Impatiens plants are commonly found in the tropical Southern part of Asia and are referred to as the Bizzy Lizzies.
Gardeners usually plant them to brighten the dull part of the garden. It thrives well under the tree shade or building shadows. It is, therefore, suitable for a houseplant.
As a tropical plant, it is automatic to thrive under high temperatures of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
But, are you planning on planning an impatiens plant in the US where some seasons are icy and not sure how much cold the plant can tolerate?
This article contains informative information about the best conditions under which impatiens plants can thrive.
How cold can impatiens tolerate?
Impatiens plants thrive well under temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) . However, it can tolerate temperature drops up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). Below this minimum level, the plant will start to develop frosts and die. At 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), you might notice frosts that cause partial defoliation of the impatiens.
Impatiens and their Survivability in Winter
Cold temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) and low humidity cause their roots to rot and die. Therefore, while they bloom in previous sessions, they are likely not going to survive winter.
However, if they are houseplants, you can control the temperatures and facilitate humidity levels. Thus, they will end up surviving the winter season.
What to Do when Frost Threatens
As annual plants, impatiens are likely to be impacted by the cold during winter. However, when frost strikes, it should not mean it is the end of your gardening.
There are two types of frost. When temperatures fall slightly below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it is called light frost, and when it drops below 28 degrees Fahrenheit it is called the killer frost.
Impatiens Protective Measures against Frost
Cover the plants with light sheets or non-plastic covers and anchor the ends with bricks to prevent them from being blown away, exposing your plants.
If planted in pots, bring them indoors until the frost period passes.
After the light frost, the plants have a chance of recovering. However, if the killer frost hits impatiens, there is no way of recovering from that.
Therefore, when you immediately notice the onset of the frost, implement the above tips, and you will effectively save your crops.
Growing Conditions that Impatiens Plants Enjoy
As a houseplant, it thrives in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will not die until the temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
They like moist and well-drained soil under partial deep shade. If you plant them out in the field, they might not do well under direct sun.
If it is a must to plant them in an open field, you should acclimate them first to the harsher light.
The Right Time to Plant Impatiens
Since they will not survive the cold, it is advisable to wait until the last expected frost period passes.
To protect the plants from late spring or early fall frosts, place stakes above plants that rise 6 inches tall above the impatiens.
Use a frost cloth or a solid cover to retain the ground damage and prevent plant damage.
What To Avoid When Growing Impatiens
Despite the plants growing in abundance in the tropical parts of Asia, there is nothing dangerous and instant killer like exposure to direct sun.
The plants cannot withstand the intense heat of full sunlight. Instead, for better results, plant them in partial shade and sun. If possible, go to a shady spot every time.
Constantly check for moisture levels. Impatiens is a plant that will wither in a matter of hours without regular watering.
However, occasional drooping resulting from extreme heat and high wind moisture loss can be remedied by regular watering.
When impatiens are attached to the fungus, they show signs similar to those of lack of water. Continuous watering, in this case, will facilitate the possibility of fungus attacking the plants.
If the plants are wilting, first check the soil’s moisture level. If the soil is still wet, stop watering and instead apply fungicides to control fungus infection.
In most cases, you find growers buying a container or few containers of impatiens, and when they reach home, they forget to plant them for days.
This is because the plants become stressed from staying in the container for too long. Besides, the possibility is that they are not getting enough water and temperature.
Therefore, the likelihood of them surviving after transplanting is slim. Consequently, it is advisable to plant them immediately after purchase.
Impatiens cannot tolerate cold. Thus, ensure that where you plant them, you will maintain temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
While temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) will not kill the plant, impatiens will die if they drop below that minimum level. For outdoor planting, these plants are not likely to survive the harsh winter climate.
Impatiens Plant Description
Impatiens is usually a small-sized plant. The compact species measures about 8 to 16 inches (20-41 cm). However, the newer species measures approximately 36 inches (92 cm).
Their leaves have a fine medium texture that is somewhat fleshy. During summer, the flowers bloom and develop in white, orange, red, bi-color, and pink shades.
- Too low or too high soil and water PH levels can impact blooming. For example, impatiens thrive in soil with pH of about 6.0 and 6.5.
- Too much shade can prevent this plant from blooming. While direct sunlight should be avoided, a lot of shade is not healthy. Plant them in a location with both shade and some sunlight.
- Excessive pruning affects blooming. When you prune too much, it can result in the buds falling all and hence not flowering.
- High temperatures and dry soils are another reason for impatiens not blooming. While low temperatures cause killer frost, temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit are not recommended. They cause excessive evaporation, leaving the plant dry and hence not able to flower.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Cold Impatiens can Tolerate
What temperatures can Impatiens tolerate?
Generally, impatiens thrive under temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the plant can tolerate temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with the lowest minimum at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Will Impatiens recover from frost?
There are two types of frost; light frost and killer frost. If the plant is affected by the light frost, it will recover if all measures are taken into consideration immediately. However, when the killer frost attacks, there is no turning back. The plant is damaged beyond recovery.
Will single night frost kill my impatiens?
It all depends on what frost type falls that night. If it is a light frost, the plant might be affected but not killed. However, if the killer frost attacks even ones, the plants will die.
Impatiens is an annual tropical plant. It does well in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can survive low temperatures of up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, direct sunlight and continuous shade should be avoided. Instead, ensure the plant is receiving adequate light and shade during the day.
At night, ensure the temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.