How Do You Prune and Care for Impatiens?

prune-care-impatiens Credit: mcav0y/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Impatiens require minimal care, although keeping the soil moist with regular watering is necessary to keep the plants healthy. Typically, pruning is only necessary late in the growing season when the plants may begin looking leggy. Prune the upper third off the plants to keep them looking tidy and encourage the formation of new flowers.

Gardeners grow impatiens as annuals, typically using them as part of a colorful display in a shade or partial shade garden (areas that get up to six hours of sunlight every day). Choose a planting area with nutrient rich,moist, well-drained soil. Mix compost or fertilizer into the soil before planting the impatiens to enrich the soil. Plant multiple plants 8 to 12 inches apart,keeping in mind that growing them closer together yields taller plants. Inspect the plants weekly during the growing season and prune dead flowers, stems or leaves from the plants as necessary. Watch for pests such as spider mites,aphids, thrips or white flies and apply insecticidal soap or insecticides as necessary to treat any infestations.

When growing the plants in containers, choose a soil-less or sterile growing medium to make sure the plants get adequate drainage. Additionally, be aware that container-grown impatiens likely require more frequent watering.