New Guinea Impatiens
Sun Impatiens

New Guinea impatiens are more sun tolerant than most other impatiens which have a definite preference for shade. 'SunPatiens' are a New Guinea hybrid bred to withstand intense sun and heat.

New Guniea impatiens underplanting a banana plant.

New Guniea impatiens underplanting a banana plant.

They form a 2 foot succulent shrub with narrow, pointed leaves colored green, bronze and purple.

They bloom in all colors except yellow or blue. Some have bi-colored blooms.

Like all impatiens, they require a constantly moist soil, high in organic matter. They will not survive drought or a hard freeze.

It may not be a good idea to mulch them to reduce their watering needs. The succulent stems rot easily.

The more sun they are in, the more water they will need. They are easier to maintain in the shade.

They are hardy in zones 9a-11. Here in zone 9a people don't usually cover them in the winter. Unprotected,they will die to the ground but most will return the following spring.

New Guinea Impatiens in a container garden at Longwood.

Potted specimens can be overwintered in the house if the humidity can be kept high enough to please them.

When growing impatiens in the garden, plant them 15 inches apart. Mix some Terra Sorb (bottom of page) into the soil before you plant them. If they become leggy or unshapely during the growing season, trim them back. You'll be surprised how quickly they'll fill out and bloom again.

The occasional drink of Speedy Grow (bottom of page) will guarantee constant flowering.

Orange New Guinea impatiens in a pot.

They look spectacular in pots, alone, or as part of a container garden with several other plants.

A 10 inch pot is large enough for one plant.

You can propagate New Guinea impatiens from cuttings. They are easy to root in soil or water. In fact, any broken stem you stick into the ground will probably root.

A few varieties are available from seed.

Begin sowing 12 weeks before you want to plant them outdoors. Seeds will germinate at 75 degrees F. and needs light to sprout so don't cover them with soil. Mist the seed flat to keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge.

Sun Impatiens

Pond With Fountain in Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui Area, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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This is a patented variety called 'SunPatiens' that was bred to thrive in full sun and intense heat. They are available in lavender, white, red and salmon (flowers) and some have yellow and green variegated leaves.

They are a cross between New Guinea impatiens and a wild impatiens plant. They inherited the flower size of the NG impatiens and the extra vigor of their wild ancestors. They can take more sun because their leaves are slightly thicker.

'SunPatiens' grow to about 30 inches when planted in the ground.

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