Friday, June 19, 2009

Foolproof Flower Gardening ~ #13



We call them impatiens, but America's #1 bedding plant is known in many areas as Busy Lizzie. This is one of the easiest flowering plants to grow, bar none. It thrives in semi or full shade and will grow prolifically in beds, borders, baskets or containers. It covers itself with blossoms and thrives with very little attention from you. Just don't let the soil dry out.

You can grow impatiens from seeds (they self sow beautifully), cuttings or six packs from your garden center. They mostly bloom in jewel tones and although they are available in double, rose-like flowers, you'll find that the simpler single blossom will perform the best. If you're planting in the ground, mass them for the best display, preferably one color per mass. They mix especially well with ferns, begonias and fuchsias.

These are perennials, treated more like summer annuals. If the plant starts to get leggy, don't be shy about pruning it back to within 6 inches. You'll see new growth almost immediately. The impatiens in the hanging basket in the above photograph will be 2 years old this August and is still going strong. The photo below shows what the seed pods look like. They eventually burst along the seams and broadcast the seeds widely. You can collect the pods in a paper bag and scatter the seeds yourself.

1 comment:

Sweet Repose said...

One of the few plants that don't do well in my neck o the woods, we have very sandy soil, they get leggy and require lots of water...argh...

Love the motorcycle pic...my Mom and Dad drove a Harley in 1950 to Yellowstone Park in jodhpurs and aviation glasses...what a hoot and stories they told...priceless!

It was they're honeymoon...guess I got in the way...ha!