How to Grow New Guinea Impatiens Indoors

How to Grow New Guinea Impatiens Indoors

If you want to add some color to your home, New Guinea impatiens are beautiful flowers that come in a large variety of colors. Commonly grown in shady sections of outdoor gardens, they’re actually great plants to bring indoors because they can tolerate a lot of shade. They need some sunlight to flower, so they’ll need to be next to a window that gets a few hours of light each day.[1] X Trustworthy Source Missouri Botanical Garden Oldest botanical garden in the U.S. and center for botanical research and science education Go to source

Part 1 of 2:
Potting Impatiens

1
Purchase impatiens that look healthy and vibrant. Check your local nursery in the late spring and early summer for a variety of colors. Take a look at the leaves for any discoloration or holes that could indicate a bug problem. The flowers themselves should be in good shape and not wilting. [2] X Research source If you’re bringing outdoor impatiens inside, then you already have what you need! You can simply dig them up from a flower bed or transfer them from their container into a new pot if needed.
2
Use a 12 in (300 mm) or larger pot with drainage holes for each flower. The impatiens will spread to cover the surface of the pot and having too many in a container could overcrowd their roots. Make sure there is at least 1 drainage hole in the bottom of the pot so that excess water has somewhere to go. [3] X Research source If the flowers are small and come in containers that are about 3–5 inches (76–127 mm), you could plant 2 or 3 in a 12 in (300 mm) pot. Drainage holes are really important. Standing water will cause rot or mildew, which could kill your impatiens.
3
Fill each pot with about 1⁄2–1 in (13–25 mm) of potting soil. This extra soil will give the roots somewhere to go once the impatiens are in place. Pour the soil directly into the pot from the bag, or use a trowel to transfer the soil. [4] X Research source Impatiens do well in African violet potting soil, or in a soil that contains peat moss. If you’re unsure of which type of soil to purchase, ask someone at the nursery for advice. They should be able to point you in the right direction!
4
Release the impatiens gently from their container by turning it on its side. You never want to grab a plant and pull on its stem to get it out of a container—this could potentially break the plant. Instead, turn the container so it is sideways and gently squeeze the sides to loosen the soil. Tilt the container downward and let gravity help the plant come loose. Catch it firmly in your hands so it doesn’t fall to the ground. [5] X Research source If you don’t want to get dirt on your hands, wear a pair of gardening gloves while you work.
5
Break up the root system so it can more easily spread to the new soil. Gently pry apart the bottom layer of soil so that it isn’t as compact as it was. It’s okay if bits of soil fall away. The main goal here is to break the roots a little so that they can head out in new directions and encourage more growth. [6] X Research source If possible, do this over the top of the new pot so that any loose soil will fall into it.
6
Place the impatiens in the pot and fill in the empty space with soil. Chances are, the area between the plant and the sides of the pot are empty and need soil. Use your hands or trowel to carefully fill in the gaps. Gently pack soil all around the sides until there is an even layer spreading from one side of the pot to the other. [7] X Research source Try to leave 1–2 inches (25–51 mm) of space between the lip of the pot and the soil. This will provide a little room so that there’s no overflow when you water the impatiens.
7
Water the impatiens right away to help ease their transition. Because there’s a drainage hole, either water your impatiens in the sink or place a saucer underneath the pot to catch excess water. Give enough water to fully saturate the new soil; once you see water pooling on top of the soil, stop and give it time to absorb and drain. Once there are no more visible dry spots, you can stop. [8] X Research source Moving locations and getting repotted can take a lot out of plants, so don’t delay this first watering.
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Part 2 of 2:
Caring for Impatiens

