Growing Guide
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Annual Flower, Houseplant

Also known as Busy Lizzy, Patience Plant, Garden Impatiens, Patient Lucy
Impatiens walleriana
Balsaminaceae Family
Synonym: Impatiens holstii,I. Sultanii, I. wallerana (common misspelling)

A classic favorite for adding abundant color to hard-to-plant shady areas. Impatiens seldom fail to please with its mounding growth habit and colorful flowers in shades of pink, white, red, purple, and orange. Does not perform well in sunny locations where it needs too much water.

Site Characteristics
  • part shade
  • full shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates damp soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • indoors as a houseplant - Grow indoors in bright light using rich, well drained soil that is kept moist but not soggy.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.5 to 2.5 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 2 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall

Keeps blooming until frost.

Flower color:

  • red
  • orange
  • violet
  • white
  • pink
  • other

Flowers come in many variations of red, orange, purple, white, and pink. Some varieties Impatiens bicolor flowers in pink, red, orange, purple, and white.

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • other

Some have bronze tinted foliage. Stems break easily, so handling should be kept at a minimum.

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Some varieties have a wide, sprawling growth habit, while others tend to grow more upright and dense.

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - African rainforests
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings - Sow seeds indoors 12 weeks before the last spring frost. Do not cover the seeds with soil, as they need light to germinate. Until the seeds germinate, cover the seed trays with clear plastic to maintain high humidity. Water from below to prevent damping off. If large stock plants are available, cuttings can be taken in the spring. They root easily in potting mix. Pre-started plants are readily available at retail outlets.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 14 to 21

Maintenance and care:
Pinch back the plants to keep them bushy. Keep medium moist but not soggy. Avoid sunny locations as plants will require too much water.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Cucumber beetles (eat flowers)
Tarnished plant bug
Parasitic nematodes
Spider mites
Powdery mildew
Rhizoctonia web blight
Seedling damp-off
Verticillium wilt
Look for varying heights and plant shapes, single- and double-flowered types(doubles look like miniature roses), various single flower colors and combinations, dwarfs.

'Mini-Hawaiian' Series: miniatures in various flower colors.

'Jewel' Series: a wide variety of vibrant flower colors

‘African Queen’: the only yellow-flowered variety. Yellow flowers with red markings in their centers. 1- 1 ˝’ tall in pots, to 2’ tall in the garden.