanac Staff

Were these planted in a bed? Impatiens like a soil pH of about 60 to 6.5, but can tolerate it a bit higher. Adding lime to the soil raises the pH (makes it more alkaline). Depending on what pH the gardener was aiming for in the lawn, the impatiens may or may not have been happy.
However, unless you are having other changes to the landscape that would change the cultural conditions of the impatiens (light, water, soil, etc.), such as planting a shrub that would change the lighting, or installing a sprinkler system right where the impatiens were, then it's puzzling why they'd need to be removed if they were still flowering. Our suggestion is to ask your gardener about it.

I plant Impatiens in a barrel

By MountainMillie

I plant Impatiens in a barrel under a tree every year and they do beautifully, including this year, until all of a sudden they got yellow and looked dead! I cut down on water, fertilized, they are still dying.
I am reading about downey mildew, do we get that in Colorado where the humidity is zilch? They always have daddy-long-leg spiders but I haven't noticed mites? what do do??thanks!

Yes, it sounds as if you have

By Almanac Staff

Yes, it sounds as if you have a fungus.Remove infected plants and see if you can control further disease development with a  regular fungicide spray application. Check with your local garden center.

We are seeing a similar

By BradB

We are seeing a similar pattern in Denver of blossom and leaf loss, with some loss of stem rigor in some plants, but no sign of the white, downy underside of the leaves associated with descriptions of the fungus. Could it be something else? Something that is eating the leaves, perhaps?

I have a pot of "Sun patiens"

By Dave Stoner

I have a pot of "Sun patiens" that have been doing nicely however the plants are growing and the stems look "leggie". Di I cut them back?

Impatiens can get leggy after

By Almanac Staff

Impatiens can get leggy after baking in the summer heat; simply pinch or cut back the stems to force them to bush out.
You can cut back to three inches of the plant's base.When you remove the upper growth, the plant responds by opening the suppressed buds. This pruning will encourage a new flush of growth so that you can continue enjoying your plant.

We have several pots of

By betty salyers

We have several pots of Impatiens on our patio. Some, not all, are not doing real well. The ones that are OK are rally green and have lots of blooms. The others are very pale in color and aren't blooming. For the first 3-4 weeks after we planted them, they did great. Our patio is very shaded, so I don't think they are getting too much sun. We have had a very wet summer and mild (upper seventies to upper eighties) temperatures. The ones that are doing good seem to be somewhat protected by the eaves of the house, or by trees. The not so good ones seem to be getting more rain. Could this be the problem? We purchased all the plants from the same nursery, at the same time.

It seems likely that the

By Almanac Staff

It seems likely that the healthy plants were protected from the heavy rains. Make sure that the pots have good drainage and that the soil is not too wet.

I recently purchased a

By Renee Van Der Merwe

I recently purchased a hanging basket of Impatiens. They seem to be flowering well however there appears to be something attacking the leaves and petals leaving holes and killing the leaves. When i looked at the underside of the dying petals and leaves i noticed many were covered in spider webs and later noticed two or three spiders that appeared that have created vast webs below the leaves. Would the spiders be eating the plants? My reading tells me that spiders may not be the cause but i cannot see any other bugs. How do i get rid of the spiders and/or the bugs that may be responsible ?

You probably have spider

By Almanac Staff

You probably have spider mites. Spray the plant with water and try to wash off as much as you can of the webs and small spiders. Then spray with a dish soap water solution. You may need to do this several times.

I have been growing impatiens

By Dawn Romo

I have been growing impatiens for years.This year, one section of plants has been sending out long, twining tendrils from the stems. Now clusters of tiny white flowers are appearing where the base of the tendrils were. I have never had this happen before. Mutants? The plants are healthy otherwise.

hi. i bought an orange

By gardenloverbecky

hi. i bought an orange impatien about 1 month ago and i have planted it into a bedding area in the ground. there is a climber behind it but its not a small bedding area. for some reason a week after it started dying and all the flowers died. i thought it could be the heat and so kept it well watered but not too much. it then came back a bit and now is looking incredibly poor. hardly any leaves but does have new buds on it as if going to flower but is so droopy and sad looking.... could it be too much sun? it has sun from about 9am-2pm.

It's problem may not be of

By Almanac Staff

It's problem may not be of your doing. Impatiens downy mildew is ravaging these plants across the country, and one symptom is the apparent need for water. That, and yellow leaves and overall wilting. As far as we know, New Guinea and SunPatiens are the only type that are not susceptible to this disease. If this is the case, remove every scrap of it, and discard the remains but not in a compost pile. Do not also put new impatiens in its place, even the safe sort named above.
If your plant is not diseased, it may be that you overwatered it. Let it dry completely and see how it does. That is not too much sun. Water only when the ground is dry moving forward. We hope this helps.

