Melinda's Low Maintenance Plant: SunPatiens

Low Maintenance Plant:SunPatiens

Melinda Myers offers easy-care advice for this nonstop, blooming annual.

Fill your containers and planting beds with masses of color all season long. 

Use Downy Mildew-resistant SunPatiens to replace impatiens plantings in the shade.  But don’t stop there. Use these nonstop blooming beauties in sunny areas as well.

You’ll enjoy big results with minimal care.  Just use a quality potting mix for containers and add organic matter to garden beds prior to planting.  Apply a slow release fertilizer at half strength at planting or use a soluble fertilizer at one-third strength once a month. Just water as needed and watch your SunPatiens flourish.    

Notice the thicker petals, tougher leaves and sturdier stems of SunPatiens. These features help them resist disease and flourish throughout the summer despite high temperatures, humidity and rain. Although they prefer moist soil, established plants will recover from brief wilting. Just water thoroughly and wait 24 hours for the plants to recover. And consider mulching the soil. A thin layer of shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter will help keep the soil moist longer.

Select from the three categories of SunPatiens.  The Compact series is great for smaller containers. They are dense, well-branched plants and come in ten different colors. The Spreading SunPatiens are a bit bigger and wider. They have a mounded habit and are great for hanging baskets and larger pots as well as garden beds. The larger plants of the Vigorous series provide quick coverage and massive displays of color. Select the SunPatiens variety with the flower color, size and growth habit best suited to your landscape.

No need to prune these plants.  Just select the right size plant and avoid over fertilization. If your Vigorous SunPatiens get too tall, just cut them back by one third in mid to late summer. 

Gardening doesn’t get much easier than this. So purchase a couple baskets or flats of these easy-care plants to brighten your landscape all season long.


Sunpatiens at a Glance

Name: SunPatiens (Impatiens hybrid)

Size:  14 to 36” tall and 14 to 36” wide, depending on variety

Light: Full sun to shade Water: For containers, check daily and water thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil begins to dry. For new in-ground plantings, water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. After several weeks water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist.

Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization is needed. Use a slow release fertilizer at 1/2 rate or quick release fertilizer once a month at 1/3 the rate. Excess fertilization can limit flowering and promote weak growth.

Soil: Moist well-drained soil.  Add organic matter to clay soil to improve drainage while maintaining soil moisture.

Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers.  Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants.  Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!