Growing Impatiens in Containers: 3 Steps
Impatiens is one of the most popular species of flowering plants in the world because they are both shade tolerant and very easy to grow. They are just as happy in containers and hanging baskets. Because they like shade, they can be grown in many areas of your yard or home that may not typically sustain plant life. Growing Impatiens in containers is a sure bet if you follow these three steps.
Step 1: Select and Prepare the Container
Choose a large container or hanging basket that has a soil capacity of at least one gallon. Fill the bottom inch of the container with gravel; for container gardens it is absolutely essential that a layer of gravel is at the bottom of the container in order to maintain healthy, well-drained soil.
Impatiens will tolerate a variety of soil types (another reason why they are such popular plants) but they thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil with a PH between 6.0 and 7.5. It is a good idea to purchase an organic soil that contains a time release fertilizer. This way, you will be confident in the fact that your seedlings have the best possible growing medium that is capable of feeding the plants for several months.
Step 2: Purchase and Plant Your Impatiens Seedlings
Purchase your impatiens from a reliable, reputable nursery. To support your community, consider purchasing your seedlings from a local nursery. This way you will contribute to your local economy and be able to speak with resident experts. These experts will undoubtedly be able to provide you with information regarding which species of impatiens is best suited to live in containers in your climate zone.
Choose a hardy species of impatiens and purchase two or three seedlings—how ever many will be able to live in your container without crowding the root systems. Make sure the seedlings are bushy and healthy before bringing them home.
When you prepare to plant your impatiens, make sure that the soil in your container or hanging basket is moist. Gently remove the seedlings from their nursery containers by simultaneously massaging the container and gently pulling on the stem. Once the seedling is free from its container, use your hands to forcefully break apart the root ball. Do not be afraid to completely break apart the root ball, whatever damage you may during this process will be quickly corrected by the plant in a matter of days. Regardless, it is important to break up the root ball to encourage new root growth in the container.
Place the seedlings in the container and pack soil around the plant so the roots are not exposed. Water the container to be sure that you don’t need to add any more soil, if soil slides down you only need to replace it with new soil.
Step 3: Basic Care and Maintenance of Container Grown Impatiens
Do not allow the soil of your container to dry out in between watering; it will have dire consequences. Create a weekly watering schedule and be sure to soak the soil of the container with water at least once a week. Fertilize the impatiens with liquid fertilizer every other time you water after the potting soil’s fertilization has expired.