- BIDENS FERULIFOLIA
- IVY GERANIUM
- MACRANTA GERANIUM
- NCENSE (SWEDISH IVY)
- ORNAMENTAL CABBAGE
- SALVIA SPLENDENS
- VILLE DE PARIS GERANIUM
- ZONAL GERANIUM
More than 800 species native to Asia and Africa belong to the Impatiens genus. The plants most commonly used for ornamental purposes are annual or perennial with fleshy and delicate stems and leaves and very colourful simple or double blooms. The name Impatiens derives from “impatient” since the capsules that contain the seeds, when ripe, burst open when touched, casting their seeds to a considerable distance.
The species cultivated in gardens or in flower boxes are called “snapweed” due to their delicate appearance. All the plants of this genus need to live in hot and humid locations, possibly in the shade or part-shade. Impatiens prefer soil mix rich in humus that maintain a good reserve of water. The ideal compost for these plants should contain 80% peat and 20% sand. Irrigation must be frequent (at least once a day) and so should fertilization, which should be repeated once a fortnight. The most common diseases are caused by aphids, white butterflies and red spider mites. Among the species most commonly used in gardens are:
Impatiens hawkererii “New Guinea”: a variety that develops into a big plant and that forms a bush with strong red branches and green, lanceolate leaves with dark stripes. The flowers are simple or double with eye-catching shades of pink, red, and white. This variety, which is very vigorous in nature, is perennial in its place of origin. If kept in warm locations, it blooms all year long. If placed outdoors, in positions protected from the wind and from direct sun, it behaves as a seasonal plant. It may be grown in gardens, but only in vases protected from the wind and from direct sunlight.
Impatiens walleriana: a very delicate plant for vases or borders, to be placed in locations with diffused light or in part-shade. A perennial, herbaceous plant with tender and succulent stems, it can be planted where the temperature does not go above 15°C. It flowers from June to October and has red, pink, white, orange, lavender-coloured, violet, and even bicolor (red and white) flowers with slender stems. This species grows up to 30-50 cm high. Although perennial, the plants are treated as annuals.