All Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) are over-achievers, blooming from early spring until the first frost in fall ends their life cycle.
However, the double variety is a double over-achiever, producing double-petaled blooms throughout its annual lifespan.
Planting and growing these colorful annual flowers is easy with these tips.
Double Impatiens are hardy in most growing zones and thrive in a partially shaded area.
Plant them on the east side of a structure where they will be shaded from the afternoon sun and you will have some happy plants.
Another good planting location is under tall trees or shrubs where they will be in the shade for part of the day.
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These over-achievers love moist soil.
Planting them in partial shade will help keep the soil moist and cool, and a 3-4 inch layer of organic compost around the plants will further help to retain soil moisture.
For ease of care, plant double Impatiens near a water source so keeping the soil moist all summer won’t be a hardship.
If the soil dries out, the plants will become stunted, stop producing flowers and possibly die from heat stress.
Double Impatiens will grow into a mound of a plant that will be 6-8 inches high and 6-8 inches wide.
The plant will be covered with double blooms and greenery will almost disappear under the bright-colored blooms.
The developing plants can be pruned to keep them at the desired height and to encourage side growth and more lateral blooms.
Pruning the soft-stemmed plants is easy, just pinch off any unwanted stem growth with thumb and forefinger.
If a large grouping of these plants is outgrowing their space, prune back to half their height with a pair of sharp pruning shears.
All varieties of Impatiens are annuals and will need to be replanted each year.
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How to Plant Double Impatiens
Start with plants from the nursery or start seeds indoors six weeks prior to the last spring frost date.
Impatiens will not tolerate even the slightest amount of cold, so be patient with your Impatiens and wait until the spring soil and air temperatures warm up before attempting to plant them outdoors.
Till the soil in the partially shady planting location to the depth of 8 inches.
Work organic compost into the soil to improve drainage and help feed the plants during the growing months.
Create planting mounds that are 8-10 inches apart and 4-6 inches tall.
Place a plant in the middle of each mound at the same depth as they were in their bedding container.
Seeds for double Impatiens can be started indoors 12 weeks before the last frost, then transplanted outdoors into prepared soil after all danger of frost is past.
These double-blooming beauties can also be grown as indoor houseplants or planted in hanging baskets to display on the porch.
The double-petal blooms will be on the plants from early summer until the first killing frost of fall.
Bloom colors span the color gamut and bloom in shades of red, purple, pink, orange, and yellow.
Double blooms in pure white, bicolor, tricolor, and striped are also available.
Apply a 3-4 inch layer of organic mulch around each plant to help retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth.
After the plants bloom they will naturally discard their own spent flowers and keep producing new blooms, so manual deadheading is not needed.
If plants become leggy, prune them back to 3 inches tall to encourage lateral growth.
The more water and fertilization double Impatiens receive, the bigger the plants will grow and the more blooms they will produce.
Feed plants once a month with water-soluble plant food and water regularly.
When applying water or plant food, do it at the base of the plant, not from above.
Since the plant is in partial shade, moisture on leaves or flowers can lead to a mildew problem.
Inspect regularly for signs of disease and pest damage.
Yellow leaves, sticky residue, and stunted growth are signs of trouble.
If visible distress is noted on any plant, remove the entire plant and discard it to prevent the disease or pests from spreading to other healthy plants.
Inspect soil where affected double Impatiens were located for any visible signs of pests or soil mold.
If any are found, treat the area with insecticidal soap to prevent spread.
Plant Not Blooming Properly
These beauties grow natively in the warm, moist climates of Australia and South America, and since the plant is so hardy, it does adapt well to even hot, dry climates.
But there are a few things it won’t tolerate, like cold and hunger.
Air Or Soil Is Too Cold
If the soil or air temperature is too cold, the plant will not bloom and may even die.
Air temperature needs to remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the plant to produce blooms.
Wait until all danger of frost has passed and air temperature has remained above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 consecutive days before planting impatiens outdoors.
Not Enough Food
Impatiens are heavy feeders and will rebel if not given enough food. The plant will not bloom properly if not fed a regular diet of your favorite fertilizer.
Whether you are growing organically or using chemical fertilizer, just be sure to give impatiens plenty to eat or they will not bloom properly.
Not Enough Sun
The plant may not be getting enough sun.
Impatiens grow best in partial shade, but the plants will need a couple of hours of sunlight, either direct or dappled, each day.
Plants not receiving enough sunlight will be small, leggy, and have very few blooms.