I have an impatien that I

By birmsa

I have an impatien that I bought about a month ago at a local farmer's market. I currently have it sitting in my dorm room on the windowsill facing the east. It has continued to bloom quite nicely and I was wondering how long I can expect to see blooms? Also, once it stops blooming, is it something that can be maintained until next summer?

Impatiens should grow

By Almanac Staff

Impatiens should grow year-round indoors, though they may stop blooming in November when the light declines. Grow indoors in bright light using rich, well drained soil that is kept moist but not soggy. One reader suggests: Instead of soil, use a mixture of fir bark and peat moss for indoor success. Pinch the tips of the stems back about 3 to 4 inches to keep the plants from getting leggy.

I have an impatient that I

By roxanne curtis

I have an impatient that I bought in a hanging container, it was growing great,watered regularly d now it looks like frost has hit it. what you I do to bring it back

 Wilting can be a result of

By Almanac Staff

 Wilting can be a result of heat stress. They may perk up when the nights cool down. Otherwise, it's simply too hot for impatiens. Try to find a shady place.

My potted impatiens had been

By Dick Ernst

My potted impatiens had been blooming beautifully from early June to mid July, then stopped -- nary a flower showing on both plants. However, the leaves are lush green and devoid of critters that I can see. The only change has been a 90-degree heat wave lasting about 8 days, but the plants are in partial shade. Do they stop flowering after mid July?

If your impatiens are healthy

By Almanac Staff

If your impatiens are healthy and not experiencing downy mildrew, then it may be the very hot days and nights. When the nighttime temperatures do not dip into the 60's, impatiens often go dormant. After the heat, the flowers should revive. Impatiens should last until frost though they will die off in the summer if the heat does not subside; usually, this is in places like Florida but we've had some serious heat waves across the country recently.

My Impatiens, which are

By KKKKatie

My Impatiens, which are planted outdoors in containers, have leaves turning yellow, with decreased blooming. 2 are in shade. I can find no evidence of infestation. What could be causing this??

Unfortunately, this year,

By Almanac Staff

Unfortunately, this year, many impatiens across the country had a disease. Yellow leaves usually means verticillium wilt. Make sure you don't take cuttings from a diseased plant. You could share a sample with your local cooperative extension to confirm diagnosis.

I first saw signs of severe

By clara posin

I first saw signs of severe "drooping" followed by rotting within 10 days of transplanting which kept ocurring throughout the yard so about 1 month after transplanting, I applied Miracle Grow's "Quick Start" to all plants (attached pictures) Could this have caused them later on to burn? drop off all their leaves?

4. I replaced some of the dead plants sporadically. At this point, there are a few healthy flowers; it is very hard for me to determine

if there are any plants left from the original 50 flats. Would it be a good idea that after taking your recommendations (please keep in mind that it can only be applied now to the surface), I still replant all the dead areas? or is it too late in the season and I should just forget the garden this year?

5. There was a new person helping my gardener plant the 50 flats of 4" impatiens. One month later, when he was helping again to replace the dead plants, I noticed that he was tearing off the roots from the bottom of the plant before putting them in the soil. I inmediately told him not to do that, just to loosen the roots. Could this have caused some or all of the problems?

6 As far as the watering, I followed the same watering schedule as all previous years: once/day for about 10 minutes (normal weather in Southern California for this time of year is between 72-85 degrees) I have checked for signs of bug infestation (put slug/snail pellets) and I cannot see anything that would have caused such extensive damage. btw, ALL different areas of the yard did poorly

You may have Impatiens Downey

By Almanac Staff

You may have Impatiens Downey Mildew (IDM), a disease that is spreading across the country. Many greenhouses have cut back on selling impatiens for this reason and gardeners are buying other shade-loving annuals instead. New Guinea impatiens and the SunPatiens series are not susceptible to the disease. Check with your local garden center or Cooperative Extension office if they have any information for your region.

I planted Orange New Guinea

By Donna Reiling

I planted Orange New Guinea Impatients in April here in Texas and they were about 14" tall and doing great! One morning I came out and half the plant was lying flat on the soil -limp as it could be - dead - not to be revived. I was so upset! I dug around to see if I could find snails and I found this huge black/grey caterpillar with small yellow spots along his lower body. He was about the size of my little finger. He was wrapped around the stem of the impatient just under the soil. What is this bug Please?

