Impatiens usambarensis

Impatiens usambarensis


Getting started -- Use well-draining soil that's high in organic matter.  A good soil mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite, for extra drainage.

Transplant to a 1 gallon pot, approximately.  You can transplant again to a 3-5 gallon container after 2-3 months.  Transplant carefully to avoid damaging the delicate roots.  After transplanting, avoid packing the soil down. 

Impatiens sometimes wilt after shipping or transplanting, and if yours does, cover it with a plastic bag that has a dime-sized hole in it.  Every day, make another hole in the bag.  After a week, you should be able to remove the bag.

Lighting -- This Impatiens prefers filtered sunlight.  Protect it from strong sun exposure.

Watering -- Try to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, most of the time.  You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture levels down in the root zone. 

Climate -- This Impatiens prefers mild temperatures.  If possible, grow at 60-75 degrees.  In warmer areas, give it plenty of shade and air circulation.  Protect from freezing temperatures.  The humidity should be above about 40%.  If your room humidity gets below that, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which you can buy at places like Home Depot and thrift shops.

Fertilizing -- Your Impatiens has average fertilizer needs. Feed about every 3 weeks during periods of active growth using regular all-purpose fertilizer that has micronutrients.  It's normal for older leaves to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it's excessive, the plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen. Also check that the soil is moist, but not soggy, down in the root zone.  Don't feed your plant the first week after transplanting.

Pests to watch for -- aphids, spider mites (tiny "dots" and webbing under the leaves), whitefly, mealy bugs.  Certain spider mites can't be seen but cause deformities of the new leaves.  Be careful when choosing chemical remedies, because some may harm the plant.

Have fun growing it!


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