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Worried about my new impatiens

Posted by PLD365 Western Washington (My Page) on
Sat, May 17, 14 at 17:34

I bought some "Dazzler" series impatiens that were extremely healthy-looking and compact, with hardly any flowers, but a fair amount of buds. Since the ground where I wanted to plant them (and which gets just a teeny tiny bit of sun for maybe an hour or two mid-day) is fairly wet and mucky, I figured I'd better amend it heavily. So I used some Miracle Gro "Potting Mix with MicroMax" (recommended to me at a nursery), along with some composted steer manure, to break up the ground. Then, I went back and got some more compost because I figured the bed might be too "rich" and not loamy enough with just the manure and MG.

Anyway, the plants still look real healthy, but I have very few blooms. Also, I've been checking the soil daily (inserting a "moisture meter" probe device), and it consistently reads "wet" -- at the high end of the scale.

I'm wondering if the soil is too wet and/or rich -- I believe the MG is weighted heavily towards nitrogen) for best results with blooms.

I have toyed with the idea of gently lifting the plants out of their new homes and backfilling with more compost. Or should I just be patient and let the plants get more settled in? Would it help to add just some phosphorous now?

Thanks for the feedback!

A Concerned "New Father" (of his baby impatiens)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Worried about my new impatiens

Just be more patient. I have found that many times, when you transplant, even if the plant doesn't show signs of wilt or shock from the transplant, it definitely knows something is up and will take a while to get back into growing (noticeably). This includes making buds or blooming.

For some of the plants I've transplanted, it can even take upwards of 1 month before noticeable new growth starts again, even though it had been doing just fine in the starter pot (and probably would have kept growing just fine if I had not moved it)

As long as your plant looks healthy otherwise, and is not showing other signs of distress, then your amendments were probably within a tolerable range.

I'm surprised that the nursery person recommended "potting mix" though. For your case, I would have gone with "garden soil" or "garden mix". It's not to say you can't mix and match, since I'm sure there are people who do that.

But for future reference, potting mixes tend to be better used for pots or containers, and garden soils tend to be better used when mixing in with your native soil or garden soil.

At the same time of saying all that, if you ever need to mix and match, it's more OK to use potting soil and mix it with your garden than it is to use "only" garden soil as a container growing medium.

The manure from the store would be considered as a kind of compost already, though I think for most brands and products, manure compost is generally the lower tier compost, so mixing in another kind of compost was OK.

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