We believe that you had a

By Almanac Staff

We believe that you had a type of hawk moth caterpillar on your impatiens. The best thing you can do is to check frequently and destroy them when you find them.

I recently planted impatiens

By EmilySchmimilie

I recently planted impatiens in my front yard, approximately 1.5 weeks ago. They are in a flower bed on the north side of the house 6-8' from the house itself. The lady at the nursery said they should have enough shade since they are on the north side. We also have a medium sized maple tree in the front yard. I have been monitoring the flowers closely and the blooms look sad and droopy. They are getting full sun exposure from around 10am - 6pm. I'm debating if they are still trying to take root or if they are simply overheating in the sun - or could it be a lack of water. I've been watering every-other day in the evenings. Do I need to pull up these flower and put them in a pot on the front porch or should I wait it out a while longer? I should note that I also have merigolds in the same flower bed and they seem to be doing fine - they were planted at the same time as the impatiens.

They are getting way too much

By Laura J

They are getting way too much sun and won't last. I plant impatiens every year and they like a "little" bit of sun (2-3 hours)over full shade, but they cannot handle full sun. They are shade plants. You should replant.

The impatiens should be OK on

By Almanac Staff

The impatiens should be OK on the north side of your house. Wait before transplanting. Water only when needed. Check the soil, if it is moist don't water.

I have impatiens on my front

By Ginny Kauffman

I have impatiens on my front porch in a pot. They don't grow nice & look very scraggly. There are always spider webs on them. Could the spiders be killing them? I have found small tan spiders on them. I just don't know what to do for them anymore!! Help!!!

You have spider mites on your

By Almanac Staff

You have spider mites on your impatiens plants. According to your cooperative extension, "This often happens when the plants are given a protection free of the rains that tend to wash the mites away. The pests are pencil-point size, piercing, sucking arachnids that cause the bleak look as they suck the juices from leaves and stems. Start control by using a strong stream of water to wash the mites away. Then apply an insecticidal soap spray. Follow the label instructions, and repeat applications every 5 to 7 days for a few weeks to prevent reinfestation. If the plants have been severely infected they may not recover."

Impatiens in Scotland

By Anonymous

I saw today (25th April 2013) Impatiens Plants in Tesco, looking very healthy and at a reasonable price! However, in my experience we are wasting our time here in Tayside in the East of Scotland any time before 1st June at the VERY earliest as we can get late frosts hre, right in the heart of Raspberry growing country, even into early June. Have Tesco no idea when to market plants in each part of the country? It seems to me that they market their plants in accordance with conditions in Kent or some such mild and warm place down in the South of England. Who is the fool? It's not me 'cos I certainly won't buy them at this stage of the Season and it is certainly not them either as there are more fools out there who will buy them and thus make more profits for Tesco at their own personal cost.
A totally disgusted Gardener in the Heartland of Scotland!

Are you having trouble

By Almanac Staff

Are you having trouble finding impatiens in garden centers this spring (2013)? Did the ones you planted last year struggle to grow or develop mildew? Read why here:

I wasn't impatiens

By Anonymous

Last spring, I was given a small plant-gift in a plain dark plastic pot -about 4 inches square. I kept it on a filing tray at my desk at work and kept it watered. It bloomed more than 5 pretty blossoms, then just seemed to give up. Over the months, each green leaf fell, until I ended up with a "Charlie Brown" impatiens. I had about 4 stems with 2 to 3 leaves each - right at the tip. A co-worker gave me a slightly bigger pot, and some soil with Miracle Gro in it. I waited over a month, then one day decided to replant using the extra soil. I didn't remove the soil around the roots, but simply added the new to the bottom and around the edges, then some extra on top. That was just before Thanksgiving! I no longer have an impatiens plant - I have an im"bush"iens. And we're just past Valentine's Day! It just dropped 3 more blossoms, and there's another bud growing. I'm not a Master Gardener, and can't even claim to be a regular gardener, but this impatiens is the best plant ever! I intend to keep it going, too!

Impatiens in Florida

By Anonymous

My inpatiens were all doing great. On one side of the yard they are beautiful. On the other, not too good. It looks as though they are being eaten away. Can I put a systemic on them, or will it harm them?

Earwigs and Japanese beetles

By Almanac Staff

Earwigs and Japanese beetles can cause damage to impatiens. Try an insecticidal soap spray. Reapply after a rain. Good luck!

