Impatiens Is a Virtue

Consider this very popular annual for shady garden spots.

Impatiens like this 'Firefly Watermelon' variety, are a shade-loving annual.

Try the 'Firefly Watermelon' impatiens in shady areas of your garden.

Try the 'Firefly Watermelon' impatiens in shady areas of your garden.
By: Ben Ford

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When it comes to difficult shady areas, you can’t beat impatiens for performance. Though impatiens are an annual and must be planted every year, their colorful performance throughout the summer makes them well worth the effort. 

Planted in moist well-drained soil with a loamy texture, impatiens are sure to thrive and add spark to a dark landscape situation. Impatiens come in large color palettes of red, purple, pink, white or violet. 

Not ones to hint around, impatiens always let you know when you need to water. They are the first to wilt in a dry garden, and pop right back up after a good soaking. As a matter of fact, you can use impatiens to help save other plants around the garden that suffer in a less obvious manner. Impatiens do best in full to partial shade where they do not get afternoon sun. 


When the plants become leggy, cut them back to promote new growth and even more flower power.   

Pest and Diseases

Downy mildew is the only drawback with impatiens. When infected, the plants almost completely defoliate and collapse. Cool nights and over watering cause the disease. A preventative chemical application is the best line of defense before the disease contaminates the crop. Once impatiens have downy mildew, rip them out because it is too late to save them, unfortunately.

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