Busy Lizzie is a popular and undemanding plant. Its strong growth and profuse blooms in riotous colours make it a very decorative choice.
The botanical name impatiens comes from the explosive and impatient way theare expelled from the pods. This is a characteristic of Balsam family members to which Busy Lizzie belongs.
Flowers and flowering Busy Lizziefor most of the year indoors and all of the summer outdoors. Flowers may be in shades of pink, red, white and orange.
Busy Lizzie makes a truly splendid house plant. Thecome in shades of red, white, pink, and orange. Some are bicoloured and some have a double layer of petals.
Growth and size
New compact varieties are very popular. They rarely grow higher than 30-38cm (12-15in) and make low-growing and bushy plants that flower profusely. They are free branching and very free-flowering. These newer varieties do not need to be pinched out to encourage bushy growth.
- Busy Lizzie looks right in most situations. Indoors this cheerful plant does best in bright but filtered light.
- Outdoors Busy Lizzie looks good in containers like tubs and window-boxes. Keep the plants in well-lit but shady situations and don’t let them dry out completely in the heat of the day.
- Distorted and sticky leaves are a sign of ( ) infestation. Treatment: Spray the plant with soapy water or use a pyrethrum-based or systemic . 2. When are well established, pot the into individual using a soil-based mixture.
- Leaves drop if the plant is too cold. Treatment: Move it to a where the temperature is well above 13°C (55°F).
- Mottled markings on leaves indicate red spider mite attack. Treatment: Keep the high to discourage red spider mites. If the attack is severe, spray the plant with a suitable insecticide.
Making new plants
Take tip shoot cuttings about 7-10cm (3—4in) long in spring. You canthem in water or in a rooting mixture.
- Mix the tiny with fine sand to make easy. Sprinkle this over a moistened in a or a pot.
- If you buy pot them up into 10-12cm (4-5in) pots filled with an equal-parts mixture of a soil-based and coarse peat.
- Place them in a sunny window on a moist pebble-filled saucer Cover with glass or polythene and newspaper and keep at 22°C (73°F).
- As soon as the seeds germinate (after 3-4 weeks) remove the paper and glass or polythene. Place the where they will get bright filtered light.
- When they are large enough to handle, plant them in pots and give them a liquid every second time you water.
- And water well. Do not allow mixture to dry out.
- Once the plants are well-established start them every 2 weeks and position them where you want them to grow.
This is a very easy plant to grow and is ideal for beginners. Cut it back if it gets leggy and keep a close watch for aphid attack. Remove faded flowers and dead leaves. Pinch out non-compact varieties to encourage bushy growth.
: Pot seedlings in an equal-parts mixture of a soil-based compost and coarse peat. Repot in spring but do not overpot as this plant blooms better if it has crowded .
In summer water generously. Do not allow the compost to dry out between waterings. In winter water moderately, allowing the compost to dry out a little.
Feeding: Apply a standard house plant fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period.
Light: Avoid placing this plant in direct sunlight but do give it as much bright filtered light as possible.
Temperature: Normal room temperatures are adequate but if the temperature goes above 24°C (75°F) increase the level of humidity. In winter do not let the temperature fall below 13°C (55°F).
When to buy
- Buy plants in spring from garden centres and nurseries.
- What to look for Choose healthy plants that are about to flower, or have plenty of buds. Check carefully for signs of or red spider mite.
Busy Lizzie will last for many years. If it gets straggly, renew it from cuttings.