Impatiens: Indoor Growing Tips
Impatiens look lovely in the outdoor garden and can also be grown inside. Also called impatients, they are beautifully colored flowers that flourish in the shade. These flowers are easy to take care of and are great for people just starting out in gardening. If you wish to grow your impatiens indoors there are a few things to keep in mind.
Why Grow Indoors?
There are several different reasons to grow your flowers indoors. You can provide to your flowers good temperature control as well as a steady environment. If your flowers need a substantial amount of shade or sun, you will be able to easily provide this too them at any time. It is also easier to provide better pest control and help to prevent diseases. Not to mention you can view your beautiful flowers without ever leaving the house.
Purchase healthy plants that show no signs of withering or sickness. Healthy impatiens have a nice compact growth and should not be leggy. If your plant has no flowers, don’t be alarmed, this could be beneficial to its growing when you first plant them.
The potting medium you plant your impatiens in needs to be very rich, loamy, and have good drainage. The soil should be kept moist but not wet, as this will cause root rot . An acidic soil works best. Test your soil on a pH scale, it should be around a 5.8. For basic soil, adding aluminum sulfate or sulfur will help. If it is too acidic, calcium carbonate should be added.
As long as the soil is kept good and moist, you should not need to worry about watering except for every few weeks. A good way to test your soil is to watch the water. If the water sets on top of the soil and does not move, then the soil is too dry and cannot absorb the water. However if the water goes straight through and out of the pot, then your soil may be waterlogged or the plant may have become root bound. A good way to prevent these things is to spray the soil with a spray bottle in between waterings.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Self-watering pots will help keep the soil moist."
Once a month, apply a liquid fertilizer to your impatiens. Flowers grown indoors don’t always get all of the nutrients they need. The tips of the roots need to be at the edge of the pot before you use any fertilizer.
The temperature is one of the easier things to control when you have an indoor plant. The temperature for impatiens should never go down below 68 degrees, or above 75 degrees.
TIP: Susan advises, "Impatiens do not like direct sun. Be careful that you do not place them in an area that is too bright."
Impatiens need to be cut when they start to become unruly. This will encourage your plant to grow new blooms. There should be no more than 2 plants in a pot that is 5 inches wide.
TIP: Susan suggests, "Dead head blooms to encourage flowering."