I have had an impatiens plant

By Anonymous

I have had an impatiens plant in an indoor pot in my room for 10 years now. It has recently started to droop and die, I noticed that the base of the stems seem to thin out and turn yellow. I have also noticed insects that look like fruit flies in the soil. I have tried insect killer and it hasn't worked. Please give me advice! I love this plant haha

impatiens plant

By Anonymous


patience with impatiens

By Almanac Staff

Ten years?! That's remarkable. It's really difficult to know what you might be dealing with, but of course it doesn't sound good. Here are a few things you can try:
• Reduce the humidity and maintain good air circulation.
• Repot the plant in pasteurized pathogen-free media.
• Do not take cuttings of the plant for propagation.
Alternatively, you could take the plant to a local nursery for an opinion. Seeing the problem may help to solve it more quickly.
Good luck!


By Anonymous

Impatiens grow readily from seeds. By planting seeds you get much more bang for your buck and have a wider variety of plants.

I have some impatiens seeds

By tcsgarden2013

I have some impatiens seeds in a packet and the instructions say to start seeds indoors before last I safe to plant the seeds outdoors or do I need to start indoors? Thanks Tami

You can grow outdoors or

By Catherine Boeckmann

You can grow outdoors or indoors while it's frost-tree and they have shade. A soil temperature (not room temperature) of 75° F is perfect. if you are looking for the quickest results it is best to start them indoors with a heated germination mat.

I have never been able to

By Anonymous

I have never been able to keep any plant alive. But my daughter gave me impatients for mothers day and I have some how kept it alive in a pot in my house over the summer. But now that it is cold outside and the heat is on it has stopped blooming and is losing all its leaves. What can I do to get it to come back to life? Would cutting back the stems help it? I have a always had a black thumb, and have been so happy to keep it alive for so long. Can anyone help me? I would appreciate it so much! Thanx

impatiens troubles

By Almanac Staff

Make sure that your plant is getting bright, indirect light, from a southern window or grow lights. Make sure that the soil is consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Do not fertilize over winter. Keep the plant in temperatures around 70 to 75 degrees F; do not let night temperatures dip lower than 55 F. Also check for diseases or pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, or whiteflies, which can suck plant sap and may eventually cause leaves to fall. If all else fails, take a cutting, root it in water, and plant it in a pot when the roots are established. Hope this helps!


By Anonymous

I received two beautiful pots of pink impatiens for Mother's Day and am amazed that they still continue to put out blooms and the leaves are great. They do wilt from wind or lack of water, but boy do they ever spring back with some attention. I've never had impatiens before. Didn't know they bloomed this long. I also didn't know they were annuals. I just finished putting them in the ground. Thought I'd get a head start on the frost. I guess I've got to dig them back out again now.

Impatiens are very sensitive

By Almanac Staff

Impatiens are very sensitive to cold weather so you need to bring the plants indoors before you have that first frost. Put them in a sunny location. You can also take cuttings from your plants and root them in water on a windowsill.


By Anonymous

I too am losing my impatiens. Usually September is when my gardens shine, the extreme heat effects are gone and everyone is gorgeous, but my Impatiens are losing leaves like crazy and I'm wondering if I pinch back the naked stems will anything return? The plants are in containers and in the ground! What is going on?

Impatiens like warm weather.

By Almanac Staff

Impatiens like warm weather. They start loosing leaves when it gets colder. You can pinch back the stems and maybe you'll have some new growth before it gets even colder.

impatiens and downy mildew

By Anonymous

Downy mildew a huge problem again this year. The UK USA and various Canadian cities impacted by this fungal disease. One day you have lush full looking beds of impatiens the next day you see them collapsing to the ground resembling a dead spider. When they get to this stage remove infected plants asap. Place them in garbage bags and put them out for garbage pickup. Do not put into compost pile due to fungal spores.These same spores can survive and overwinter in floral beds. Do not plant impatiens in same beds the following year as they are suceptible to this fungal disease. Rotate your crop ... try coleus or new guinea impatiens which are hardy against downy mildew. I hope this helps. From an avid gardener in Toronto Canada.

saddened by my dead impatiens

By Anonymous

I thought I was the only one saddened by the sudden death of impatiens. I plant impatiens every year and this year my rainbow of color turned to has been an ungodly hot summer here in Michigan, so I increased my daily watering via sprinkler hoses on timers...perhaps that was a mistake...


By Anonymous

Shall I keep for next season? Will the plants come back?

