Impatiens

sunshine_27February 16, 2010

I was not aware of this until a couple of years ago and thought I would share it. I've always thought impatiens were just an annual bedding plant, but I learned on internet that they live indefinitely as a houseplant, and wherever you pin a stem down to make contact with the

soil it will root to make a new plant, or you can take cuttings. Once started, they will bloom constantly indoors yearround.

So I sowed some impatient seeds about a year ago. They didn't germinate especially well, and the seedlings were hard to keep alive when young. I ended up with only about 4 or 5 seedlings that survived, but from those few seedlings I now have 3 big bowls which have flowered non-stop indoors and are very easy care now. Last summer kept them outdoors in pots in the shade and sheltered from wind (wind does tend to shatter the flowers a bit). At the end of last summer I brought them indoors, and they've grown more strongly and flowered more profusely for me indoors than outdoors.

So anyone who sows impatiens in an outdoor garden or flowerbox, might try potting them up as a houseplant at the end of the season. Or sow a pot from seed for non-stop indoor flowers to brighten up your home in winter.

Dorothy

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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

Thanks for the reminder on the impatiens as houseplant.
I did bring them in one year and they were a cheerful houseplant.
Caroline

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 7:59AM
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digit(ID/WA)

This is good to know, Dorothy.

Despite impatiens being a very popular outdoor plant elsewhere in the US, I think it is commonly overlooked in arid climates. I remember putting them out in planters one year in what should have been a good location, morning sun but shade from noon on. The blooms would shrivel, it seemed, within hours of opening during a very hot, dry summer.

(Also, it is fun seeing this post beside our very understandable, impatient laments that spring can't come soon enough! ;o)

Steve

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:40AM
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jclepine(8b)

Great reminder, Dorothy! I used to be obsessed with impatiens when I was a kid. I could hardly wait for the seed pods to be ready to pop and then I'd pop them over spots I wanted new plants to grow. Oh, I hated it when they would pop before I could get to them. Honestly, once I left California, I kind of forgot about them, entirely. I may be running out of room for indoor plants but I think I'll try some inside just the same.

J.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 11:55PM
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sunshine_27

As Steve mentioned, impatiens are certainly not what naturally springs to mind as a bedding plant for this dry windy climate, and high altitude sun - and I did accidentally misspell it as 'impatient' in my original post! But any plant that can be used outdoors or indoors, and will even bloom continously indoors is worth giving a try as far as I'm concerned. Besides that, experimenting is such a fun part of gardening. I'm one of those who's willing to give most things a try even in the face of probable failure. And sometimes keep trying despite that! The first few months I moved to Colorado I couldn't get anything to grow. I couldn't get seeds of any kind to germinate even in the house, and even the houseplants I'd grown for years back in Illinois died when I moved them here. Turns out all I needed was a change of potting soil from what I'd been using in Illinois. Once I made that simple change, everything grew just fine.

Dorothy

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 12:34PM
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