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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens grandis Rosa

This is a close look at the beautiful, rare Impatiens grandis "Rosa".  This exotic species comes from southern India and Sri Lanka, where it said to be endangered.  Its large, orchid-like blooms have streaks of red across soft-pink petals.  Even without blooms it is a first-rate foliage plant.  The oversized leaves are unusually thick and robust, and the entire plant can grow to 5 feet tall!  This is a hard-to-find plant that is rarely seen for sale.

Impatiens grandis Rosa

Impatiens grandis is an evergreen, perennial species with an upright growth habit and rigid stems.  The plant has a husky, bush-like appearance, with little resemblance to typical Impatiens.  This "Rosa" subspecies is a bit different than the white form, shown below.  The foliage of Rosa is a lovely shade of olive on top, and red underneath.  The 2-inch long flowers appear at the tops of the tall branches, which puts them at the right height for viewing!  Cool temperatures deepen the color of the blooms.  The blooms appear the heaviest in winter, with occasional blooms other times of the year.

Impatiens grandis

The white form, for comparison

Impatiens grandis comes from highland forests, where the climate is relatively mild all year.  Preferred temperatures are between 55 and 80 degrees F (13-27C).  It can tolerate warmer temperatures if nights are cool, but it probably won't bloom in those conditions.  The plant might get stressed in consistently hot temperatures with warm nights, like in Florida.  It can go deciduous in winter in temperatures below 45 F (7C).  Protect the plant from all frost.  It does wonderfully indoors in a pot.  Give it filtered sunlight, or morning sun + bright shade.  Protect it from strong sun exposure.  Like most Impatiens, it enjoys moist, well-draining soil and regular feeding.  Over about 40% humidity is recommended.  In the right conditions, it's an easy plant that is rarely troubled by pests.

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Germinating the seeds

 

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