Giant Impatiens

Giant Impatiens

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Impatiens mirabilis (Giant Impatiens)

Impatiens mirabilis (Giant Impatiens) is one of the several caudiciform Impatiens. It is a semi-succulent plant, up to 10 feet (3 m) tall, with a swollen…

Reader Comments

Varigated leaf impatiens ( also known as Sultana in the 1800)

Submitted by Helen L. Crisma. on March 22, 2021 - 8:57pm

My family has had a variegated leaf impatiens since 1960 and have dtaken many cuttings to continue propagation. My mom dies in 2012 and I have had her last plant which I am sad to say is dying. I have take cuttings and placed in water, but they do not seem to look well. The unusual thing this time was that at the end of one of the stalks it became mushy. Last year one of the plants stalks at the base became mushy and try as we might, we never got an offshoot to root. . I am trying to root some cuttings, but they look very droopy. I had been watering the plant and giving it all in one Rose and Flower Care by BioAdvanced weekly ( diluted) as this was advised by a gardener. It has been doing well up until this past week. i am heartbroken as I have never seen another varigated leaf impatints. My mother called it Lady of the White House. So for 50+ years we have kept this plant going. Is there any suggestion That would help this plant to live and root? Thank you.


Submitted by Janet Mongillo on August 12, 2020 - 2:19pm

My impatiens in a pot has lots of buds, but they dont open. The ones that do open just hang limp. What's wrong? Thanks.

Lighting and Watering

Submitted by The Editors on August 25, 2020 - 1:21pm

Try moving it to a slightly brighter spot or adjusting your watering. Lack of light can produce subpar blooms, as can over- or underwatering. Look for other signs that the plant could be struggling, such as drooping, yellowing leaves or brown leaf tips.

Bugs on Impatiens

Submitted by Nishita Deshmukh on June 26, 2020 - 6:29pm

There are green caterpillars feeding on my impatiens leaves. I am not sure how to get rid of them. Could you please help ?
I tried spraying water + dish soap on the leaves but does not seem to be helping.

How far apart should I plant my sunpatiens in window boxes?

Submitted by Hindy Abelson on May 13, 2019 - 1:15pm

I have an east facing sunny balcony on a 12th floor high-rise. How far apart should I plant my sunpatiens in my hanging window boxes?

Sunpatiens spacing

Submitted by The Editors on May 14, 2019 - 10:06am

SunPatiens grow 24 to 36 inches (61 to 92 centimeters) tall and wide. So, plant or hang at least 40 inches apart to give the plants circulation.

My flowers look bleached

Submitted by Carol Orvis on March 8, 2019 - 12:11pm

I have Sun Impatience and they look like the have been bleached in areas. I picked all of them off and yellowing leaves. They still grew back with the bleach flowers. I would love to know what to do. Thank you!

Sun Impatiens

Submitted by The Editors on March 8, 2019 - 4:37pm

Although Sun impatiens (“SunPatiens”) are better suited for areas with more sun, they are not immune to sun damage. It’s possible that yours are in too sunny of a spot, so transplanting to an area that gets part sun might help them out. Alternatively, yellow or whitish leaves can be cause by over- or underwatering. Are yours in a particularly wet or dry spot? This could also be the cause of your off-color leaves and blooms.

Impatient Hanging Bags

Submitted by Terese Laskey on August 17, 2018 - 1:28pm

During this summer my mother bought a hanging impatient bag which looked beautiful half way through the summer. About 2 weeks ago the dark green leaves began to wilt around the edges with only a little brown on the leaves down in the bag. Some stems have only a few leaves as though a bug might have eaten them. I did see a couple ants inside the bag. The plant is watered adequately and hangs on the porch away from the sun. I was thinking there is a household solution that can be sprayed on it besides removing most of leaves which would be quite a few. Is there a specific bug that attack these plants?

