Overwintering Impatiens - Knowledgebase Question

Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Question by norine07
December 13, 1997
I brought in my 4 containers of impatiens to store over the winter and put back out in spring. At first they were doing wonderful - even blooming in November! But now they appear to be withering. How should I treat them? Is this even possible? I am watering about once a week and have them in partial sun. Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
December 13, 1997

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Strangly enough, impatiens brought inside may be underwatered inadvertently. Should the potting mixture get overdry(for instance with a peat based potting mixture) a gap appears between the pot and the root ball. If this should be the case, put the pot into a bowl or bucket of water and allow it to soak until the gap has closed. Symptoms of this problem are wilted leaves, slowing of growth, lower leaves yellowing and curling or edges browning and drying-out, lower leaves falling prematurely.
Impatiens also benefit from misting.

Having read the preceeding, you know it is certainly possible to keep your impatiens over the winter. You might want to try trimming them back a bit to keep them from getting leggy. Forget about the "weekly" watering regimen. Water your plants when they need it. Feel the soil and be sure it is not allowed to dry out with this plant. The soil should not be soggy, but it should be damp enough to prevent the soil from shrinking.

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