1
Put the impatiens near a sunny window that gets 4 hours of light each day. Impatiens don’t need full sun and thrive in a lot of shade, so they’re perfect indoor plants. They do need about 4 hours of indirect light each day, though, so find a window that gets some sun and set them up in front of it. [9] X Research source Plants need sunlight to create energy and grow. Without some sunlight, they can’t go through the process of photosynthesis and generate new flowers. If you’re concerned your impatiens won’t get enough light, you could supplement natural sunlight with a grow light for a few hours every day.[10] X Research source
2
Maintain a room temperature of 60–75 °F (16–24 °C). Impatiens do well in warm climates and are very sensitive to cold and frost. If your indoor temperature is in the right range, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If your home tends to get very hot during the day, consider using a fan to keep the air moving and cool the temperature near the impatiens a little bit. [11] X Research source Be aware of windows during the colder months. The windowpane may be much colder than the indoor temperature and could damage leaves or flowers that are close to it. Move the flowers away at night to keep them safe.
3
Water the impatiens when the top 1⁄2–1 in (13–25 mm) of soil gets dry. For the best results, try to keep the soil moist but not soupy. Depending on the climate and time of year, your impatiens may need a little water every other day or they may need water once a week. If you notice wilting flowers, that’s a good sign they’re thirsty; they should perk back up after getting water. [12] X Research source You can check the soil by sticking a finger in up to the first knuckle. If the soil is dry, it needs to be watered. If the soil is wet or damp, you can probably hold off on watering it for a few more days.[13] X Research source
4
Fertilize your impatiens weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Because impatiens are flowering plants, they need a little extra food in the form of fertilizer to encourage flower production. Purchase dry, liquid, or foaming fertilizer and follow the directions to add the right amount to your impatiens. [14] X Research source Usually, you’ll add the fertilizer to water and then use that to water the plants. Some types may have you put the fertilizer directly on the soil and then add water afterward.
5
Pinch off dead flowers to encourage new growth. When you notice wilted or dead blooms, simply pinch them off with your thumb and first finger. If you notice any yellowing or dead leaves, pick those off, too. [15] X Research source This process is called “deadheading,” and is really important to keeping your impatiens healthy.
6
Upgrade to a larger pot if your impatiens overtake their current home. It can take a little trial and error to determine if you need to move your impatiens, but it’s important to check. Try putting your hand between the wall of the pot and the soil and pushing it in to take a look at the root system. If you see roots all along the sides and not very much loose soil, you need a bigger pot. [16] X Research source Alternatively, if the flowers have spread and are threatening to fall over the sides of the pot, you can take that as a sign that you need a bigger pot.
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Part 1 of 2:
Potting Impatiens

1
Purchase impatiens that look healthy and vibrant. Check your local nursery in the late spring and early summer for a variety of colors. Take a look at the leaves for any discoloration or holes that could indicate a bug problem. The flowers themselves should be in good shape and not wilting. [2] X Research source If you’re bringing outdoor impatiens inside, then you already have what you need! You can simply dig them up from a flower bed or transfer them from their container into a new pot if needed.
2
Use a 12 in (300 mm) or larger pot with drainage holes for each flower. The impatiens will spread to cover the surface of the pot and having too many in a container could overcrowd their roots. Make sure there is at least 1 drainage hole in the bottom of the pot so that excess water has somewhere to go. [3] X Research source If the flowers are small and come in containers that are about 3–5 inches (76–127 mm), you could plant 2 or 3 in a 12 in (300 mm) pot. Drainage holes are really important. Standing water will cause rot or mildew, which could kill your impatiens.
3
Fill each pot with about 1⁄2–1 in (13–25 mm) of potting soil. This extra soil will give the roots somewhere to go once the impatiens are in place. Pour the soil directly into the pot from the bag, or use a trowel to transfer the soil. [4] X Research source Impatiens do well in African violet potting soil, or in a soil that contains peat moss. If you’re unsure of which type of soil to purchase, ask someone at the nursery for advice. They should be able to point you in the right direction!
4
Release the impatiens gently from their container by turning it on its side. You never want to grab a plant and pull on its stem to get it out of a container—this could potentially break the plant. Instead, turn the container so it is sideways and gently squeeze the sides to loosen the soil. Tilt the container downward and let gravity help the plant come loose. Catch it firmly in your hands so it doesn’t fall to the ground. [5] X Research source If you don’t want to get dirt on your hands, wear a pair of gardening gloves while you work.
5
Break up the root system so it can more easily spread to the new soil. Gently pry apart the bottom layer of soil so that it isn’t as compact as it was. It’s okay if bits of soil fall away. The main goal here is to break the roots a little so that they can head out in new directions and encourage more growth. [6] X Research source If possible, do this over the top of the new pot so that any loose soil will fall into it.
6
Place the impatiens in the pot and fill in the empty space with soil. Chances are, the area between the plant and the sides of the pot are empty and need soil. Use your hands or trowel to carefully fill in the gaps. Gently pack soil all around the sides until there is an even layer spreading from one side of the pot to the other. [7] X Research source Try to leave 1–2 inches (25–51 mm) of space between the lip of the pot and the soil. This will provide a little room so that there’s no overflow when you water the impatiens.
7
Water the impatiens right away to help ease their transition. Because there’s a drainage hole, either water your impatiens in the sink or place a saucer underneath the pot to catch excess water. Give enough water to fully saturate the new soil; once you see water pooling on top of the soil, stop and give it time to absorb and drain. Once there are no more visible dry spots, you can stop. [8] X Research source Moving locations and getting repotted can take a lot out of plants, so don’t delay this first watering.
Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Caring for Impatiens