Impatiens wilting and losing their leaves

Submitted by Connie on August 22, 2018 - 2:32pm

Hi, I loved my impatiens hanging outside on my back door. The soil is moist by not wet. It has lost it's leaves and flowers. No bugs insight either. ?

Impatiens wilting

Submitted by Catherine Boeckmann on August 23, 2018 - 9:15am

Usually, this is related to a pot that doesn’t drain well which leads too root rot but it sounds like you don’t have that problem. Plants also wilt because they’re stressed by heat. Are your impatiens getting too much sun?


Submitted by Patti Fink on July 27, 2018 - 10:34am

I bought a "dying" plant for 1/2 price. Put it in a pot of water and fertilizer, and sat it in a sunny cool window. This morning it is completely alive and has blooms! If you think a plant is dead or dying, Google it before you toss it.

My hanging impatien was overwintered in a patio closet

Submitted by susan difronzo on March 19, 2019 - 6:06pm

my hanging impatien ( believe it is s. american) was overwintered in a patio closet. i wonder if it will come back.

Impatiens flower not growing

Submitted by Shivesh Tamrakar on February 4, 2018 - 2:07pm

I have bought impatiens on 1st January n it is blossoming great but now suddenly what happened i didn't understand from last three days it is dieing i couldn't find the reason n tell me how it will again start blossoming

I got an inpatient plant for

Submitted by Cindy on November 8, 2017 - 2:30pm

I got an inpatient plant for mother's day, it has been blooming all summer. Now that it is get cold (I live in Mich) I brought it in the house. It has grown 3 inch. and looks like a bunch of stark. Can I trim them down without hurting it.

Hi. Last year about mid

Submitted by Kim Elbat on August 22, 2017 - 6:52am

Hi. Last year about mid summer, a friend of mine gave me an Impatient flower in a pot. It was bloosoming and I could see it growing well. But I noticed recently it's not growing at all. I couldn't see any plant in it. I am not exactly sure when it started dying I don't know what's the problem with it. Can I still resurrect it? Please help. Thank you.

Impatiens Not Coming Back

Submitted by The Editors on August 23, 2017 - 10:11am

In most of the US , impatiens can only be grown outdoors as annuals, meaning they won’t come back after one season. The impatiens that your friend gave you was probably an annual variety. There is a perennial species, Impatiens walleriana, which may survive outdoors in Hardiness Zones 10 and 11.

Impatiens has no flowers

Submitted by Joan Pitlyk on July 26, 2018 - 6:14am

After blooming one time, my plant has no pink flowers. What can I do? Is it dead?

My impatiens plant is no

Submitted by Margaret Von Behren on July 15, 2019 - 10:11am

My impatiens plant is no longer blooming yet the leaves are nice and green. Why does it have no buds or flowers? What can I do?

Dwarfing leaves at the tips of new growth of my Impatiens?

Submitted by Mary on August 18, 2017 - 1:54pm

Over the years I have always grown in patients with great success! However periodically I will have a few plants that tend to start shooting out dwarf leaves and less bloom at the tips of each stalk?
Does anyone know what causes this and what you can do to fix it? Thank you!

Impatiens and other flower-seeds

Submitted by Bruce S. Conklin on July 28, 2017 - 3:33am

Which end is up on a flower's seeds? Mine have two ends, one tapering to a long, hair-like filament, the other comparatively blunt in shape is the long filament a proto-root?

Impatien Seeds

Submitted by The Editors on August 1, 2017 - 9:46am

The tapering pointed end of the seed goes down, the blunt side goes up. If you just drop the seed in, the plant can sense gravity and will send roots down and shoots up no matter what!

Impaients not blooming

Submitted by Kim Yates on July 19, 2017 - 9:44pm

I have New Guniea Impatients that are in pots in morning sun for 5-6 hours/day that are not blooming anymore. What's wrong?
Thank you for your assistance!

