By: Liz Baessler
Impatiens plants are great bedding and container flowers that ought to bloom reliably all summer long. They’re an old standby for bright, full color. That’s why it can be especially frustrating if your plants stop blooming or never even start. Keep reading to learn more about why impatiens won’t bloom.
Of all the possible reasons impatiens are not blooming, one of the most common is improper sun exposure. Impatiens plants bloom best with some shade, a requirement that often leads to misunderstanding. While some impatiens bloom well in full shade, for the most part they’ll perform better with at least some sun. On the other hand, too much sun will cut down on blooming, too. Avoid planting your impatiens in full sun. If you have them in full shade and they’re not blooming well, try moving them to a spot that gets a few hours of good afternoon sun exposure.
Another common cause of no flowers on impatiens is improper watering. If the roots of impatiens plants get waterlogged, the flowers will tend to drop off and the foliage will take on a red tinge. If you see this, cut back on your watering. Don’t cut back too far, though. You never want your soil to dry out completely.
If your impatiens won’t bloom, it may also be due to over fertilization. A lot of fertilizers are high in nitrogen, which is great for foliage growth but bad for flower production. If you’ve been fertilizing heavily with nitrogen, stop feeding and give the plant a chance to balance its nutrients back out.
Overzealous pruning may also be the cause for an impatiens with no flowers. Impatiens plants benefit from deadheading, but if you’re cutting back whole stems, you might accidentally be removing flower buds before they get a chance to open. On the other hand, if your impatiens plant is long and leggy and you don’t see lots of buds, pruning the stems back is actually a good option for encouraging new, bushier growth with new blossoms.
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Read more about Impatiens
Impatiens spp. (describing the “impatient" nature of the seed pods, which burst open when ripe to effectively disperse their contents).
Impatiens, Touch-me-not plant, busy Lizzie, patient Lucy, sultana
A tender herbaceous perennial in hardiness zones 10-11 grown as an annual in most regions of the country.
Late spring until the first frost.
Anywhere from 8 to 12 inches tall for dwarf forms, to as tall as 3 feet for larger cultivars.