Care Of New Guinea Impatiens

Location: Newbern, NC

Question: I just bought a beautiful New Guinea Impatien and I have it hanging outside. Please tell me about it. What it likes, growing habits, soil prefernce, moisture, light, etc. Also, do I need to fertilize it. If I was to plant it in the ground, would it come back next year? How do I prepare it for winter? How do I start new plants from this one? Seeds,or cuttings? Thanks so much for your help.

Answer: Hybrid New Guinea Impatiens are perennial plants, generally grown outdoors as summer annuals. There are a number of species, either upright or spreading, usually with large leaves, often variegated with cream or red. The flower colors range from lavender, purple, pink, red, and orange. All grow well in pots with some exposure to sunshine (shade from hottest afternoon sun), ample moisture and regular feeding. Since you've planted yours in containers, use commercial potting soil, water before the soil becomes dry, and feed every 3-4 weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer. New Guinea Impatiens is a popular houseplant that will bloom all winter long if its needs are met. Here are some handy hints for keeping your plant happy while indoors: Provide average household temperatures, minimum of 55F in winter. Give bright light, with a few hours of direct sunlight in the winter to promote flowering. Keep potting soil moist but not soggy wet. Mist leaves if the air is dry, but don't get water on flower petals or they will become spotted. Repot in the spring, using fresh potting soil. You can take stem cuttings or divide the roots in spring to propagate your plant.

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