SPENT the last 15 years living on Norfolk Island and had no problem
growing double-flowered impatiens. Now I live in Nelson and I've
picked up as many cuttings of them as I can, but they are not growing
as they should. I live on the hills with no frost and grow them
in pots. Can you help?
of the double-flowered impatiens are not as vigorous as their single-flowered
cousins, but you should still be able to grow them well in Nelson,
even though it's quite a bit cooler overall than Norfolk Island.
Pinch the tips out of
your rooted cuttings when you pot them up to make them bushy. Keep
them moist and feed liberally with a fertiliser, such as Nitrosol
or Thrive, during summer to encourage strong growth. They can stand
sun for a few hours each day, but often do better in part shade.
If they get tall and leggy, cut them back in spring and feed again
to force new growth.
Watch out for pests
like thrips, which can cause the lower leaves to drop off, but this
is generally only a problem if conditions are too hot and dry. If
they do become infected, cut them back, feed them and water to get
them growing again. They're generally not seriously affected by
other pests or diseases.
Gardener, Issue 178, 2005, Page 32
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.