"Blue Dream" Impatiens
Please be careful removing your plant from it's packaging.
Getting started -- Your Impatiens was grown in filtered light and will need to be acclimated to direct sun very slowly. Impatiens arguta is fairly sensitive to sudden increases in the amount of sun per day. I recommend starting your plant with bright, indirect light for the first week, followed by an hour or two of morning sun if desired. Then every few days, you can increase the sun by a small amount. Keep in mind that this plant doesn't need a lot of direct sun. Filtered sun or bright shade works very well and prevents burning and drying out of the soil.
Potting up -- Transplant very gently to avoid damaging the delicate roots. Plant it in a 1 gallon container (approximately). Impatiens arguta likes moist but well-draining soil that's high in organic matter. A good mix would be 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 perlite or pumice rock. Do not fertilize for the first week after transplanting.
If your plant should arrive wilted, or wilt after transplanting, simply place a plastic bag over the entire plant and pot. It should perk up within a few days, and you may remove the bag.
Watering -- For the first month, please ensure that the original soil ball remains moist all the times. You can use a moisture meter probe, which you buy for about $4 at most garden and hardware stores. During periods of active growth and warm weather, your plant will need extra watering, however the pot should never sit in water. Add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and keep the roots cool. Also keep the pot shaded for the same reason.
After about 3-4 months, you may repot it into a larger container (2-3 gallons, or a wide planter).
Climate/sunlight -- The regions where Impatiens arguta comes from typically get from 32-39 degrees in the winter and from 75-90 in the summer. Keep in mind that growth and flowering tends to slow below around 50 degrees, so bring it indoors if you'd like it to flower over the winter. Outdoors, protect it from frost. In hot-summer areas, give it shade during the hot parts of the day, and don't plant it where heat can collect, like near a sunny wall. This Impatiens looks best when grown in dappled sunlight (filtered) or bright shade. It does best with humidity over about 40%. If grown indoors, you can use a room humidifier if the air gets too dry in the winter.
Fertilizing -- Impatiens arguta likes average amounts of fertilizer. Feed about every 3 weeks during periods of active growth using regular vegetable fertilizer. If growth slows, reduce the feedings. Don't try to force more growth with excessive fertilizer. It's normal for a few older leaves to yellow and drop throughout the year, but if it seems excessive, it may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen.
Pruning -- You can prune back leggy branches to one or two "nubs" and the plant will get bushier. Try not to remove more than 10-20% of the branches in a week. You may stake the branches upright if you wish, or let them trail over the side of the pot.
Pests to watch for -- Scale (little brown disks on the stem - very hard to see!), aphids, spider mites (tiny "dots" under the leaves), snails/slugs.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Enjoy your plant!
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