Impatiens, busy lizzie or patience, is an annual flower with nonstop blossoms in many colors. It has a tidy, mounding form and self-cleaning flowers that make it an ideal low-maintenance plant.
Description: Breeders have developed compact, branching plants whose flowers are borne above the foliage. Flowers are white, pink, rose, orange, scarlet, burgundy, and violet, with many bicolored variants. Foliage is deep, glossy green or bronze in color. Most specimens grow 12 to 15 inches high.
Propagation: Sow seeds 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost date. Germination takes 10 to 20 days at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a sterile soil mix, because young impatiens seedlings are subject to damping off. A fungicide is recommended. Cuttings root in 10 to 14 days.
Uses: Impatiens can be used in beds, borders, planting strips, and containers. The plants are beautiful in hanging baskets and planters.
Related species: New Guinea impatiens grows in full sun and has larger and showier flowers. Leaves can be green or variegated.
Scientific name: Impatiens wallerana
Impatiens is also a great plant for the house. Read how to bring about as many flowers as possible in your living room impatiens on the next page.