Impatiens - Balsam, Busy Lizzie, Impatiens, Jewelweed, Patience Plant, Patient Lucy, Sultana, Touch-Me-Not, Zanzibar Balsam
DESCRIPTION: These are hardy and tender annual and perennial herbs from Asia, North America, and South Africa. The name of these plants refers to the elasticity of the valves of the seedpods, which discharge the seeds when ripe. They are sometimes known as Touch-me-nots. These plants have thick stems and light green leaves. Their flowers come in a wide range of colors including rose, rose-red, rose-purple, white, pink, and salmon. A minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees is required. A beautiful tender kind to grow is I. Oliveri. This plant is the largest flowered of the Balsams. It will flower when 18 to 20 inches high in 6-inch pots. When they're moved into larger pots and fed with weak liquid fertilizer, this plant will grow 6 to 8 feet high. The pale lilac flowers are 2½ inches across. This plant flourishes in a cool greenhouse and may be placed outdoors in the summer. I. Balsamina, the common annual Balsam, is suitable for growing in pots in a cool greenhouse and for planting outside during the summer. Two strains of annual double-flowered Balsam are known as the Rose-flowered and Camellia-flowered, so named because of the shape of the flowers. The colors may be scarlet, red and salmon-pink, rose, cerise, mauve, purple, violet and white. Hardy Impatiens, such as Impatiens biflora (Jewelweed), are found wild over a wide range in eastern North America. It grows 3-4 feet high and has ovate, toothed leaves. Its yellow flowers are spotted with red. Self-sown seedlings may become a nuisance if they aren't controlled. An annual that is useful for naturalizing and that spreads by self-sown seeds is the Himalayan Impatiens Roylei. This plant grows 4 to 8 ft. high and produces white to purple flowers.
POTTING: When growing tender kinds, the best soil mixture to use consists of two parts fibrous loam, one part leaf mold or peat moss, with plenty of coarse sand added. Repotting, if necessary, can be accomplished from February through October. Pots that are 5-6 inches in diameter are large enough for most decorative purposes, but plants may be grown on when large ones are desired and will then need larger pots. When potting the annual Balsams, it's important to encourage free and fast growth by providing a rich, light soil containing leaf mold, decayed manure, or compost.
PROPAGATION: Tender kinds of Impatiens suitable for growing as houseplants or outside in the summer may be increased by seeds sown in a pot of sandy soil in March or by cuttings taken any time of the year and inserted in sand or vermiculite in a warm propagating bed. Seeds of annual Impatiens can be planting in a greenhouse in 55-degree temperatures in March or April, or they can be planted straight outdoors after the weather is warm and settled. They can be transplanted to 5- or 6-inch pots or three plants to a 7- or 8-inch pot. The best flowers can be produced if the side shoots are pinched out. Hardy Impatiens spread by self-sown seeds.
I. Sultanii (Zanzibar Balsam, Patience Plant, or Sultana);
I. Oliveri (largest-flowered);
I. Balsamina (the common annual Balsam);
I. Bilflora (Jewelweed); I. pallida; I. Roylei.
Summer Romance Mix Impatiens
Rosette Mix Impatiens
Mosaic Series Impatiens
Victorian Rose Impatiens
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
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