New Guinea impatiens are beautiful, easy-care plants that are great for container gardening. Similar to traditional impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens will grow better when not exposed to full sun, so planting them in a container that is shaded is a great way to grow them.
While some gardeners may be starting their New Guinea impatiens from seed, for the purpose of this article we’ll be looking at starting a container garden with a flower plug or plant that is already established. Also, pots or planters are similar terms that will differ according to the size of your container. We’ll use these terms interchangeably in this article.
Today, we’ll review some things for you to consider when planting your New Guinea impatiens in a flower pot.
First, what’s the best pot for a New Guinea Impatien?
Choosing a flower pot for New Guinea Impatiens
Many growers will have many decisions to make with a flower pot: What size? What color? What style? Etc.
So we’ll focus on some key factors to consider specifically for the best growing from your New Guinea impatiens.
First, you’ll want to make the pot has great drainage. The pot or planter needs to have some way for the water to filter out, without it puddling up at the bottom of the container. Choosing a pot that has holes at the bottom (or drilling holes in the bottom) is often an effective way to get this drainage.
Sometimes growers will also fill the container with a false bottom. Pebbles, rocks, or even your plastic packs from the New Guinea plants can be used to layer the bottom of the pot and then fill the rest of the container with loose fill potting soil. Ultimately, this will help your New Guinea Impatiens be prone to root rot as a result of being soaked in water for a long period of time.
The rest of your pot can be filled with potting soil (fill it up to a few inches below the rim before you plant). Potting soil is a good option, as its normally well-drained.
How to plant your pot
Before we dive into planting the pot, here’s a quick recap of your prep up until this point:
- Choose a planter/pot/container that has good drainage
- Fill the bottom of the container with pebbles, filler soil, or even plastic (optional) to further aid drainage.
- Fill the pot up to a few inches below the rim with potting soil.
From here, you take your New Guinea plant out of its pack or mini pot and place it in the flower pot. If you notice the plant is root-bound, meaning the roots of the plant are densely intertwined to form a definite plug, you’ll want to gently pull apart the root plug to encourage further growth.
Stage the New Guinea impatiens in the pot according to how you would like them to be planted and then cover the root cubes with more potting soil to cover the roots of each plant.
Looking to plant other plants with your New Guinea Impatiens?
Here are some plants that grow well with New Guinea impatiens in a pot:
- Sweet potato vines
- Sweet potato vines
- And more!
Each of these plants grows well in more shade, so they are a great complimentary plant to your flower pot.
Where should you place your flower pot?
Now that you have your flower pot, here are some things to consider when choosing where to place your pot:
- Sunlight needs: New Guinea impatiens don’t need more than 4-6 hours of sunlight, so be sure to place your pot where it won’t get the brunt of the day’s heat/sun. Many gardeners have found success with growing New Guinea impatiens in very shady locations, such as a flower bed in a wooded area or under a deep front porch.
- Proximity & ease of care: New Guinea will need more water and fertilizer when they are exposed to a lot of sun, so you’ll want to make sure the plants are close enough to your homes that you can get some water on them and fertilizer from time to time.
- Be cautious about planting it outside too early: As with any annuals, planting them outside too early can be dangerous. Check your average last frost date to determine if the plant is ready to ge planted outside in its container.
- In a showy location! Once they start budding up and producing flowers, New Guinea impatiens are a beautiful plant, so take advantage of their beauty and place your pot in a prominent spot at your home. Their plants’ elegant leaves and foliage add even more character to these plants.
Caring for New Guinea Impatiens in a Pot
Aside from the notes already on New Guinea impatiens, here are some other things to consider when caring for your New Guinea impatiens:
- Keep the flower pot healthy by fertilizing throughout the summer. You can add slow release fertilizer to the soil so that it gets a little of nutrients every time you water it and/or you can feed it with water soluble fertilizer, about every third watering. This will ensure the plants keep their vibrant blooms and green leaves that make them a striking display.
- Keep your soil slightly moist — keep in mind that overwatering can lead to the plant getting root rot. You’ll notice it quickly when the plant isn’t getting enough water, as the plant’s leaves shrivel up, making the plant look like a skeleton of branches.
All in all, New Guinea impatiens are a great plant to choose for flower pots that will be positioned in a shady location and can be watered and fertilized throughout the summer.
To learn more about gardening, visit Homestead Gardens’ blog.