Impatiens' vivid and cheerful blooms effortlessly brighten up the shady corners of a garden or patio. This mounding plant is typically covered in flowers from spring through fall. As a continuous blooming plant, Impatiens can be counted on to provide a bright burst of color. However, sometimes the plant may not bloom, or there may not be as many flowers. Impatiens not blooming is unfortunate, but it can be fixed. Find out what can stop Impatiens from flowering and how to easily fix these problems.
Common Reasons Why Impatiens Isn’t Blooming
Impatiens need part shade, but they still need some light. Some varieties can bloom in full shade, but a lack of sunlight could cause your plant to not bloom. Move the plant to an area with filtered light in the morning and afternoon shade and see if that helps. On the other hand, too much light is also damaging and can prevent blooming, so if the plant is constantly drying out or if the leaves are showing signs of sun damage, relocate the plant to a shady area.
Improper watering can limit flower growth. Impatiens like damp conditions, but they need to dry out somewhat between watering. Too much water can overwhelm the plant and lead to root rot and diminished flower production. Wait until the top inch of the soil is just barely damp to water.
Too much fertilizer or using the wrong kind of plant food can stop a plant from blooming. Impatiens can be fed using a slow-release fertilizer in the spring and midsummer, or you can apply a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks. If you suspect too frequent fertilizing is the culprit, wait before resuming a feeding routine based on the type of plant food you are using. We recommend a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 13-13-13.
Fertilizers high in nitrogen are good at promoting foliage development, but this usually happens at the expense of producing flowers. If you have been using a food high in nitrogen, put that aside to use on your non-blooming plants.
Trimming back an Impatiens too much can shock the plant and temporarily stunt growth. If a flowering plant is stressed, the first thing that happens is it stops producing blooms. Hold off on pruning and give the plant time to recover. Typically, try not to remove more than ⅓ of a plant's mass when pruning. You can remove more growth when preparing the plant to overwinter, but when it comes to routine maintenance during the growing season, it is better to remove a little at a time.
Pruning Impatiens To Help It Bloom
Does pruning Impatiens help it bloom? Yes, routine trimming or pinching back will promote new growth. Flowers grow on the ends of the stems, so removing the ends after the flower naturally dies back or deadheading the plant will encourage new stems to grow. New stems mean new flowers. Trimming the plant will prevent the stems from becoming long and leggy, so not only will the plant have a more compact and bushy look, but there will be more flowers.
Fertilizing Impatiens To Help It Bloom
Plants grown in garden beds or containers can benefit from a boost of vitamins and minerals. Fertilizing Impatiens will promote new growth, which means lots of flowers. Use a balanced fertilizer, so something with the same numbers, like 10-10-10. Feed plants using a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks. Another option is to feed Impatiens using a slow-release fertilizer once in the spring and a second time around midsummer. Avoid using plant food high in nitrogen which promotes leaf growth but does not help the plant bloom.
Get Impatiens To Produce More Blooms
Not enough blooms on Impatiens is a disappointing problem, but one that is easily resolved. Make sure the plant is receiving adequate light. Impatiens need part shade and tend to do best when they receive filtered light during the morning and shade in the afternoon. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil starts to feel damp, and make sure to use well-draining soil, so the roots are not stuck in standing water. Feed Impatiens every other week using balanced, water-soluble plant food. Lastly, deadhead the plant, or pinch back spent flowers to encourage more branching and growth.
Why Impatiens Aren't Blooming
- Too much or not enough sunlight
- Improper watering
- Incorrect fertilizer or feeding schedule
- Drastic pruning
Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 10-01-2022