"True Blue" Impatiens
Please be careful removing your plant from it's packaging.
Pot size -- You can start your plant in a 1 gallon pot and then later transfer it to a 2-3 gallon pot when it's rooted through.
Soil -- Like most Impatiens, this one likes moist, rich, well-draining soil. Most high-quality potting soils should work, although it's a good idea to mix in some perlite (1/4 volume) to lighten the mix.
Transplanting -- Transplant carefully to avoid damaging the delicate roots. After transplanting, water it until moist (but not soggy. Don't pack the soil down.
If your plant happens to arrive wilted, leave it in its original pot for a few days with no direct sun, until it perks up. Placing a plastic bag over it will speed the recovery. Give no fertilizer until new growth appears.
Watering -- Your plant likes evenly-moist conditions, but soggy soil should be avoided. You may want to use a moisture meter probe, which you can buy for about $4 at most garden and hardware stores. For the first month, please ensure that the original soil ball remains moist (but not soggy). Depending on how much light you give it, the plant may dry out unexpectedly if it's not kept moist. You can put a layer of mulch on the soil to retain moisture and keep the roots cool.
In many parts of the country, the water supply has unwanted chemicals or a high pH. If you have doubts about your water, use bottled water or rain water. Avoid water-softening filters that add sodium to the water, like Brita or Pur.
Lighting -- This Impatiens does best in filtered light. Prolonged direct sun may burn it, unless it's morning or late afternoon sun. In warmer areas, keep it well shaded during mid-day. Keep the pot shaded too, for the same reason.
Your Impatiens was grown in filtered light and should be acclimated to direct sun slowly. I recommend starting your plant with bright, indirect light for the first few days, followed by an hour or two of morning sun. Then every 4-5 days you can increase the sun a little.
Climate -- Little is known about this plant's climate preferences. Some Himalayan Impatiens species resent temperatures above 85-90, however this one appears to have some more heat tolerance. Still, i do not know how it will fare in warmer areas like Florida. It's believed to be root-hardy to several degrees of frost, although i would protect it from all frost. You can grow your plant indoors, provided that the air isn't too dry. Over 50% humidity is recommended. You may use a room humidifier if the air gets too dry. If your room humidity is under 50%, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which you can buy at places like Home Depot and thrift shops.
Fertilizing -- Your Impatiens likes average amounts of fertilizer. Feed about every 3 weeks during periods of active growth using regular all-purpose fertilizer that has micronutrients. It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it's excessive, the plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen. Don't try to force more growth with excessive fertilizer.
Pruning -- You can cut back unwanted branches partially or completely and the plant will grow bushier. Try not to remove more than 10-20% of the branches in a week.
Pests to watch for -- Scale (little brown disks on the stems - very hard to see!), aphids, spider mites (tiny "dots" under the leaves), whitefly, mealy bugs.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Enjoy your plant!
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