How to Grow and Care for Impatiens in Containers

Impatiens flower

Intro: There are many species in the Impatiens genus, but the varieties that you’ll find at your local garden shop are annual hybrids (some Impatiens species are perrenials). This commonly used flower usually shows up in flowerbeds, but they also look great in windowboxes, plant containers and hanging containers, and will even do well in a shady balcony garden.


Scientific Name: Impatiens spp.

Plant Type: Flower

Light: Impatiens flowers need shade to full sun (the more sun the better).

Water: The more sun your impatiens flowers get, the more water it will need. Pay attention to the moisture of the plant's potting soil, and make sure that it is consistently moist. Never let impatiens dry out.

Fertilizer: Impatiens flowers do not really need plant fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizer in the potting soil is all you need. You may also give them a small dose of fertilizer in the middle of summer. Too much fertilizer will cause the plant to grow a lot of foliage but not many blooms.

Temperature: Impatiens flowers are typically grown as annuals, so you do not need to overwinter impatiens indoors. The most important thing to remember about impatiens and temperature is that they should not be planted outdoors until nighttime temperatures become warmer than 50 degrees. Seeds can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Some varieties of impatiens flowers can do well in colder climates, so choose a variety that works for you and your environment.

Pests and Diseases: Common garden pests that may affect your impatiens flowers are aphids and mites. In recent years, impatiens flowers across the United States have seen a disease called impatiens downy mildew, which is a fungus that has infected and killed many impatiens across the country. Keep the impatiens flower's leaves dry when watering, do not overwater the plant, and also keep water from splashing off the ground and back up onto the plant when watering your impatiens flowers. Safely dispose of impatiens flowers infected with impatiens downy mildew. Other diseases can include blight, leaf spot and root rot.

Propagation: Propagate impatiens by taking cuttings. For more instructions, see how to propagate the pothos plant by taking cuttings. The only difference with impatiens is that you will need to pinch off any flowers that are on the cuttings that you take from the mother plant.

Misc. Info: If your impatiens flowers begin to look tall and thin, trim the top third of the group of flowers. This will keep the plant filled-in and producing flowers.




Pink Impatiens flowers

Impatiens flowers basket

Impatiens flowers and birdhouse

Additional information