There are two techniques to master if you want to know how to prune impatiens. This attractive bedding plant will only look its best if you keep it tidy and encourage healthy growth. Therefore, pruning is a maintenance practice that you must never overlook.
Maintaining impatiens is not meticulous, and you don’t risk developing many problems if the environment in the UK is stable. Since pruning and other practices risk stressing out plants, it’s best to consider growing in the polytunnel to protect your plants from fluctuating conditions. Below is some information to keep impatiens happy, from pruning to other bonus tips.
Beginner’s Guide For Pruning Impatiens
Technique #1. Deadheading
Being a flowering annual, impatiens will benefit from deadheading. Deadheading can be confusing for some gardeners since impatiens are generally self-cleaning, meaning they can shed off the faded blooms themselves. However, you don’t have to wait for the spent blooms to autumn since the practice itself isn’t even demanding.
Removing the spent blooms and foliage of impatiens makes it less likely for the plant to get stressed or have blooming problems. On the contrary, deadheading can extend the flowering season and encourage new blooms throughout the growing season. You can pinch off the stems after a flower faded to do this.
Therefore, it’s always helpful to inspect your plants to remove the wilting flowers quickly. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch off the bloom, and don’t forget to discard what you removed correctly. To help rejuvenate your plant after deadheading and encourage blooming after a weel, maintain soil moisture and fertilise.
Technique #2. Cutting back
The second technique for pruning impatiens is knowing how to cut these plants back. The ideal time to do this is in the middle of the summer so that your plants are three inches from the ground. Cutting impatiens back is an excellent way to help a plant recover from being leggy and have a healthier regrowth.
Make sure you’re targetting the centre leaves to make your impatiens grow fuller and bushier, forcing the stems to branch out. You can also trim the terminal ends of the impatiens if you want to achieve a rounder shape. As your plants grow, you can stop pinching the centre leaves.
More so, this will be your chance to remove damaged or diseased parts that can spread to healthier plants. Use sterile and sharp shears to avoid infection among plants, and remember only to cut impatiens back if it turns leggy. Plant diseases usually happen when the climate is dry, so consider growing your impatiens in the greenhouse if you live in a challenging UK region.
Tips On Caring For Impatiens
For optimum flowering, you want to have your impatiens somewhere that’s out of the direct sun. You can also grow the plants in the polytunnel in well-draining soil. Prepare the area with some organic matter and do the necessary amendments, if any.
The soil should not only have good drainage, but it should also retain moisture well. You can add compost or fertiliser as well to improve the soil composition and structure. Lastly, remember that planting impatiens with distance allows them to spread out, but growing them close will create taller plants.
Impatiens thrive best in moist areas, which is why you must be mindful if your region is dry. Water the plants regularly to keep them from wilting or having problems blooming. You can also mulch the site to help with moisture retention.
However, you also don’t want to leave the plants in standing water. Check the top inch of the ground if it has dried before watering. On the other hand, allow the water to drain completely if you have container impatiens.
Impatiens will also benefit from feeding regularly. You can provide a slow-release fertiliser upon planting and then maintain the plants in spring and summer with water-soluble feed every two weeks. However, remember to follow the label instructions and adjust accordingly.
Besides preventing stress on your impatiens, growing and maintaining them in the polytunnel is also helpful in avoiding severe pests and diseases. Impatiens are not prone to such problems, to begin with, but it’s always better to be prepared and always do preventative measures. For example, if the environment is stable and your practices are consistent, you are less likely to encounter pests and fungal diseases.
Diseases like leaf spot, botrytis blight, powdery mildew, root rot, wilt, virus, bacteria are all easily preventable by maintaining proper air circulation, humidity, and cleanliness. Knowing how to prune impatiens will also make problems easier to control and eradicate because you’ll be discarding the damaged impatiens plants. Pruning is even an opportunity to eliminate thrips, mites, aphids, and leafminers and control their population.
Impatiens are low-maintenance plants that will surely add a personality to your garden. However, it’s still important to know how to prune impatiens. By deadheading these plants, you can encourage a new set of blooms.
On the other hand, cutting back impatiens will help a leggy plant rejuvenate itself. You can use your fingers to pinch off faded blooms or cut back your plants with sharp and sterile shears. However, don’t forget that a stable environment is optimal, and these practices prevent impatiens from getting stressed.