Impatiens is a huge genus of 850 species of annuals, evergreen perennials, and subshrubs from damp habitats in tropical and warm-temperate regions nearly worldwide. Stems are brittle and succulent, and leaves are fleshy. The main show is the abundant flowers that often bloom from spring to frost. I. walleriana is one of the most popular bedding plants in the U.S. Numerous cultivars are available.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsFleshy leaves. 5-petaled flowers over a long period in summer. Explosive seed capsules.
CareThe stems are brittle, so choose a site that is sheltered from wind in partial shade. Impatiens need humusy, moist but well-drained soil. Indoors, provide full to bright filtered light and plenty of humidity.
PropagationSow hardy species in late spring where they are to grow. Sow tender species indoors at 61-64°F in early spring. Some may be propagated from cuttings.
ProblemsIndoors, watch for spider mites, flower thrips, root knot nematode, whiteflies, and aphids. Outdoors, caterpillars may attack plants. Gray mold, impatiens necrotic spot virus, fungal leaf spots, Rhizoctonia stem rot, Pseudomonas leaf spot, and Verticillium wilt also occur.