Volunteer Impatiens in zone 4

fieldofflowers(3 or 4a)August 6, 2014

How low a zone can impatiens reseed?

This year I have discovered impatiens (walleriana variety) re-seeding themselves in my Minnesota garden. I have seen at least about 3 plants so far.

This was even after the harsh winter of 2014. Granted they are somewhat sheltered being in a downtown area and against a huge building. They may or may not have experienced the -30F, but they were definitely frozen.
I am quite surprised. Last year I had quite a show with i. walleriana, but decided not to plant them this year because of the downy mildew.
But some time in early July I started seeing volunteers. I let them grow and sure enough the flowers look like the ones I had last year.

I thought these were more tropical plants (or at least requiring temps well above freezing), so seeing anything, even seeds surviving is quite a surprise to me. Anyone else have experience with volunteers?

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fieldofflowers(3 or 4a)

Anyone? Or is this a first time case? Or is it an effect of the supposed urban heat island? I read that St.Paul/ Minneapolis tend to be a little warmer than the rest of MN, but last winter it wasn't that much warmer. Perhaps the wood chip mulch and concrete structures insulated the seeds a little?

I was hoping maybe other people have had a similar experience. I googled the topic and found people reporting impatiens reseeding in zones 7 and up, but not so much for zones 6 and under.

I'm guessing by the lack of replies or other topics found here that this must have been a freak case? Maybe I need to purposefully find impatiens seeds and throw them on the ground in autumn to see if it happens again.

Also an annual: Petunias - I saw a fair amount of them survive the 2014 winter and sprout up in various places including cracks in sidewalks and in parts of the back patio garden.
And judging by the color of the flowers and patterns of the I. Wallerina, I can say for sure they had to have come from my garden last year vs. any other display currently planted elsewhere in the city.

This post was edited by fieldofflowers on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 2:16

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 3:01PM
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