Double impatiens are a type of showy annual flower. Popular in gardens, these plants are relatively easy to care for, but require regular fertilization and consistently moist soil. Native to Australia and South America, the flowers are also seen frequently in North American gardens. The blossoms are found in a variety of vibrant colors and may attract hummingbirds or butterflies.
With fuller blossoms than other impatiens varieties, the double impatiens' flowers more closely resemble roses. The flowers are usually smaller than rose blossoms and more brightly colored than regular impatiens. They occur in many shades, most often in reds, pinks, and peaches. This flower earns the name "double" because it actually contains a double blossom, producing at least twice as many petals per blossom as non-double varieties. The plants themselves are taller than other impatiens, reaching heights of 16 inches (40.6 cm).
Grown in outdoor or greenhouse gardens, as well as in hanging or box planters, double impatiens thrive in moist, warm climates, and in well-drained, fertile soil. They can, however, sometimes be purposefully cultivated in dry or wet environments when extra care is taken. Although these flowers enjoy morning sunlight, direct afternoon light is too harsh for double impatiens, and so they should be planted in an area that is shaded in the afternoon. Too much shade, however, and the plants will not grow or bloom well.
These flowers bloom in spring through early summer. Clipping or pruning is not necessary, but can be done if desired. Some varieties do have a tendency to overgrow, and therefore they may need to be controlled. The plants may instead grow straight up with little branching growth and so may need to be pinched to encourage growth in areas lacking foliage. This issue seems more prevalent in earlier versions of the plant, however. Dead or dying leaves and blossoms fall off the plant naturally, so do not need to be removed by hand.
Double impatiens are sensitive to cold and should always be planted after spring frosts are complete. Best results are achieved when the soil is warm, at least 60°F; (15.5°C;), and mixed with fertilizer before planting begins. Plants should be placed about 15 inches (31 cm) apart in 2 inch (5 cm) deep holes. If planting in containers, only one plant should be placed in each container. After planting, the flowers are immediately watered, and then watered regularly once a week to every day, depending on soil dryness.