James H. Schutte
IMPATIENS walleriana( ACCENT SERIES)
Plant Common Name
Accent Impatiens, Busy Lizzy, Impatiens
Tidy and small, Impatiens in the Accent series are heavy-blooming dwarf selections that offer season-long color. They are well-branched and their single flowers appear in varying shades of pink, purple, red, salmon, coral, magenta or white.
Impatiens walleriana is a shade-loving bedding plant that everyone knows and loves. Surprisingly, this common “annual” is actually a bushy tender perennial in its native East Africa and will survive winters in tropical and sub-tropical zones. It blooms continuously if conditions are favorable and has fleshy, tender stems and leaves that quickly wilt when water is lacking and perk up just s fast when it’s available.
Busy lizzy is bushy and upright with lance-shaped to elliptical leaves that come in various shades of green, sometimes with reddish or purplish tints. It produces many broad, flattened, five-petaled flowers all season. The blooms need not be deadheaded and are followed by bulbous, green, striated seed capsules that explode to spread their seeds when mature.
Full to partial shade is ideal forImpatiens, though they can withstand more sun where summers are cool. They grow and bloom to their fullest if grown in moist, humus-rich soil with good drainage and given a slow release fertilizer formulated for garden flowers. When weather conditions are dry, they need supplemental water. If given these conditions, they are very easy to grow. Disease problems includes botrytis blight, which is a fuzzy grayish brown mold that attacks plants when conditions are too humid, and Impatiens necrotic spot virus, which causes black ring spots on the leaves.
Impatiens can be planted in any shaded spot where color is needed. They are also excellent for containers and hanging baskets. In the north they are grown as summer bedding annuals, and in southern and western locations they are commonly planted for winter color.