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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.

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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

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