Busy Lizzies, a variety of impatiens, come in a variety of colours ranging from pale pinks and corals to purples. These plants have a profusion of brightly coloured, flat flowers and can grow well in shade but is also tolerant of sun. Like other impatiens, Busy Lizzies have an exploding seed pod and will self propagate. When the seed pod is mature, a light touch will cause it to burst, sending the seeds out in all directions. Busy Lizzies are easy to add to your garden.
Start seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before outdoor planting, which is two weeks after the last frost date in your area. Start them in rich seed-starting soil in pots set in front of a sunny window.
Transplant the seedlings outdoors into an garden bed that receives partial to full shade and has rich, well-drained soil. Check for drainage by soaking the area with water. If it doesn't drain within 4 to 5 hours, work compost into the soil to bring the level of the bed up 2 to 3 inches.
Keep the soil moist at all times. Busy Lizzies can't tolerate dry soil.
Feed with a general-purpose fertiliser once in the spring and again in midsummer to encourage healthy plant growth.
Allow seed pods to develop so that the flowers self-seed for the following year. Impatiens are a perennial, but many do not overwinter well in colder regions, so self-seeding is necessary.
- Busy Lizzies also grow well in containers and baskets.
- Pinch off the ends of the stems early in the growing season before the blooms form to encourage a fuller plant.
- Water only the base of the plant to avoid leaf rot.