(July) I have several pots of impatiens and some of the plants have brown spots on the leaves. A few of the spots have holes in the middle. Also some of the leaves are turning yellow. Not all of the pots have this trouble and we can't figure out what the problem is. Every year our impatiens do this. The plants grow huge and blossom well but the spots ruin the looks of the plants. Can you help me?
There are several leaf spot diseases that affect impatiens. If you get the same thing every year, you may want to take preventative treatment, and spray every two to three weeks with a fungicide such as Daconil, Immunox or Funginex. Leaf spot diseases begin with spots on the leaves. As the tissue inside the spot ages, it often dries up and falls out, causing some people to worry about insect feeding, which it can resemble. Further symptoms include yellowing of foliage, and loss of vigor, and in severe cases, defoliation and death. It sounds like your infestation is fairly minor. Spraying now would give you some control, and you can also do some sanitation by cutting out the heavily infected leaves. Also since they are in containers, continue regular fertilization and watering.
(July) Each year I put out a lot of Impatiens which is very expensive. Can you give me a name of a seed company where I can order some, preferably same color in package.
If you grow common Impatiens, they should freely reseed for you, which should save you the annual expense. This fall, when we have a frost, before cleaning up the garden, shake the spent plants on the ground. This should scatter the seed and as long as you are patient, they should begin growing with warm weather next year. I know of many gardeners who have abundant plantings each year, and they never plant a new plant. This is not true of the larger New Guinea Impatiens, but is very common on the regular garden Impatiens. Almost all seed companies sell them in seed packets as well, if you do need some. Check with your local nursery or garden center. Seed catalogs include: Burpee's, Cook's Garden, Johnny's Selected Seeds and Parks are just a few of the more common ones who carry the seeds.
(September) Can I trim back my Impatiens now to get more growth in early fall?
If your Impatiens are extremely leggy, you can shear them back to encourage branching. If they are full and tall, no pruning should be needed. They should bloom until we have a frost. Lightly fertilize to help them bounce back quicker if you do prune. I would not do heavy shearing, since you want them to begin to bloom as soon as possible.
(November) I have ten large pots of New Guinea Impatiens that have bloomed gloriously this year. Living in Northern Arkansas, is there any way I can keep them in their original pots and winter them over? If so, do I trim them before taking them in, how often to water, and in what type of area should I house them?
I would trim very little on the move indoors, because you will experience some die back with the transition. You will also find, that the plants will begin to get a big leggy. When this happens, give the plants a haircut, and root the cuttings. Try to keep the plants in a sunny but relatively cool area indoors. Increase the humidity in any way you can-our houses are so dry indoors in the winter.
Can you give me some information on a flower called impatiens. How do you start them, how do you take care of them, and can they be grown indoors?
Impatiens are typically grown as an annual in the summer in shady gardens. They are started from seed or transplants, and usually planted after all chances of frost have ended in the spring. They thrive in partial shade to full shade. If they are in containers, they can be brought inside for the winter. Give them more sunlight indoors. If they begin to get leggy, pinch them back and you should enjoy blooms indoors. If grown outside, after a killing frost, scatter the spent flowers and shake the plants on the soil to scatter the remaining seeds. Next spring, they should reappear from the seeds. Many people have volunteer impatiens each season, and never replant again.
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