Impatiens

Common name: Busy Lizzie

This colourful long flowering, half-hardy annual, is suitable for bedding, borders, patio containers and hanging containers.

Busy Lizzies grow quite well in partial shade, making them ideal for planting under trees and in shady corners.

The plants will grow to a height of 250mm-500mm (10"-18") depending upon variety.

The flowers are quite often bi-coloured, and come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, pink, white, violet, rose.

The single, semi-double,or double flowers generally appear from early summer until the first frosts.

Some of the double varieties can be roselike in their appearance whereas the singles are more likely to be flat.


Ensure they never dry out otherwise the succulent stems may wither and die, but equally do not over water as this may cause fungal problems.

Give them a weekly balanced liquid feed from May to September.

As Impatiens are often planted around trees, or under shrubs,this means they may have to compete for moisture and nutrients, meaning more attention should be given to watering and feeding in these areas.

Cultivation

Week 9: Sow seeds on the surface of a proprietary seed compost, cover with vermiculite, and germinate at a temperature of 21°-24°C (70°-75°F)

Do not exclude light, in fact if supplementary light can be applied, this will speed up germination.

Germination should take about 10-15days.

After germination grow on at a temperature of 20°-22°C (68°-72°F) for a couple of weeks, then drop the temperature again to around 16°C-18°C (61°-64°F) for another week.

At the end of this procedure the seedlings should be large enough to prick out into cell trays or 50mm (2") pots of potting compost.

Later pot on into 75mm (3") pots, and gradually harden them off in a frost free cold frame until planting out or potting up time.

Plug plants:

If buying pre-germinated plants remove the plugs from their packaging as soon as they arrive and water if dry.

Let plants stand for a day to recover from their journey, then pot on into individual 75mm (3") pots or cell trays filled with multipurpose compost.

After potting, grow the plants on in a warm, frost-free place until established then harden them off as described above.

Do not allow them to dry out at this stage.

Week 11: Propagate greenhouse / house grown plants by taking 75mm (3") long tip cuttings from vigorous shoots at any time from now till September.

Insert the cuttings in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand and root at a temperature of 16°C (61°F).

When rooted, pot the cuttings singly in 75mm (3") pots of potting compost, later, pot on as necessary.

Pinch out the growing points to encourage bushy growth.

Keep the plants in a well lit position, out of direct sunlight, and give them light shade on bright hot days.

They require a minimum winter temperature of 13°C (55°F) to keep the plants flowering throughout the year.

Week 12: Cut back established greenhouse/house plants to within 75mm (3") of the base.

When growth restarts water them more freely.

Week 22: Plant out in borders 150-200mm (6"-8") apart in fertile well-drained soil, in full sun or partial shade.

Water well in dry weather but try to avoid water on the foliage.

If your plants become too tall, using a sharp knife cut them back by one third and new shoots and blooms will soon reappear.





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