You can overwinter impatiens

By Almanac Staff

You can overwinter impatiens inside in a place with lots of light and warmth; they are damaged by the lightest frost. If they start to shed leaves, cut them back so that they can resprout foliage.
Otherwise, impatients are an annual. So if you can't keep them going, you'll need to get more plants for next year.

impatiens in the winter

By Anonymous

If your impatiens get to long and "leggy", you can also take cuttings and root them in water to start new plants. For plants I grow outside, I will cut back before the first frost and leave the cuttings in water in a sunny window til spring and then plant them outside.

leggie impatients

By Anonymous

last year we planted other flowering plants in our plot area- around the impatient whites- these were the euphoria and pointsettia- the impatient has since fought its way above and beyond the growth of these other plants, and is still blooming- but it has become very leggy, we wish to trim it back and clear around it so it may continue as it was before. its base root stock is over 3" in diamiter and branching everywhere! thank you for your tip- we love our impatiece!

water every day in hot weather?

By Anonymous

You may need to water 4 or 5 times a day in hot weather even if the plants are in 85-90% shade.


By Anonymous

The same thing happened to me....I have planted for years and this year they were blooming and beautiful then poof no flowers ot leaves just stems.....will they start budding again or is time to just give up?

stop fertalizing. they will

By Anonymous

stop fertalizing. they will recover


By Anonymous

check out downy mildew on the web it happened to mine too.I was told to pull them all out and wait 3 years before planting them again. That is a very long time.

all my impatients are dieing

By Anonymous

I have planted impatiens for many years. But this year they have all died; just dropped dead, what is the problem?

It happen to all of us too I

By Anonymous

It happen to all of us too I heard that there is a virus into the ground this year very sad

It's hard to say without a

By Almanac Staff

It's hard to say without a sample. If they are cut at the stem, it sounds like cutworms. We'd suggest you bring a plant sample to your cooperative extension or garden center. If it's cutworm, you can add an insecticide, such as Sevin, into the soil when you next plant. You mentioned planting impatiens for many years; it would be good to rotate your plant species next year. If you plant in a flower box, be sure to use fresh, pasteurized soil.


By Anonymous

Thanks but I always buy new soil and re plenish the soil in the ground. It"s not cut worm because the plant is still there Just no leaves or flowers. It is every plant in all different parts of my yard. I bought my plants in all different stores. other friends


By Anonymous

Rabbits. They ate almost all my impatiens this year. I spray this awful smelling stuff and it worked to give the plants time to take hold but now the rabbitts are back!

Try mixing hot sauce with

By Anonymous

Try mixing hot sauce with water and a little dish soap, this keeps just about everything off your plants. Just remember to reapply after rain.

Get a shotgun. Boom. Bye- Bye

By Anonymous

Get a shotgun. Boom. Bye- Bye rabbits.

fond out

By Anonymous

I called a local nursery and he said they have downey mildew, said it came from big box stores, and it hit the northeast this year. It will take about 3 years before you can plant them again

Impatiens and Big Box Stores

By Anonymous

I am tired of hearing big box stores being blamed for problems with plants. My impatiens came from a local nursery and are just dropping dead - they show no signs of downey mildew. I bought tomato plants a couple of years ago, they came from a local nursery - they got the late blight which wiped out tons of tomatoes in our area. Big box stores were blamed for that. Many nurseries get their stock from the same growers that big box stores do. p.s....I do not have any affiliation with a big box store, but I am a master gardener.

impatiens and spores

By Anonymous

sorry friend to hear your troubles and "big box" issues. I think you should read about downy mildew and blight to understand where it comes from and how it's spread. I too, own and operate a greenhouse. I GROW my plants and DO NOT ever wholesale any other plants in! Many people are misinformed that all "local" nurseries grow there product. NOT TRUE!!! Therefore, KNOW THY GROWER! ASK questions! Much good luck with your next beloved gardening experiences. By the way, your "local nursery" should have, and could have, been able to help your plight, and really give you accurate information. If not, SHOP ELSEWHERE!
Best wishes!

Sorry to hear. Thanks for

By Almanac Staff

Sorry to hear. Thanks for sharing with us and other readers.


By Anonymous

I JUST purchased impatient plants for my flower boxes. I got a good end of season buy, but the plants are VERY spraggly. Can I cut them back to create new growth without harming them? Thank you.

L J Swaim

Impatients are a cool-season

By Almanac Staff

Impatients are a cool-season annual. By mid-summer, they are worse for wear and may not survive the heat. The best you can do is cut back the plant for new growth by pinching back the stems to within 3 inches of the plant's base. Also, give them a soluble fertilizer when you water every 6 to 8 weeks. Plant them in a shady spot and in the right soil: well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0 or 6.5--add lime to raise the level if needed. Water every day in hot weather--at the soil line not overhead.

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