Impatiens More Than Three Feet Tall! - Knowledgebase Question

Kelowna, BC
Avatar for Cyarrol
Question by Cyarrol
September 16, 1999
I was given cutting of an ugly almost dead, straggly looking impatiens, so I rooted it in plain tap water. Now this mother plant is more than 3ft tall! and I keep taking cuttings and rooting in water with liquid fertilizer,and find I cannot keep up with thier growth! They do not like to be outside(interiorBC) and a friend of mine is into horticulture for 10yr+ and has never known one to grow like this one. It seems treelike!! One of the cuttings I planted had white blooms, while all other plants have pink! WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT DOING THIS TO ME? How should I continue with these?

Answer from NGA
September 16, 1999
From your description of the monster impatiens, I'd guess you're not dealing with the common annual bedding variety, but with the perennial Impatiens wallerana. This Busy Lizzie is a rapid, vigorous grower with narrow glossy green leaves and flowers 1"-2" wide in scarlet, pink, rose, violet, orange or white. The tops of this impatiens will freeze down in the winter, but the roots are hardy and will send up new stems in the spring.

You can collect seeds to plant next year or simply cut the stems back to 6" above the ground when the weather turns cold. Either way, you're assured of having new plants next season.

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