7 Reasons Why Southerners Will Always Love Impatiens

If you’re looking to add some low-maintenance color to your yard or porch, consider crowd-pleasing impatiens a natural choice.

The South has a love affair with flowering plants. From hydrangeas, gardenias, ranunculus, and azaleas to magnolias, crepe myrtles, and more—flowering flora abounds in yards across the South. Common impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) remain one of the most popular annual varieties for their easy-to-grow, low-maintenance care requirements, oh, and the mounds and mounds of blooms they produce. We're making a major case for adding a few impatiens to your garden, if you haven't already.

Impatiens in Containers

Impatiens Are Easy to Grow

Impatiens care is perfect for the entry-level gardener. Just drop by your local nursery and pick up a half dozen to plant in your bed or container. No other flowering plant can take off quite as quickly as impatiens, showing off with piles of blooms from the minute they're planted. Impatiens typically grow nicely in shady areas and keep a tidy height of around a foot. If you want your work cut out for you, you might want to try your green thumb at germinating these otherwise, easy-to-grow fan favorites. The soil temperature will have to remain a pretty consistent 75 degrees or else the seed could rot. Beyond that, the process includes utilizing the ideal soil mix, watering with hot water prior to sowing, and covering bed or pots with plastic wrap—it can get quite involved. For those reasons, the novice gardeners among us prefer to hop on over to the nearest garden shop to get our impatiens fix.

Impatiens Bloom Nonstop
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Impatiens Bloom Nonstop From Spring Until Frost

Impatiens will add constant color wherever they're planted from spring until the first frost hits. They just don't quit. Even if they start to get leggy and need to be pruned back, just pinch off about five inches of growth, and they'll repay you with even more blooms—and without delay.

Impatiens with Water Droplets
Getty/Suzanna Ruby

Impatiens Let You Know When They Need Watering

Traditional impatiens are shade lovers, but can handle a bit of sun as long as they're given plenty of water to make up for it. Our resident gardener, Steve Bender, explains that their drooping stems are an easy-to-spot indicator that it's time to water. If you have a sunny garden that is screaming for some easy color, hybrid impatiens are the way to go—Bender specifically suggests the New Guinea hybrid for its vibrant foliage.

Fence Basket with Impatiens
Getty/work by Lisa Kling

Impatiens Are Winners for Window Boxes, Baskets, and Containers

The Old Farmers' Almanac explains that the closer together impatiens are planted, the more encouraged they'll be to grow tall and lanky. If they start to get out of hand, simply pinch them down four to five inches to keep your plants trim and tidy. When planting in containers or window boxes, using a sterile growing mix will promote ideal drainage, according to The Old Farmers' Almanac—and be sure to give them more water than you would if they were planted in ground.


Impatiens Vary in Appearance

Double-petaled impatiens varieties like 'Rosette' and 'Carousel' mimic petite roses—but these shady bloomers are in fact much easier to grow. Impatiens balsamina are another species that differ in appearance from flat-flowered impatiens. They are characterized by erect branches with cup-shaped flowers that are sometimes spotted. Blooms will appear either solitarily or in tidy clusters of two to three.

Variety of Impatiens Colors
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Impatiens Come in Just About Every Color

Can't quite decide? Why not try them all. According to Bender, impatiens come in just about every color variety but blue is uncommon. Pink, white, red, and purple—there's an impatiens hue to match every landscape.

Pink Impatiens Green Foliage
Getty/Pia Carpelan / EyeEm

Impatiens Don't Need Deadheading

No need to clip off faded blooms—these flowering plants are self-groomers. The only reason you'll need to prune at all would be to reduce legginess. Otherwise they're good to grow all on their own with minimal intervention.

There you have it: Shade-loving impatiens are easy to grow, come in almost every color with flowers that range from flat to rosette, require minimal maintenance, bloom from spring until frost, and are versatile additions to your containers.

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