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True Blue Impatiens

Hidden in a remote part of Tibet in the Himalayas lies the world's deepest canyon, the Tsangpo gorge.  Three times deeper than the Grand Canyon, this uninhabited valley is teeming with exotic plants, many never seen before in the West.  It was here in 2003 that explorers discovered what may be the bluest Impatiens species - Impatiens namchabarwensis - the "True Blue" Impatiens.  Named for its mountain homeland, Mt. Namcha-Barwa, it is a very rare beauty that happens to be easy to grow!  Fresh seeds (not stored) are rarely seen for sale.

Blue Impatiens namchabarwensis

The True Blue Impatiens grows vigorously to about 18 inches tall and wide.  Outdoors it is an annual plant that re-seeds itself, while indoors it can be a short-lived perennial.  It flowers practically non-stop all year for me!  Depending on the growing conditions, the color can vary from a violet-blue to an almost true blue.  They have a contrasting white throat and have are interesting yellow and red markings both inside and outside the blooms.  The 1 inch flowers share a "bird-like" resemblance to my Impatiens arguta.  Both species grow near each other on Mt. Namcha Barwa.  You might be able to cross-breed this species with some other Impatiens to create exciting new hybrids!

Impatiens namchabarwensis

It grows best between 50 and 85 degrees F (10-29C), with nights that are cool.  There are several reports of it tolerating warmer conditions with warm nights, but it should still be considered experimental in warm climates.  The plant needs protection from freezing temperatures.  It grows well in filtered sunlight or morning sun + bright shade.  Protect it from hot afternoon sun.  Like most Impatiens, it prefers fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  In the right conditions, it is a fast grower, and a very heavy bloomer! 

Impatiens namchabawensis

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