1
Put the impatiens near a sunny window that gets 4 hours of light each day. Impatiens don’t need full sun and thrive in a lot of shade, so they’re perfect indoor plants. They do need about 4 hours of indirect light each day, though, so find a window that gets some sun and set them up in front of it. [9] X Research source Plants need sunlight to create energy and grow. Without some sunlight, they can’t go through the process of photosynthesis and generate new flowers. If you’re concerned your impatiens won’t get enough light, you could supplement natural sunlight with a grow light for a few hours every day.[10] X Research source
2
Maintain a room temperature of 60–75 °F (16–24 °C). Impatiens do well in warm climates and are very sensitive to cold and frost. If your indoor temperature is in the right range, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If your home tends to get very hot during the day, consider using a fan to keep the air moving and cool the temperature near the impatiens a little bit. [11] X Research source Be aware of windows during the colder months. The windowpane may be much colder than the indoor temperature and could damage leaves or flowers that are close to it. Move the flowers away at night to keep them safe.
3
Water the impatiens when the top 1⁄2–1 in (13–25 mm) of soil gets dry. For the best results, try to keep the soil moist but not soupy. Depending on the climate and time of year, your impatiens may need a little water every other day or they may need water once a week. If you notice wilting flowers, that’s a good sign they’re thirsty; they should perk back up after getting water. [12] X Research source You can check the soil by sticking a finger in up to the first knuckle. If the soil is dry, it needs to be watered. If the soil is wet or damp, you can probably hold off on watering it for a few more days.[13] X Research source
4
Fertilize your impatiens weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Because impatiens are flowering plants, they need a little extra food in the form of fertilizer to encourage flower production. Purchase dry, liquid, or foaming fertilizer and follow the directions to add the right amount to your impatiens. [14] X Research source Usually, you’ll add the fertilizer to water and then use that to water the plants. Some types may have you put the fertilizer directly on the soil and then add water afterward.
5
Pinch off dead flowers to encourage new growth. When you notice wilted or dead blooms, simply pinch them off with your thumb and first finger. If you notice any yellowing or dead leaves, pick those off, too. [15] X Research source This process is called “deadheading,” and is really important to keeping your impatiens healthy.
6
Upgrade to a larger pot if your impatiens overtake their current home. It can take a little trial and error to determine if you need to move your impatiens, but it’s important to check. Try putting your hand between the wall of the pot and the soil and pushing it in to take a look at the root system. If you see roots all along the sides and not very much loose soil, you need a bigger pot. [16] X Research source Alternatively, if the flowers have spread and are threatening to fall over the sides of the pot, you can take that as a sign that you need a bigger pot.
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