Impatiens walleriana hybrids, or 'Super Elfin Red', are the most cultivated Impatiens in the U.S. They are a tender perennial that is usually treated as an annual. They have dark green, glossy, narrow 1-3 inch (2.5-7.7 cm) leaves on light green stems. Plants are 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) tall and wide. The ease of germination and culture makes them a great plant to grow whether in containers or in the landscape. Plants bloom in 8-10 weeks from seed.
Blooming: In the greenhouse, the plants will bloom all year long. The 1.25 inch (3.1 cm) flowers are dark red and very showy.
Culture: Impatiens walleriana hybrids need a shady location and rich moist soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants are kept moist all year long and fertilized weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ˝ the recommended strength on the label. In our greenhouse, we never allow winter temperatures to fall below 60°F (15°C). In the landscape they are suited for USDA zones 8 or above. When grown in USDA zone 7 (or below with a headstart) they are treated as annuals.
Propagation: Impatiens walleriana hybrids are propagated by division in spring before new growth begins.
Impatiens walleriana hybrid 'Super Elfin Red' was featured as Plant of the Week October 21-27, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.