Good alternative/something similar to impatiens?

beths96April 21, 2012

Hi everyone!

For 10 years, we had a giant (dying) tree in front of our house. We had it removed last summer, in August. For those ten years, I had regular impatiens in the beds around my house. They did so well in the shade. I had so many complements on how beautiful they would turn out every year!

In August when the tree was removed, the impatiens obviously died quickly because of the new amount of sun and heat. Now, I'm really confused because I don't know what annual to plant in mid-May that would be similar and is open for full-sun exposure.

I used to alternate the colors between a solid color and a white. Pink, white, pink, white, etc. I would like to continue the same pattern with a similar-growing plant (one with big blooms!)

My mom suggested begonias. I also remember one sun-loving annual last year at the nursery that had a similar large bloom. I cannot remember the name!

Any suggestions? I always plant petunias, both wave/proven winners cascading, and regular petunias, but I don't want them in the flower beds on the ground. (Did this once, and they were gorgeous, but grew into the lawn, and hubby had a hard time cutting grass).

Thank you! I look forward to planting my annuals every year, so this is a big decision and quite a change from shade to sun!


ps - I'm in Southeastern Ohio.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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I think the plant I saw might be called Vinca?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:06AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

In a sunny area, vinca should do well, and the blooms do resemble impatiens (sometimes they're referred to as "sun impatiens"). The foliage is different but quite nice - deeper green and healthy-looking, and stays nice all season. Very low maintenance plant - no deadheading, no cut-back/trimming required . :0)

Begonias tolerate sun and are also quite nice but the effect is different than vincas - they are shorter, different growth habit. They will give you that "bedding" look, if that is what you're going for.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Also thinking catharanthus (flowering vinca) if you want an effect much like impatiens in shade. They don't have huge blooms but they have many of them, just like impatiens.

You might also consider the profusion type of zinnia, who grow along like a wiry, blooming groundcover. You can get them in shades of pink and white and they're also pretty trouble free. The up part is they spread out and fill in the area generously. There are other options too. Flowering purslane, and the mounding miniature petunias. I grew one last spring.....product of new would not go hog-wild like a wave, but is a smaller, very much tidier version of it. I was impressed and I don't impress easily. LOL. I can't bring the line up, but I'll think of it and share.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:45AM
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My first thought was Vinca, because they have great evergreen foliage. Portulaca (moss rose) might be another thought. Portulaca has a wider color range than Vinca, and the Portulaca foliage is also pretty good, almost like succulents.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:04PM
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check with your garden places,I was in my garden center yesterday and she showed me the new impatience you can plant in the sun

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:43PM
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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

At least around here in Zone 5/6, impatiens thrive in the sun, both the Busy Lizzies as well as the New Guinea Impatiens. I have seen them in all kinds of office park landscaping with minimal shade, and at a local DPW office, the NG Impatiens were in full blazing sun and they were all 2' tall by August. I think yours died last year because they were used to being in the shade from the beginning. I would go ahead and plant your impatiens in May again, and they will most likely do fine. I've always got a couple of flowerboxes full here, and they are in full sun from about 12:30pm until dusk, and they do great!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:40PM
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I'm in southeastern Ohio too, and impatiens would fry in a typical summer with full sun exposure. I've seen a few beds of them in such exposure make it, but they were very short and the owner probably lived with a hose in her hands. Depends on how badly you want them and how much effort you are willing to expend on them. New Guineas are a little better, but still require a lot of water and attention.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:28PM
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what about planting yellow Marigold and red Salvia.That what i did and it is very stunning. They are both drought tolerant.
Now i was looking for a substitut for the Salvia. i was thinking of pink,mauve or purple. Thought of Celosia, but i do not know if this will work with the height of the celosia.
I had Marigold Antigua.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Speaking of Salvia. I did not realize how many colors are available, but most will have to be planted by seed. Some are tall, others small. I'm going to give that a try next spring or winter sow.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:45AM
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