Scientific: Impatiens 'New Guinea'
Common: New Guinea impatiens
Family: Balsaminaceae
Origin: Hybrid introduced into the USA in 1972

Pronounciation: Im-PAT-ee-ins NEW GEN-ee

Hardiness zones:
Sunset All zones
USDA All zones

Landscape Use: Great bedding plant shaded color borders during fall and spring in Phoenix. When used as a bedding plant, place individuals 4 inches apart for a mass effect. Also, they are wonderful in mixed color containers or hanging baskets. New Guinea impatiens are best used in close proximity to human traffic such as near a shaded walkway or covered patio.

Form & Character: Succulent herbaceous perennial treated as a cool season annual in Phoenix, regal, formal, interesting.

Growth Habit: Erect and branching to 24 inches, often much less.

Foliage/texture: Broadly lanceolate leaves 1.5 to 6 inches long, the apex tapering to a point, deeply serrate to sometimes lobed, colors ranging from deep green through deep maroon; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Flowers axillary, 1 to 2 inches across on a short pedicel, often overtopped by leafy shoots, fruit is a asymmetrical capsule, hairy.

Seasonal color: Many flower colors mostly from white, pink, roes to lilac

Temperature: Not tolerant of frost or high summer heat.

Light: Shade to partial eastern sun.

Soil: A well drained garden soil amended with copious organic matter is essential! New Guinea impatiens like other impatiens are salt sensitive; so do not over fertilize as plants will sustain foliar burn quite easily.

Watering: Regular supplemental water required.

Pruning: Pinch apical meristems will encourage a denser canopy. Clean all hands and tools before pinching or pruning.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings, seed propagation for Spectra F1 hybrids only. New Guinea impatiens are cropped in three ways by commercial growers: 1) order rooted cuttings to grow stock plants from which cuttings are taken for production, 3) order unrooted cuttings to root for production, or 3) order rooted cuttings which are then transplanted into the finishing container.

Disease and pests: Outdoors in the landscape, usually disease and pest free because of its ephemeral use in the landscape as a summer color bedding plant. Otherwise, in other landscape setting around the country, aphids, spider mites, and fungal root rots are a common problem. In greenhouses, New Guinea impatiens can suffer from tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) carried in the leaf and stem tissues.

Additional comments: Great color plant for shaded areas. Readily available in local retail nurseries and home improvement centers. Most commercially available plants are double flowered with colorful foliage.

New Guinea impatiens history:  The origin of New Guinea Impatiens started with a joint plant collecting expedition by Longwood Gardens and the USDA in 1970. Several plants were brought back from New Guinea and originally given separate species names. However, cytogenetic work later indicated that they actually belonged to one phenotypically variable species, Impatiens hawkeri. Crosses with additional Impatiens species form Java and the Celebes Islands resulted in the hybrid 'New Guinea' impatiens that are grown today. The first commercial series of New Guinea impatiens hybrids was released 1972 and was called the Circus series. Since 1972, numerous series comprised of hundreds of unique cultivars. Most of the New Guinea impatiens cultivars are patented meaning it is unlawful to harvest cuttings unless you are a licensed propagator. Recent horticultural breeders have concentrated on the development shorter more densely foliated plants with strong combinations of foliar color and the development of plants with higher heat and drought tolerance.