imafan26
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Where have all the Impatiens gone

I know it is at the end of the season and the garden centers here stopped ordering garden supplies before Halloween. I stocked up on Perlite and slug bait, but I may still need more slug bait. I have been looking for impatiens a couple of months now. All I can find are the sun impatiens. I can't even find seed.

I like the regular impatiens since they and fibrous begonias are pretty much weeds here and I need to fill out my border bed with some color. They are more or less perennial here. I just can't find any.

My nasturtiums are sprouting, which is kind of weird since they usually don't do that until like February. They might do o.k. if we have a dry winter. The weather has just been wierd for the last few years anyway.

I underplanted my roses with geraniums, but while they have good leaf cover, a little too good, I need to contain them, they aren't blooming. So, if I can't find impatiens should I go with alyssum, or begonias. This is an East facing location. so it gets pretty much full sun. The plants there need to be drought tolerant and non-stop bloomers. The geraniums are about 18 inches tall so it needs to be able to creep under and through that. had cuphea as an underplanting, but they were tired and most of them are gone. I tried lavender, but lavender needed a little more water and it does not like the winter rain. I had to remove two roses near the sidewalk to keep the thorns from sticking anyone, so I need something soft and low. The common impatiens tolerate full sun, the sun impatiens do not, and impatiens can actually handle irregular watering.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

So, despite the topic title, you are looking for something that behaves *like* impatiens in your local climate? And the characteristics are:

1) low growing - under 18"
2) non-stop blooming
3) drought tolerant but can also handle the winter rains
4) full sun in East facing location
5) soft for nearby walkway users not to get injured

Besides impatiens that you can't seem to get, other plants that didn't quite fit but you considered are lavender (needed MORE water -- that sounds very dry), alyssum, begonia, cuphea, geranium

OK so what is the hi/lo range of winter temperatures there?
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applestar
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

- Do the gem series marigolds stay small there? I know regular marigolds that grow only to about 18" here grow into 3-4 ft shrubs in the warmer areas. Gems only grow to about 8-10" here.
- what about portulaca? Don't know about this winter rains, but it IS drought tolerant
- trying to picture the "winter rains" -- would petunias work? Rains could beat the delicate flowers down quite a bit though.

...people tend not to like alyssums near heavy traffic areas because they attract a lot of bees and some people are just too nervous around them...

...have you tried ivy geranium? They are typically grown in hanging pots, but would tend to have smaller leaves and grow prostrate rather than upright for the purpose.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

I don't know what grows well in your conditions, but snapdragons, celosia, pentas, salvia?
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applestar
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

I've no idea how good this place is, but I was searching for colorful winter ground cover in Hawaii and came across this 8)
https://www.gaiayoga.org/nursery/edible_ ... lants.html
Perennial Peanut: Like having a lawn? Tired of having to mow it? Get off the endless maintenance cycle of mowing your lawn and plant perennial peanut, a no-mow alternative to the time-and-energy-and-money-consuming grass lawn. Perennial Peanut is not a grass, it's a leguminous, spreading ground cover that makes a thick carpet about ankle-high that functions just like a grass lawn.

Once established it requires just a little bit of periodic hand-weeding to keep out establishing grasses and other weeds. It's fairly drought-tolerant, but like any lawn will wilt and yellow with a long drought, but rebound as soon as rains return. Unlike a grass lawn though, perennial peanut is regularily adorned with hundreds and hundreds of little yellow flowers that stick up an inch or two above the leaves. The yellow flowers on the carpet of green creates a very wonderful fairy-like ambience that warms the heart of most every passer-by.
What intrigued me even more, though this is OT, is their description for this plant: :()
Melocia "toilet paper tree": [...] Amongst these trees melocia is our favorite for several reasons.

