How to grow and care for Busy Lizzie Plant Indoors

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Houseplant, Busy Lizzie Plant

Botanical name: Impatiens wallerana

Impatiens are popular flowering houseplants which will bloom almost through out the year when given the proper care. Pinching out the tips of young plants encourages growth of a bushy plant. These plants are compact and may grow to a height of 2 ft. The stems are straggly and fleshy with oval leaves which may be all-green, bronze, red, mahogany or red-edged with white. The blooms are very attractive and will brighten up any space. Impatiens wallerana are a popular group of flowering houseplants which include the green leaved Impatiens holstii and Impatiens sultani and the red-leaved Impatiens petersiana. In recent years, breeders and plant hunters have been responsible for hundreds of new varieties. An example is the F1 hybrid which is a range of small and compact plants with a mass of blooms which partly or almost entirely cover the leaves.

How to Grow Busy Lizzie Plant

Light

Busy Lizzie Plant grows best under bright light away from direct sunlight. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Busy Lizzie Plant thoroughly during the hot season and maintain the soil moist at all times. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Avoid wetting the blooms to prevent rotting. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Busy Lizzie Plant. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Busy Lizzie Plant grows best in humid conditions. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant.

Feeding

Feed Busy Lizzie Plant with a water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season. Withhold feeding during the growth season as growth is minimal. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

Pruning

Prune Busy Lizzie Plant by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To encourage the growth of a bushy plant, pinch the growing tips regularly. With time, the plant becomes leggy; cutback the stems and use them to propagate new plants.

Repotting

Busy Lizzie Plants do not require very frequent repotting as the plant prefers to be root-bound to enhance flowering. Repot at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes extremely root-bound. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot.

How to Propagate Busy Lizzie Plant

Busy Lizzie Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from seeds or stem cuttings.

Propagating Busy Lizzie Plant from seeds
Sow the seeds in moist free-draining soil. Cover the set up with clear polythene to create warm and humid conditions which hastens germination and establishment of the plants. Place the set up in a warm brightly-lit place. Maintain the soil moist thorough out and avoid waterlogging as it can cause rotting. Allow the plants to be well established before transplanting.

Propagating Busy Lizzie Plant from stem cuttings
Take 4-6 in. stem cuttings and ensure they have at least 2 leaf nodes. Insert the cuttings in moist free-draining soil. Place the set up in a warm place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Avoid waterlogging sa it can lead to rotting. Allow the new plants to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Busy Lizzie Plant

  • Leaf loss
  • Causes of leaf loss in Busy Lizzie Plant are prolonged exposure to low temperatures; maintain average warmth and protect the plant from cold draughts, irregular watering; maintain the soil moist at all times and severe pest infestation; carry out the necessary control measures.

  • Wilted leaves
  • Underwatering is the cause of wilted leaves in Busy Lizzie Plant; water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season.

  • Leggy plants
  • Leggy young Busy Lizzie Plants are due to inadequate light; provide the plant with bright light away from direct sunlight. Aging plants become leggy; cutback the stems and use them to propagate new plants or discard them.

  • Rotting stems
  • Overwatering Busy Lizzie Plant especially in cool, shady conditions will cause the stems to start rotting. Reduce watering in the cold months to maintain the soil slightly moist.

  • No blooms
  • Too frequent repotting of a Busy Lizzie Plant will result in no flowers; keep the plant root-bound to encourage blooms.

  • Poor flowering
  • Several reasons can lead to poor flowering in Busy Lizzie Plant. These are too little light, poor feeding, cold temperatures or too frequent repotting.

  • Loss of flowers
  • Busy Lizzie Plant will drop flowers if the light is too low, the air is too dry, the soil is too dry or if it is infested by Spider Mites.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Busy Lizzie Plant are Spider Mite, Mealy Bugs, Aphids, Whiteflies and Thrips all which cause the leaves to be disfigured or discolored.

  • Diseases
  • Busy Lizzie Plant is prone to Root-rot Disease which is promoted by waterlogged soil and Leaf Spot Disease.

Toxicity

Busy Lizzie Plant is mildly toxic to humans and pets. If ingested it can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets.

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