Impatiens, Old-Fashioned (Impatiens walleriana)

Impatiens, Old-Fashioned Plant Features

Old-fashioned impatiens are some of the most popular annual flowers in North America. They bloom in a seemingly unlimited number of shades, from white to dark purple, and thrive in shaded corners of the landscape. Perfect by themselves or mixed with other shade lovers (such as begonias or caladiums), old-fashioned impatiens are a surefire way to add lots of color to any spot in your landscape that doesn't see sun during the hot afternoon hours. 

Because old-fashioned impatiens are so easy to grow, they're a favorite flower in containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets, as well as garden beds and borders in the landscape. 

Impatiens, Old-Fashioned Growing Instructions

Grow old-fashioned impatiens in moist, well-drained soil in shade or partial shade. Don't plant impatiens in a spot that gets too much afternoon sun, otherwise the plants will fry. Impatiens aren't very drought tolerant and let you know they're thirsty by wilting dramatically. Happily, they perk up quickly after being watered. If your soil tends to dry out quickly, a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over it can help it retain moisture longer. Adding lots of organic matter, such as compost, is another topnotch way to help the ground stay moist for as long as possible.

Impatiens aren't as popular as they used to be because of a disease called impatiens downy mildew. This disease typically attacks the plants in late summer and can make a healthy plant lose all of its leaves in less than a week, leaving the plants looking like a bunch of brown sticks. The disease can remain in the ground for several years, so if you think the disease has affected your landscape, look for alternative plants to use for the next few years. 

Impatiens are not intended for human or animal consumption (though they are a favorite of hungry deer and rabbits, unfortunately).
  • Water

    Constantly moist soil

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Outside: Part sun

    Outside: Shade

  • Colors








  • Special Features

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Impatiens, Old-Fashioned

Begonia is super easy to grow and is a lovely accent to impatiens.

Impatiens, New Guinea
New Guinea impatiens look great with their cousins -- and need the same growing conditions, too.

Zebra Plant
Don't be afraid to take houseplants outdoors! Colorful zebra plant is one variety that makes a perfect pairing for impatiens.

Our favorite varieties

Bounce White Impatiens

Bounce White Impatiens

Impatiens 'Bounce White'

Bounce White is part of the new generation of old-fashioned impatiens that has great disease resistance and a more spreading habit that's practically covered in white flowers. It grows 2 feet tall and wide.

Bounce Cherry Impatiens

Bounce Cherry Impatiens

Impatiens 'Bounce Cherry'

Disease resistant Bounce Cherry dazzles with bright cherry-pink flowers all the way to frost. It grows 2 feet tall and wide and is perfect for garden beds, borders, and containers.

Big Bounce Red Impatiens

Big Bounce Red Impatiens

Impatiens 'Big Bounce Red'

This gorgeous, disease-resistant variety shows off a plethora of bright red flowers from spring to frost on a plant that grows about 3 feet tall and wide.