New Guinea Impatiens


1 entry found.
New Guinea Impatiens
Common Name: New Guinea Impatiens, Impatiens, Touch-Me-Not
Botanical Name: Impatiens hawkeri (im-PAY-shenz HAWK-er-i)
Decorative Life: Lasts 2-4 weeks or more depending on environment.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Hydretain applied to the growing mix at the time of sale delayed wilting.
  • Does not like dry conditions and the resulting water stress can induce flower drop. In addition, cultivars vary greatly as to water loss and time to wilt. For example, 'Anna', Malanie' and 'Danlight' wilted on average five days sooner than three breeding lines (RQ-105-4, RQ-130-1 and RQ-105-5).
Harvest Instructions: Plugs can be stored for 2 weeks in the dark (3 weeks in light) at 55F and subsequently grown into very acceptable plants and/or flowers. High nitrogen levels during production, especially in the ammonium form, can reduce postharvest performance. Ethylene applications in the form of Florel sprays (biweekly applications at 400 ppm) can prevent flower formation on stock plants which in turn results in increased cutting number and subsequent rooting.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Balsaminaceae (balsam family), a family with only two genera. Therefore, New Guinea Impatiens have mostly relatives that are other impatiens, some 850 species of them.
  • Native from New Guinea eastward to the Solomon Islands.
Personality:
  • Flowers 2-3 inches across, composed of 5 flat, spreading petals, held above the foliage and most are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: White, pink, brownish-red, blue.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, store above 55 degrees F.
Tidbits:
  • Impatiens: from Latin, referring to the sudden bursting of the ripe seed pods when touched. Hence, one common name is "touch-me-not".
  • A very large genus with over 1000 species. Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but more light would be better.
  • Consumers prefer bicolors over solid flower colors, red over pink and blush, red or variegated foliage over solid green and solid red over variegated foliage.
  • The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology list this species as an allergy-safe pollen producing plant.
  • Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include 'Cajun', 'Paradise', 'Pure Beauty' and 'Harmony' series, all with many colors and bicolors, 'Ovation Red', and 'Rhapsody' (purple). The following cultivar series come in almost all colors: 'Paradise', 'Pure Beauty', 'Pizzazi', 'Baby Bonite', 'Electra' and 'Tioga'. 'Tioga' is a double impatiens.
Recent Findings: Ter Hell and Hendriks (1995) noted that high levels of ammonium fertilization during production caused increased abscisic acid and decreased cytokinin levels resulting in increased bud drop and root damage after harvest.