6 Tips for Planting Impatiens
#1. Play it safe!
A new favorite among gardeners is Beacon Impatiens because of its high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew (IDM). Basically this disease causes all the flowers and foliage to fall off the stems, and the plants ‘melt’ away until there is literally nothing left. And it spreads quickly. Before Beacon, many gardeners stopped using impatiens in their beds. Now, gardeners using Beacon don’t have to worry about IDM because of its high resistance to the disease! Phew – growing in the shade just got easier!
#2. The great debate – planters or garden beds?
You decide! Impatiens thrive in both settings. Determine what works best for you and your gardening space. Planters allow your plant to be more mobile and don’t require a lot of room, which is awesome for shared living arrangements like condos or apartments or a covered porch or deck.. While beds require a bit more space (and a few more plants) in your yard, you can brighten up any shaded area to create an amazing display of vibrant color!
#3. A LITTLE sun goes a long way.
Impatiens are great for those shady areas in your yard, but they do need just a little bit of sun to flourish! Be careful though – too much sun could cause for wilting or less blooms to grow! Make sure to find a spot that will get 2-4 hours of sun a day (no more) to get the most out of your impatiens.
#4. Spacing is everything.
The closer you plant impatiens together, the taller they will grow. If the stemmy look isn’t for you, then space accordingly – 8-12 inches apart in a flower bed is best. The plants grow together nicely. For containers, less is more! That tiny 4-inch pot you picked up at the store might not look like much now, but give it time to develop that wow factor. Allow about 3 plants in a 10-12” container.
#5. Water, water, water.
All plants – especially impatiens – are like humans… we need water to survive! Water regularly and keep soil moist, but not too wet. Pro tip: Plants drink from their roots! Water at the base of the plant and not directly on the flower petals to keep the tops looking pretty while ensuring the plant gets proper hydration. Just remember, if you’re thirsty in the hot weather, your impatiens probably are too, so make sure you both drink up this summer!
#6. Plant AFTER the last frost date in your area!
To make sure your plants get off to the right start, you’ll need to look up when the average last frost date is for your gardening zone. (If you don’t know your region’s gardening zone, a quick google search can tell you this!) State Extension websites are also great resources for these types of inquiries. Once that last frost date passes, you have the green light to do what we all wait so eagerly to do – start planting!!