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Impatiens flanaganae

Impatiens flanaganae

 

Your tuber should be planted when received

Pot size -- The tuber will grow and multiply very quickly and will eventually need a pot at least 14 inches (35 cm) wide, with a height of at least 7 inches (18 cm).  But start your tuber in a smaller pot, and transplant it to a bigger one 3-4 months after sprouting.  Use a pot about 3 inches wider than tuber is long.  It's ok to use a rectangular or oval container, since the tuber cluster usually doesn't get as wide as it does long.

Soil -- Like most Impatiens, this one likes fertile, well-draining soil.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite.

Planting -- If you don't see a stem emerging from your tuber, the side which has more root nubs should be planted downward.  Plant it horizontally about 1 inch (3 cm) under the soil.  Water the soil just enough so it's evenly moist (not fully saturated).  Keep it this moist until a shoot appears. 

 Until it sprouts, keep it between about 60-78 degrees F (16-26C).  A little cooler at night is ok.  It should send up a shoot within 4 to 6 weeks, but it may take a longer if it recently went dormant.

Watering -- Once it sprouts, keep the soil evenly moist.  Never let it dry out completely, but also don't keep it constantly soggy either.  If you're unsure if the roots are moist enough, try using a moisture meter, sold at garden shops and online.

Lighting -- This Impatiens enjoys bright, filtered light, or morning sun + bright shade.  Strong sun might burn or wilt the leaves.  In hotter conditions, keep the plant out of direct sun. 

Growing onward..

Climate -- It prefers temperatures between 40 and 80 or 85 degrees F (5-29C).  It might be able to tolerate warmer conditions if nights are cool (below 65F/18C).  In warmer conditions, mulch the soil, and also shade the pot, perhaps by placing it inside a second pot made of clay.  If your plant looks unhappy in hot weather, you may need to bring it into a cool room. 

Fertilizing -- Your Impatiens likes average amounts of fertilizer.  Feed about every 2-3 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

Humidity - Over about 40% humidity is best.  If your plant seems to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

Transplanting --  Transplant to a bigger pot about 3 months after it sprouts.  Use a pot about twice the length of the tuber.  If you're unsure how long the tuber is, feel under the soil.  The pot doesn't need to be very tall - the width is more important, since it grows sideways.  Avoid breaking apart the soil ball when transplanting, which can damage the roots and lead to wilting.  If it happens to wilt, move it out of sun for a few weeks while it recovers.  Don't feed for 2 weeks after repotting.   

Pruning -- Pruning isn't necessary.  The tuber tends to make 1 to 3 upright stems, each with few side branches that usually remain short.  If you prefer a bushier, shorter plant, prune the top of the main stem to encourage the side branches to grow fuller.  Only do this once per season.

Dormancy care -- The plant usually goes dormant in winter, if temperatures are cool enough.  If the stem starts to die back or wilt, that's a sign it's preparing for dormancy.  This can happen indoors too after a year or two of growth.  When this happens, reduce watering.

 While the tuber is dormant, keep the soil lightly moist.  Ensure that it doesn't dry out completely.  Feel free to pull up the bulbs up while they are dormant to separate the offsets.  The bulbs are fairly rot-proof, but avoid letting the soil stay too wet while dormant.

 Indoors, it may grow continuously for a year or more, until they get tired of flowering and go dormant.  Once dormant, move it to a cool spot, perhaps on the floor of a cool room.  After 2 months, move them back to a warmer spot to encourage them to come out of dormancy.

 Outdoors, mature, dormant tubers should be hardy down the low-20s (-5C) if planted deep and kept dry and well mulched - but it's best to bring them indoors in those conditions.

Pests to watch for -- Look for any pests that may affect your other plants.  Try using insecticidal soap spray before using stronger remedies, since some may harm the plant.

 If you have questions, feel free to contact me. 

Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 
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