Garden

Impatiens

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GeneralitŠ°

About five hundred species of annual and perennial plants, originating in Africa and Asia, belong to the Impatiens genus; I. walleriana is an African species, perennial, but cultivated as an annual because of the strong sensitivity to frosts. It produces small, very branched shrubs, consisting of thin, fleshy, almost transparent, light green stems, which bear numerous small, almost heart-shaped, pointed leaves, with indented margin, of dark green or light green color. From March-April, until the first cold autumns, they produce numerous flowers of various colors, from white to pink, from red to purple; there are numerous varieties, hybrid and non-hybrid, with striped, two-colored, and even double flowers. The plants of Impatiens walleriana generally reach 30-40 cm in height; I. hawkererii "New Guinea" is a very vigorous variety, with large elongated leaves, dark green in color, and medium-sized flowers, in shades of white, red and pink, generally tolerate the sun better than I. walleriana. These plants in nature in their places of origin are perennial, and bloom practically all year round, producing round, evergreen shrubs. In European gardens they are grown as annuals, in garden beds, or even in pots.


Exposure

they prefer semi-shady positions or even in complete shade, since the direct sun causes their rapid drying; the cultivation in very sunny areas gives rise to underdeveloped plants, which need very frequent watering in summer. They fear temperatures below 5-10 ° C, so they are grown as annuals, or they can be grown as houseplants during cold weather; in fact they are generally not conserved from one year to the next, given that the rapid production from seed makes them inexpensive plants.

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