Melocia makes a first class toilet paper. A stack of hand-sized or bigger leaves can be picked and then set in a basket at your flush or composting toilet. The leaves will last a week or more in the shade and provide a smooth and thorough wiping on par with the best commercial toilet papers. But melocia doesn't have the same environmental or economic price tag as store bought rolls of toilet paper. Instead of cutting down trees on another continent and transporting them to Hawaii to clean our butts we can pick the ever-regenerating leaves of a tree on our own land and experience that connection to our land everytime we use the toilet. Wow! Now that ain't no weed tree.

But there's more... Melocia bark is an amazing weaving material, that comes off in thick, wide, long strips, and can be used to make hats, mats, baskets, lashing for poles, you name it. Beyond this the wood is generally straight, light-yet-strong, and is not eaten by insects (that we've seen over two years of testing). This means it makes a wonderful, local, easy-to-use, building material for posts, beams, or whatever. It should last indefinitely if kept dry. Out in the weather, like any wood, it will breakdown much quicker.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Well, I guess I was all over the place in the post. I actually want to get the old fashioned impatiens. If you know who has seeds that would be great. I can only find sun impatiens here and that is a misnomer, the sun impatiens really don't like the sun that much here. The standard impatiens tolerate more sun. I did have double rose impatiens once, but someone stole the plants right out of my yard. They just ripped them out of the ground early one morning.

In Hawaii, I have a 365 day growing season. If it gets really cold it has gotten down to 49 degrees in the middle of the night, but 51 degrees is more common. Days will be in the mid sixties to around 72 degrees. Summer temps in August and September can be a muggy 86 at night and day temps average 88-89 rarely over 90 where I am unless Kona weather prevails, then it can approach 100. Daylight 10 hours 50 minutes on the shortest day and 15 hours 36 minutes on the longest day. Rain October through April, can be daily brief passing showers and nightly rain.

I can grow anything that does not require a chill factor and some annuals like impatiens are perennial since there is no frost to kill them. The rainy season means, things have to have some resistance to mildews and fungal disease like glossy leaves and not gray or gray/green hairy leaves. Lavender will turn black every year from the rain, but if it survives that, I can cut it back again in January.

If I can't get impatiens my other choices are
more cuphea. They get to be 18 inches tall too, so it would be either cuphea or the geraniums.

I do have pentas and they are too tall at about 3 feet they are more of a shrub.

Golden glory, aka perennial peanut is a menace. It is good for hill sides but it actually gets 8-10 inches high so it is more like wedelia and will climb up the roses. It needs to be contained or it just keeps spreading and to keep it shorter it needs to be weed whacked just like grass. It doesn't like foot traffic, it will leave trails. Yeah, I've had it before.

Alyssum. It is true they do attract bees. But most people walk in the early morning and evening and the bees like to come out when it is a little warmer around 9-11 a.m. Bees actually don't like heavy traffic either and adjust their foraging when there aren't a lot of people around. I already have some alyssum on the other side under the roses.

Blue daze. I have some on the other side of the driveway. You have to get up real early to see them in bloom.

Firetails, aka acalypha, I had them before but the grass over ran the bed.

I can try the lavender again. I did grow lavender in the front yard before, but it only likes one particular spot.

I can pop in more glads. they will poke through to bloom, but they won't be blooming continuously. I have amaryllis there already and they do the same thing and bloom seasonally.

I can try marigolds, I have a lot of crackerjack seeds and they will pop up above the geraniums. They get a bit broad so I will have to cut the geraniums back to give them some room.

I can do fibrous begonias, they are a weed in my back yard, but it gets way more water there.

What else would be a pretty good choice that would be more or less in continuous bloom and stay either as a ground cover under the geraniums or poke through it and does not have major issues with mildew and can live on winter rain.
I don't mind mounding plants like the alyssum, but I don't like spreading plants that will try to take over.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

catgrass
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

How about petunias? The growing conditions sound fine as mine will live through the winter and love the cooler temps, but not blazing hot.
zone 9 Southwest La.

imafan26
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Petunias might work out, they are low growing and will stay in bloom a couple of months and I do like the wave petunias. Thanks Catgrass, that may work out just fine.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pow wow
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Hello imafan26,

I ordered my Impatiens seeds a month ago from Parks Seeds S Carolina and they arrived at my door here in Alberta in two weeks.