Flowerless impatiens

Submitted by The Editors on July 20, 2017 - 3:24pm

There could be a few reasons. Crowding can inhibit flowering. So can lack of moisture. You want well-draining soil so the plants do not sit in water. And do not look to fertilizer New Guinea impatiens do not need heavy fertilizer. The lighting on your New Guinea impatiens sounds reasonable. However, if you can give them more sun you might get better results plants that get higher light levels often flower more quickly. One more thing: the plants may have been bred/grown to bloom at the time of sale it’s not an unusual practice. (And, yes, they will bloom again.)

Companion Planting with New Guinea impatiens

Submitted by Dorothy Collins on May 20, 2017 - 11:51am

I would like to ensure good results by doing companion planting with New Guinea Impatiens. Could you provide some plants that will provide good results?

Impatien companions

Submitted by The Editors on May 23, 2017 - 1:41pm

Ah, that we could all “ensure” good results. Plants with the same “likes” are a good choice, such as “wet feet” (moist conditions) and sunlight (and light shade). Some suggested companions include asparagus ferns and/or elephant ear for a contrasting scale.

Some say these plants look best in mass plantings. Consider that each plant may spread into an 18-inch mound. So the best companion plants may be more new guinea impatiens.

Removing wilted blooms

Submitted by Ruth on May 11, 2017 - 10:48am

Do you remove the wilted bloom or cut the stem off to remove the wilted bloom of the New Guinea Impatient?

Pruning Impatiens

Submitted by The Editors on May 12, 2017 - 10:55am

Pinching off the wilted bloom is perfectly fine. If your plant starts to look leggy, however, you can pinch the stems farther back (3 inches) to encourage denser growth.


Submitted by Marilyn Vankat on April 25, 2017 - 4:23pm

How long does it take from planting seeds to getting blooms? Thanks.

Germination time

Submitted by The Editors on April 26, 2017 - 11:16am

If you seeds are in a packet, Marilyn, check the back of it most indicate this detail. Usually the guidance is up to 21 days, but you should expect to see sprouts in the first two weeks.

How to Grow Impatiens

Impatiens plants are one of the most popular annual flowers, due to their brightly colored blooms and their ability to grow in shady areas. Although technically tropical perennials, these plants are grown as annuals in all but the warmest regions (zones 10 to 12). The Impatiens genus—one of two genera in the Balsam family of plants—has many dozens of species, two of which are common garden plants. Impatiens flowers take their name from the Latin, impatiens, meaning "impatient." They are so-called because their ripe seed pods will sometimes burst open from even a light touch (as if they were impatient to open).

How to Grow Impatiens

Once your impatiens are in the ground, they will need at least 2 inches (5 cm.) of water a week if planted in the ground. If the temperatures rise above 85 F. (29 C.), they will need at least 4 inches (10 cm.) per week. If the area where they are planted does not receive that much rainfall, you will need to water them yourself. Impatiens plants in containers will need watering daily, and watering twice a day when temperatures rise above 85 F. (29 C.).

Impatiens flowers do best if fertilized regularly. Use water soluble fertilizer on your impatiens every two weeks through spring and summer. You can also use slow release fertilizer at the beginning of the spring season and once more half way through summer.

Impatiens do not need to be deadheaded. They self-clean their spent blooms and will bloom profusely all season long.

Caring for New Guinea Impatiens

The best growing tips for New Guinea impatiens have to do with paying attention to small details. None of the varieties of this plant can tolerate drought very well, so keep the soil moist with soaker hoses or other watering devices. In hot summer months, this may mean daily watering that soaks deep into the ground.

This plant can be a heavy feeder, so give it monthly feedings of a low-nitrogen plant food. This will encourage the plant to grow without discouraging any of the flower production.

Once you know how to grow New Guinea impatiens, you’ll find that it’s a useful plant for planters and hanging baskets as well as for mass bedding. Move the containers each day to keep the plants in the shade for most of the day and you’ll find they thrive in almost any planting group.