Impatiens wallerana (Busy Lizzie) Care Indoors, Propagation and Problems


Impatiens wallerana are popular flowering plants 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.

The leaves are oval and may be all-green, bronze, red, mahogany or red-edged with white.

Balsam blooms are very attractive and will brighten up any space with their striking colors.

The genus name 'walleriana' is in honour of a British missionary, Horace Waller (1833–1896).

Busy Lizzie Plant, Impatiens wallerana

Botanical name: Impatiens wallerana
Family: Balsaminaceae
Synonym: Impatiens sultanii
Common names: Busy Lizzie, Balsam, Sultana, Impatiens

Origin

Impatiens wallerana belongs to the family Balsaminaceae and is native to to eastern Africa from Kenya to Mozambique.

Size

Sultana are compact and may grow to a height of 2 ft with straggly and fleshy stems.

Varieties

Impatiens wallerana are a popular group of flowering plants 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 of Busy Lizzie plants.

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.

Toxicity

As indicated by ASPCA, Impatiens wallerana is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow in the home.

Where to Buy

Impatiens are an excellent addition for your plant collection, check them on Etsy.

Impatiens wallerana Care Indoors

Impatiens wallerana (Busy Lizzie) likes bright light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with feeding during the growing season.

Busy Lizzie requires regular pruning to keep it neat and tidy as well as encourage a bushy growth. Repotting is only needed when the plant becomes extremely pot-bound as it blooms best when root-bound. Keep reading for more details on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Busy Lizzie Plant, Impatiens wallerana

Light Requirements

Impatiens grows best under bright light away from direct sunlight. Too little light will result in no or poor flowering.

Rotate the pot regularly to make sure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Where the natural lighting is not enough instal a grow light to supplement it. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Watering

Water Impatiens thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moist at all times.

Decrease watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can result in root-rot.

Avoid wetting the flowers as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead.

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Busy Lizzie Plant. Keep it away from drafts to prevent leaf drop.

Impatiens wallerana grows best in humid conditions. To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Potting Medium

The best soil for Impatiens should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Buy multi-purpose potting mixes from Amazon.

Fertilizer

Feed Balsam with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season. Do not feed in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Pruning

Prune Impatiens by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and also discourage pests and diseases.

To encourage the growth of a bushy plant, pinch the growing tips regularly. With time, the plant will become leggy. Cutback the stems and use them to propagate new Impatiens.

Repotting

Busy Lizzie does not require very frequent repotting as the plant prefers to be root-bound to enhance flowering.

Repot Sultana at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant becomes extremely root-bound.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining soil to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease. Take a look at these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

Propagation

Impatiens wallerana (Busy Lizzie) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from seeds or stem cuttings.

How to propagate Impatiens wallerana from seeds

Sow the Impatiens seeds in moist free-draining soil and cover the set up with clear polythene to create warm and humid conditions inorder to hasten germination and establishment.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist thorough out.

Ensure the rooting container has adequate drainage to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can cause rotting.

Allow the new Impatiens to be well established before transplanting after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Impatiens wallerana from stem cuttings

Take 4-6 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Impatiens plant and ensure they have at least 2 leaf nodes.

Insert the cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting of the plants.

Allow the new Impatiens plants to be well established before transplanting after which routine care can begin.

Busy Lizzie Plant, Impatiens wallerana

Impatiens wallerana Problems

Impatiens wallerana (Busy Lizzie) problems include leaf drop, lack of blooms, poor flowering, dropping flowers, wilting, rotting, leggy growth, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for a detailed account on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Losing (dropping) leaves

Impatiens losing (dropping) leaves is due to three possible causes. One possible cause is prolonged exposure to low temperatures.

Maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 150C and protect the plant from cold draughts.

The second possible cause of Impatiens losing (dropping) leaves is irregular watering; either underwatering or overwatering.

Maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season and slightly moist in the cold period but do not allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The third possible cause of Busy Lizzie losing (dropping) leaves is severe pest infestation. Regularly inspect the plant for pests and carry out timely pest control measures.

No blooms

One reason for lack of blooms in Impatiens is too frequent repotting. Keep the plant root-bound to encourage blooms.

The second reason for lack of blooms in Busy Lizzie is too little light as it grows best under bright light away from direct sunlight.

Move the plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light away from direct sunlight or instal a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Poor flowering

Impatiens wallerana poor flowering is due to four possible causes. one possible cause is too little light as it requires bright light away from direct sunlight to promote flowering.

Position the Impatiens in a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light away from direct sunlight.

The second possible cause of Busy Lizzie poor flowering is poor feeding or feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.

Feed Impatiens with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season but do not feed during the cold season.

The third possible cause of Impatiens wallerana poor flowering is cold temperatures due to cold drafts like windy windows and doors among other.

Maintain an average warmth and keep the plant away from cold draffts.

The fourth possible cause of Impatiens wallerana poor flowering is too frequent repotting.

Do not repot unless the plant is extremely root bound. Repot into a pot that is only one size larger to avoid overpotting.

Losing (dropping) flowers

Impatiens Losing (dropping) flowers is due to four possible reasons. One possible reason is too little light as it thrives in bright light away from direct sunlight.

Place the plant in a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light away from direct sunlight.

The second possible reason for Busy Lizzie losing (dropping) flowers is too dry air (too low humidity).

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in a brightly lit bathroom or other moist areas in the home. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The third possible reason for Impatiens losing (dropping) flowers is that the soil is too dry (underwatering).

Water the Busy Lizzie liberally during the growing season and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Lessen watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The fourth possible reason for Busy Lizzie wallerana losing (dropping) flowers is that it is infested by spider mites. Regularly inspect the plant for pests and carry out timely pest control measures.

Wilting leaves

Impatiens wilting leaves are due to underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season.

Reduce watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Leggy growth

Impatiens becoming leggy in young plants is due to inadequate light as the plant prefers bright light away from direct sunlight.

Move the Busy Lizzie to a brighter spot and make sure that it will receive bright light away from direct sunlight.

Aging plants become leggy as they grow. Cutback the stems and use them to propagate new plants or discard them.

Rotting stems

Impatiens wallerana rotting stems are due to overwatering or soggy soil especially in cool, shady conditions.

Cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time.

In addition, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil drains freely to prevent it from getting soggy.

Pests

The common pests in Impatiens wallerana are spider mites, mealy bugs, aphids, whiteflies and thrips all of which cause the leaves to be disfigured or discolored.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and control pests in houseplants.

Diseases

Impatiens wallerana is prone to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil and leaf spot disease. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants. Read on how to treat root-rot diseases in houseplants.

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