Susan W
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Much of the impatiens got hit with downy mildew, not quite the same one that is messing with our basils.
Another bloomer I am starting to use is cosmos, dwarf variety. I have mix that is orange and yellow, and just blooms away in ground or container. Self seeding a plus if you don't keep up with dead heading.
Have fun!
Susan

LIcenter
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Susan W wrote:Much of the impatiens got hit with downy mildew, not quite the same one that is messing with our basils.
I believe this year they should be back on the market. The suggestion was to not plant them for three years in order to get rid of the mildew problem. So if I am counting back correctly, it should be safe to plant them this coming spring.

lily51
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

imafan26 wrote:I know it is at the end of the season and the garden centers here stopped ordering garden supplies before Halloween. I stocked up on Perlite and slug bait, but I may still need more slug bait. I have been looking for impatiens a couple of months now. All I can find are the sun impatiens. I can't even find seed.

I like the regular impatiens since they and fibrous begonias are pretty much weeds here and I need to fill out my border bed with some color. They are more or less perennial here. I just can't find any.

My nasturtiums are sprouting, which is kind of weird since they usually don't do that until like February. They might do o.k. if we have a dry winter. The weather has just been wierd for the last few years anyway.

I underplanted my roses with geraniums, but while they have good leaf cover, a little too good, I need to contain them, they aren't blooming. So, if I can't find impatiens should I go with alyssum, or begonias. This is an East facing location. so it gets pretty much full sun. The plants there need to be drought tolerant and non-stop bloomers. The geraniums are about 18 inches tall so it needs to be able to creep under and through that. had cuphea as an underplanting, but they were tired and most of them are gone. I tried lavender, but lavender needed a little more water and it does not like the winter rain. I had to remove two roses near the sidewalk to keep the thorns from sticking anyone, so I need something soft and low. The common impatiens tolerate full sun, the sun impatiens do not, and impatiens can actually handle irregular watering.

We mainlanders found it interesting how inpatients grew wild all over your beautiful state. As a guide called them, pretty weeds.
I usually start my own inpatients, but two years ago the seedlings started looking as though they were getting diseased, so I burned them.I did not try them ladt year. Some areas of NE Ohio had no greenhouses selling them at all due to the downy mildew problem.

I don't know what conditions work best in Hawaii for plants we have here. In Ohio inpatients like full to partial shade, with the New Guinea inpatients liking Sun.
All my seed catalogs seem to be offering inpatients seeds. I like Park Seed and Stokes, but there are others.
Let us know what you try and what works.
Aloha. (As I have said, I fell in love with your state)

imafan26
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Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Thanks for the replies. The catalogs are coming in now so maybe I will be able to find more seeds. Impatiens are usually weeds here as well as tuberous begonias. They like moist places but the sun impatiens actually tolerated much less sun and the regular impatiens. I have some parrot impatiens that I got from cuttings. I have them in my cutting box now and they are actually full size and should have been planted out. I will try to make additional cuttings of them. This is the first time I have tried planting this species so I am not sure it will behave where I want to put it.

It has a colorful common name Congo Cackatoo

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamen ... atiens.htm
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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passionategardeners
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Where have all the Impatiens gone

Hi there, I just wanted to pass along some information regarding Impatiens walleriana.

Unfortunately, I found out this summer, that the fungus: downy mildew, Plasmopara obducens, has taking a liking to this popular Impatiens, and there isn't a cure for the disease... (single and double varieties of impatiens are affected, as are mini-impatiens, Fusion & Butterfly impatiens.)

Good news? New Guinea Impatiens aren't affected.

Here are some other substitutes: Sutera (previously called Bacopa), Begonia, Coleus, Lamium and Heuchera.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
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