70802Good old fashioned busy Lizzie is hard to find nowadays, if it can be found at all. The nasty mildew that kills it so quickly might not be prevalent everywhere, but happens to be a serious problem where most of the bedding plant farms are located. Now, the formerly uncommon New Guinea impatiens, Impatiens X hawkeri, which is somehow resistant to the mildew, is becoming popular.

The two specie have distinct personalities though. Busy Lizzie dazzles with cheery cartoonish colors, and bloom profuse enough to almost obscure the light green foliage. New Guinea impatiens has bigger and bolder flowers of white, pink, red, magenta, lavender, purple, apricot and reddish orange, but does not try to hide its rich green, bronze, purplish bronze or gold variegated foliage.

New Guinea impatiens are more expensive, and are not available in cell packs like most other bedding plants are. They are most popular in four inch pots. They do well in pots and tolerate partial shade, but want rich soil and regular watering. Mature plants can get more than a foot wide, and might get as tall if crowded. Although grown as annuals, they can survive as short term perennials.

12 thoughts on “New Guinea Impatiens

  1. Busy Lizzies have been on trend here this year after languishing for a few years. There is a new type being sold that is said to be disease resistant and a garden mainly featuring them won best in show at Hampton Court Flower Show, if my memory serves me. I wasn’t won over, but many people who saw it were. I don’t know if you follow The Frustrated Gardener – he reviewed the garden very enthusiastically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I do not know what to think about them. They look indistinguishable to me in pictures, which I suppose is a good thing, but I am wondering if I was looking at the right impatiens. There must be something different about the.


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