Sunpatiens Hanging Basket Care
The words ‘Sun’ & ‘Impatiens’ seem not to work together but a new breed of Impatiens is out!
We carry a fabulous sun-tolerant Impatiens series and they are easy to care for. Sunpatiens bloom profusely and are available in bright colors. Sun Impatiens like the sun, although it’s a good idea to not put them in the blistering hot sun. They do best in a northeast, east, southeast, south (if it’s not crazy hot) and northwest sun exposure location. If they are placed in a hot south, southwest or direct west location they can get stressed and burn.
We will do a quick review of general hanging basket care using the acronym C-A-R-E and then we’ll take a look at Sun Impatiens hanging basket care specifically.
- This is about keeping a watchful eye on your hanging basket.
- Each day, do a general top to bottom overall check of your hanging basket – inspect leaf & flower health: any curling, wilting, spotted or yellowing leaves, and old or deformed flowers. Turn the leaves over to look underneath for bugs, they love hiding there.
- Sun Impatiens are quite hardy plants when they are in the correct location. When they are growing in areas that stress them (like in the really hot sun), that is when problems arise.
- This is all about watering.
- A good way to check hanging baskets for adequate hydration is to feel how heavy they are, lift them by pushing up on the bottom of the pot as they are hanging and check the weight. As you get more familiar with how heavy a fully watered hanging basket is, you will be able to tell when it’s time to water. If you happened to put your Sunpatiens basket in an upright container, you can dip your index finger deeply into the soil. If the soil is dry at about 1.5 inches, it’s time for a drink of water. When watering containers and hanging baskets, water thoroughly so that water runs out of the bottom of the pot. If you don’t let water flow out, salts from the fertilizer will accumulate causing the leaves and flowers to burn.
- Because Sun Impatiens live in sunny areas, they have a steady need for water. Depending on the weather, they may need to be watered every 1 to 3 days if it is hot but be sure to check the soil moisture or basket weight before you water.
- Water thoroughly so the water drains out the bottom as described above.
- The day may come when they accidentally become so wilted that you think they’re dead – but what’s so amazing about this plant is that most of the time they will recover and look fabulous again.
- This step is about fertilizing.
- Replenishing nutrients is important for containers and hanging baskets because there is a finite amount of nutrients held within the soil and when the water drips out of the pots, some of those nutrients are lost. We recommend fertilizing weekly. Pick a regular day of the week, and make that your fertilizing day – make it an alarm on your phone. Our favorite fertilizer is called ‘Nature’s Source’. It is a natural fertilizer and we have found it to be easy to use, gentle on plants with no burning and we think it makes flowers brighter. ‘Miracle Grow’ is another good choice and other balanced fertilizers like 20-20-20 work well.
- Fertilize Sun Impatiens on a weekly basis.
- This is a maintenance step.
- Plant growth is encouraged by taking off old flowers, known as deadheading, removing dead leaves, and pinching straggly, leggy plants back. Taking off old flowers is important because the ultimate purpose of flowers to produce seeds for reproduction. By taking off those dead flowers, the plant continues to flower. Old wilted and curled leaves actually take energy from the plant in an attempt to repair itself but if they are removed, the plant can continue to focus its efforts on flowering. Plants can also get long and straggly looking – it’s ok to literally give them a haircut with scissors – it will make them branch, become bushy and thrive.
- Sun Impatiens don’t need to be deadheaded because they are self-cleaning. Just give the baskets or the plants a shake and the dead blossoms will fall right off.
- If they get a little straggly or lopsided, just pinch them back a bit – it will stimulate fresh compact and they will continue to thicken up and thrive.
Enjoy these baskets, they have tremendous color power and perform wonderfully with a little routine care.