Planting Impatiens

Impatiens are a mounding tropical plant that is a staple of many landscapes. This fast-growing plant thrives in shady areas and exhibits flowers in bright, vibrant colors. Impatiens, also known as busy Lizzy, is relatively low maintenance. A good spot and simple care are all that is necessary for healthy plants.


What You Need To Plant Impatiens

  • Shovel
  • Compost or manure
  • Garden spade
  • The perfect location or container
  • Water source

Where to Plant Impatiens

The ideal spot to grow Impatiens will receive 2 to 4 hours of partial sunlight. The delicate leaves will burn, and the dampness-craving plant will dry out if the conditions are too sunny. Plant Impatiens in areas with filtered light, like near buildings, trees, or other tall plants that cast shadows. A place that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is usually a good fit. Soil should be rich, well-draining, and slightly acidic. Impatiens should be level with the surface of the ground when planted.

Impatiens Spacing

Impatiens have a low profile and grow about 1 foot or more tall, so no support or trellis is necessary. Depending on the variety, the plants will spread out 6 to 24 inches. Space Impatiens as close as 6 inches center to center to create a tight mass planting that provides a consistent carpet of flowers and greenery. The plants can be spaced further apart, up to 24 inches, if that is the desired look. Leave at least 10 inches between the plant and buildings so the stems have room to grow.


Steps To Plant Impatiens

Select an area that receives part shade and dig a hole slightly bigger than the root ball. Impatiens prefer rich soil, so we suggest mixing compost or manure with the soil to help support healthy growth. Place the plant into the hole, fill it with soil, and then saturate the soil with water. Impatiens like consistently moist soil and do not like to dry out, so using mulch around the plant will help retain moisture and create a tidy appearance. 

Step 1 - Pick a good spot

Step 2 - Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball

Step 3 - Amend the soil with compost or manure

Step 4 - Place the root ball in the hole

Step 5 - Backfill the hole with soil and firmly press the ground into place

Step 6 - Apply mulch and water deeply

When to Plant Impatiens

Plant Impatiens in the spring when there is no longer a chance of frost or chilly weather. Impatiens grow as a perennial in USDA zones 10 and 11, but this plant grows as an annual in other areas, and it cannot handle cold temperatures. Mornings are usually a good time to plant Impatiens; however, any time of day will be fine; just make sure to deeply water as soon as you are done.

Transplanting Impatiens

Impatiens are typically grown as annuals, so transplanting them is not usually necessary since they’re only around for one year. If you want to move the plants during the growing season, we suggest amending the soil with compost or manure and giving the plant a nice long drink once it is in its new home. Impatiens can be brought inside and grown as houseplants during the winter in colder regions.


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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 10-01-2022