How to Grow Impatiens as a Houseplant

Written by alex bramwell
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How to Grow Impatiens as a Houseplant
Impatiens in full flower (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Impatiens or busy lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) is a favourite bedding plant in the United States because it produces a colourful display of flowers in shaded sites where few other plants will thrive. Impatiens works only as an annual in frost-prone areas because it is killed by freezing temperatures. You can overwinter impatiens indoors or grow them as a houseplant throughout the year.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Compost

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plant 4-inch cuttings in well-draining potting soil. Put the pot inside an open plastic bag to increase the humidity until the cuttings root. Place on a bright windowsill that receives some direct sunshine. A south or west-facing window is ideal but impatiens houseplants will tolerate the lower light levels from an east or north-facing window.

    How to Grow Impatiens as a Houseplant
    Impatiens will grow indoors provided they get plenty of light. (impatiens image by palms from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Water your impatiens regularly as soon as the surface of the soil starts to dry out, aiming to moisten the compost evenly rather than soak it. Allow all excess water to drain away to prevent water logging. Reduce watering during the winter to keep the soil barely moist.

  3. 3

    Fertilise once every two weeks with a liquid houseplant fertiliser diluted to half the recommended strength. Reduce fertilisation in the winter months.

  4. 4

    Pinch out the growing tips of any stems that become leggy to encourage side shoots and bushy growth. Re-pot your impatiens as it outgrows its container.

Tips and warnings

  • Use several cuttings in a large pot if you want a larger houseplant. Water impatiens with room temperature water. Leave water to stand overnight before watering impatiens to allow any chlorine to dissipate.
  • Do not allow nighttime temperatures to drop below 10 degrees Celsius.

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