Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Smarty Plants on dutchmans pipe
July 24, 2005 - How do I care for and transplant dutchman pipe?
view the full question and answer

Information on orchid Spiranthes odorata from Golden MS
December 06, 2011 - I live in N.W. MS and am fortunate enough to receive 'Wildflower'. Even though it's geared to TX I was wondering if you can provide me information on the Spiranthes odorata that sprang up in my yar...
view the full question and answer

Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
July 12, 2009 - What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies and pachysandra in same area from New York City
April 07, 2012 - Will daylilies and pachysandra thrive if planted in the same bed, or will they harm each other?
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging flower boxes from Austin
July 27, 2013 - I have two long flower boxes 17" x 15" x 25 feet long one on the north side of the apt and one on the south made of metal suspended about four feet from the ground. One will get the morning sun and ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.