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How To Fertilize Impatiens – Get Your Impatiens To Bloom Big!

Wondering how to fertilize your impatiens this summer to get them to bloom bigger and brighter than ever?

Impatiens have long been a favorite annual choice for growing in the shade. Whether planted in baskets and containers on a porch or patio, or in shaded flowerbeds around the home, they add a burst of color that is hard to beat. Although there are other perennials and annuals that perform well in the shade, most provide more greenery than the big, bright color that impatiens bring.

But to really get your impatiens to flower with gusto – they need nutrients. And on a regular basis. The good news is that impatiens are actually a fairly low-maintenance, easy-care annual plant. And beyond feeding them and watering them consistently, you can have them blooming big all summer long.

pink, white, and fuchsia impatiens.
To get your impatiens to bloom big – it’s all about giving them the right nutrients!

How To Fertilize Impatiens – Get Your Impatiens To Bloom Big!

Healthy, thriving impatiens will produce hundreds of blooms per plant. And all of those blooms require and use a lot of nutrients from the soil. Nutrients that need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep plants flowering all season long.

Without giving plants an additional source of power, they will simply run out of steam before the end of the growing season. But how, when, and what you feed them is vital in keeping them blooming strong.

As with all annuals, liquid fertilizers really are the best choice for the job. Liquid fertilizers absorb quickly into the plants via the roots and foliage. This allows the plant to send plenty of resources to fire up new blooms and flowers.

But just as important is to feed your impatiens that liquid power in a lighter but more regular dose. Quite simply, impatiens respond much better to a lighter dose of fertilizer given frequently as opposed to a large, heavy dose far apart.

By giving the plants a reduced amount of fertilizer but supplying it more often, it will keep them on a steady growing pace. Unfortunately, too much power all at once can create more foliage and root growth than blooms.

super bloom - fertilizer for impatiens
Selecting a liquid fertilizer with a high phosphorous percentage is the secret to impatiens blooming big.

Even worse, for impatiens growing in containers, pots and baskets – over fertilizing can lead to plants outgrowing their space and becoming root bound quickly. See our article: How To Fertilize Hanging Baskets.

What & How To Feed Your Impatiens – How To Fertilize Impatiens

When it comes to fertilizing impatiens, phosphorous is the secret to success. Impatiens use and need phosphorous to both create new buds and develop blooms. That is exactly why when looking for a liquid fertilizer, it’s best to select a fertilizer with a high phosphorous percentage versus nitrogen and potassium.

Nitrogen helps with overall growth, while potassium helps with health and moisture distribution throughout the plant. Because of that, having a little of each in your fertilizer is important. But having a large phosphorous number will set the stage for massive blooms.

For best blooming, look for a fertilizer with at least 3 times the amount of phosphorous to nitrogen and potassium. Affiliate Product Link: Super Bloom Water Soluble Plant Food, 2 lb – NPK 12-55-6

Here’s another little fertilizing secret: When feeding your plants, to keep the mix light, always dilute the recommended dose in half. This will allow you to feed every seven to ten days. That, of course, will not overpower your plants, but instead keep the nutrients flowing steady and strong for constant blooming!

Watering – How To Fertilize Impatiens & Keep Them Blooming Big!

In addition to fertilizing, another big key for keeping your impatiens blooming strong is proper watering. Impatiens require a fair amount of water to perform at their peak. With that said though, you have to be careful not to over-water.

If impatiens roots become water logged, it will quickly result in plant failure. If your finger can be placed down in the soil to a depth of about an inch and come up dry, it’s time to water. On the other hand, if it is wet and holds moisture, hold off with the water.

It is important to never let plants dry out for too long between watering. When allowed to dry out, it damages the cell walls of plants and will result in weaker plants over time. Impatiens love to have consistent water, but if the soil becomes overly damp or cannot drain away excess moisture, that is when trouble can begin.

If you struggle with watering, a useful and inexpensive tool to use is an instant water moisture meter. With a simple stick of the probe down in the soil, you can instantly find out if you need to water – or not! Affiliate Product Link: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter – Plant Water Monitor

Providing The Right Light – How To Fertilize Impatiens & Keep Them Blooming Big!

Growing beautiful impatiens requires selecting a location that protects them from too much sun, while still allowing enough light to the plants for them to flourish. This applies to both bedding plants, and to baskets, pots and containers.

how to keep impatiens blooming
New Guinea impatiens can handle a bit more sun than traditional impatiens.

One of the most common reasons impatiens fail is that they are placed in a location that they simply cannot handle. It’s either too hot and sunny, or way too dark and shady. (This does not apply to New Guinea Impatiens or Sunpatiens, which can handle full sun)

So what is the ideal lighting for impatiens? For best results, select a location that receives no more than 1 to 2 hours of full-on, direct sunlight each day. In addition, make sure that sunlight is never middle-of-the-day sun.

Afternoon sunlight is simply too hot for standard impatiens to handle on a daily basis. It dries out too much moisture from within the stems, and leads to unhealthy and struggling plants. Instead, select locations that receive full sun early in the morning, or late in the evening as the sun sets.

Here is to fertilizing your impatiens this year for big blooms!

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