Answer: You're lucky in that you can grow tender annuals like impatiens in your Southern California garden almost all year around! Those of us in cold-winter climates must wait until spring to plant impatiens!
Impatiens grow best in shade but will tolerate some sunshine, especially winter sun which isn't as intense as summer sunshine. Impatiens thrive in rich, moist soils. Mix some aged-manure or finished compost into the soil prior to planting, and water well after transplanting. Water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. If your plants have plenty of air circulation around them they should remain healthy. If the plants are small, you can pinch the stem tips back to promote bushy plants laden with flower blossoms.
In addition to planting impatiens, you might want to try growing some more traditional fall and winter blooming plants. Chrysanthemums are perfect for this time of year, and are easy to grow in a sunny site. Marigolds, Pansies, Forget-Me-Not and Sweet Peas are other good choices for planting this time of year.
Enjoy your new hobby!
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