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Neglected tiny Impatiens comes back year after year

Posted by chihuahua6 8b coastal SC (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 24, 09 at 10:42

1 1/2 years ago I planted one 4" pot of bright fuscia pink Impatiens that my three year old daughter wanted me to buy. I stuck it in the ground against the house next to the front stoop.

I was taking a break from gardening at the time due to health reasons so I did not amend the soil, fertilize or anything.

We have clay soil. Fill dirt (no topsoil) was used to raise the elevation of the yard when we had the house built. Our elevation is under 20'.

So I plopped this tiny pot into fill dirt with no added organic matter and left it.

Wouldn't you know it spread to a mound of about 15". What surprised me the most is when it came back the next spring and spread to about 20". This winter was mild until mid January. At that time it was still alive and green. We had a cold spell and it died back. I then covered the area where it was with pine straw, which is what we use as landscape mulch in the front yard.

Yesterday I pulled back the pine straw and I found some live fleshy nubs in the ground. I look forward to seeing them grow again but now that I'm back to gardening I think I'll help it along a little.

How common is it to have them come back year after year?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Neglected tiny Impatiens comes back year after year

It really isn't that common but it seems that folks back East have an easier time having them come back than I do here on the west coast. I have seen some over winter here but they get pretty weak and die by the next winter. I think it has something to do with being cold and dry for them to come back for you.

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