En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 23, 2012

From: Marietta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Hybrid Impatiens leaves yellowing from Marietta GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My impatiens looked great when I went out of town, I had recently fertilized. The person left to water them fertilized them. Now they are yellow and dwarfed. Anything I can do?

ANSWER:

We were willing to bet that impatiens were non-native to North America, because we see them marketed vigorously and in heavily hybridized forms. However, it turns out that the family Balsaminaceae (Touch-Me-Not) includes three species native to North America, and all three are native to Georgia.

Impatiens capensis (Jewelweed)

Impatiens noli-tangere (Western touch-me-not)

Impatiens pallida (Pale touch-me-not)

The information we got from the webpages above was that they needed shade (2 hours or less of sun a day) and wet soil.

Now these are probably not what you have in your garden, but rather the hybridized plants, but we will use the information we have in our database to try to help you figure out what happened. Of course, if you saw these natives in your garden, you would probably pull them out as weeds, and we can't know what effects the hybridizing of the plants had on their water and sun needs. Try reading this article from Gardening Know-How Caring for Impatiens, and figure out what you were doing or not doing that caused the yellowing leaves. Our first top-of-the head thought is too much fertilizer and not enough water, but again, maybe the hybrids have different needs.

 

From the Image Gallery


Jewelweed
Impatiens capensis

Western touch-me-not
Impatiens noli-tangere

Pale touch-me-not
Impatiens pallida

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
March 25, 2013 - What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
view the full question and answer

Combining yellow columbine and Malvaviscus arboreus
March 07, 2008 - Can yellow columbine coexist peacefully with Malvaviscus arboreus? I have a nice stand of the former and would like to plant the latter to take over when the columbine starts to look ratty in the hea...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back perennials from Austin
February 08, 2011 - When is it time to cut back native plants; salvia;copper canyon daisy; verbena, etc?
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of plants spreading fluffy seeds
July 27, 2008 - I live in Blaine, MN next to a Lake. The "buffer zones" next to the lake are filled with native grasses, weeds & wildflowers. We are trying to identify a plant that blooms July with lavender flowe...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center