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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens campanulata

You would think a plant this beautiful would be in all the nurseries!  Impatiens campanulata is a terrific species from India that is new to cultivation.  Its exotic, orchid-shaped blossoms appear all throughout the year.  Their pink & red markings almost look sprayed on!  Even without blooms it is a first-rate ornamental, with striking, deep-olive foliage that's copper underneath.  It is pretty rare, and seldom seen for sale.

Impatiens campanulata

Impatiens campanulata is a perennial species that grows to about 18 inches tall and wide.  The foliage is lush and satiny, and its unusual color stands out among other plants.  The inch-wide blooms appear in panicles of 3 to 5 at the tops of the shoots.  The markings are brick red on the upper petals, and pinkish on the lower ones.  There are also two yellow nectaries inside each blossom.  The plant is a heavy bloomer and it flowers most months of the year for me.  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.

Impatiens campanulata

Impatiens campanulata comes from the mountains of southern India, where temperatures are mild year-round and nights are cool.  I don't know its climate tolerances, but i suspect it might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) and nights are warm.  I grow it indoors as a houseplant, where it does great in a small pot or hanging planter.  Outdoors, i recommend protecting it from frost.  It might be able to survive a few degrees of frost, since it is able to grow back from the roots.  Like most Impatiens, it enjoys fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  It prefers filtered sun or bright shade.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it is easy to grow.

Impatiens campanulata

 

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