Impatiens are a gardener’s favorite each year, and thrive in shady spots where little else may grow. Here’s why gardeners love these showy, colorful blooms:
- They tend to not attract too many pests or parasites.
- They’re profuse bloomers, looking great from spring to fall each year.
- They’re easy to grow, as they absorb moisture and love shady spots.
Learn more about this beautiful annual that cheers up porches, patios, and flower beds each year in Southwest Ohio.
A Brief History of Impatiens
Perhaps not surprisingly, the name “impatiens” is derived from the Latin word for “Impatient”. Why? Because the seed capsules explode to spread the seeds abroad. The seeds burst out and can go as far as 25 inches away from the plant.
Most Impatiens flowers originated from Eastern Africa. In 1865, German horticulturalist Claude Hope gathered the first samples of Impatiens in Zanzibar, and he is now known as the “father of the impatiens.”
How to Care for Impatiens in your Zone 6 (Ohio) Garden
Impatiens may have come from the other side of the world, but how can you be sure you give impatiens the best start in your Southwest Ohio Garden?
1. Provide enough water.
Shortage of moisture will cause the plants to lose their flowers and leaves. Keep in mind: if you plant in pots, they will require much more water (almost daily). Make sure you give them nice long drinks, too. Don’t skimp!
2. Avoid strong winds.
Also, you must avoid exposing the plant to much wind. This is because the seeds of the Impatiens explode at the slightest touch stimulus. Exposure to wind will force unnecessary broadcast of seeds.
3. Plant impatiens in the right soil.
It is essential to plant the Impatiens flowers in humus or loamy soil. This helps the plants to gather much moisture and nutrients, and aids growth.
4. Impatiens do not tolerate hot, dry conditions.
Due to the affinity for moisture, it will be wrong to expose the Impatiens to hot, dry conditions for a long period. The plants will struggle above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches this level, the plants will require up to four (4) inches of water weekly.
5. When transplanting, don’t forget the compost!
Some gardeners prefer to transplant their Impatiens plants. Transplanting these plants goes better with a little bit of compost. This helps boost the growth when transplanted.
When should you plant Impatiens in Southwest Ohio?
The best time of the year to plant your transplants is immediately after the final spring frost (May 15th for Zone 6 in Ohio).
How Often Should You Fertilize Impatiens?
Fertilizeimpatiens every six to eight weeks. Fertilize potted plants as often as biweekly.
The best way to fertilize the plants is to mix liquid fertilizers with the soil. Loamy soils tend to absorb liquid fertilizers faster.
Trim and Groom Impatiens to bloom faster.
Remove dead parts of the plant, deadheading any “Crispy” or browned flowers. This will allow the plant to re-bloom and maintain its beauty all season long.
Ways to Decorate with Impatiens
Impatiens often go well with other vine flowers. You can add flowers like the hardy ivy, vinca, or asparagus fern to provide variety and more beauty. When adding other species of flowers, you should consider the level of moisture needed and exposure to light.
You can also plant Impatiens flowers in hanging baskets outside your fence or windows. The flowers also serve as good bedding in a landscape setting. You can also plant the Impatiens flowers in containers like window boxes or flower vases.
Beautiful, Healthy Impatiens near Dayton, Ohio
The Annual Sun & Shade Sale at Stockslager’s Greenhouse and Garden Center runs from May 13th through Sunday, May 16th. Be sure to buy some petunias for the sun, and impatiens for the shade, Buy 1 pack get 1 free, while supplies last.