Impatiens Walleriana

Busy Lizzie - Patient Lucy

The Impatiens Walleriana is a favorite within many households within the UK and US, and named busy lizzie in the UK and patient lucy within the US.

Grown for their attractive blooms outdoors (just about everywhere) and indoors when given enough bright light and the correct temperatures. Most of these that are widely sold today are walleriana hybrids.

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As mentioned above many lizzies which are sold in garden centers are hybrids that has enabled this species to become more compact in it's growth and display attractive flower varieties. These delightful flowering plants brighten up patios or conservatories and have become one of the most popular bedding and hanging basket plants.

Picture of busy lizzie in hanging basket

Breeders have worked hard over the years to cultivate the best of impatiens which includes the New Guinea hybrids that produce multicolored leaves.

Flowering: Impatiens are well known for blooming for the most part of a year which is where the name is derived from "BUSY". Flowers bloom (1 -2in flat faced with 5 petals) in a variety of colors including pink, red, white, orange, lilac and a range of bicolored types with white stripes.

The flowers from the hybrid types while in full bloom cover the whole of the foliage, which is why they have become such fascinating bedding plants for parks and gardens.

The problem getting busy lizzies to flower indoors is providing the plant with enough light, which they thrive on. Conservatories are ideal or close to a window that receives plenty of sun, but not too much summer direct sun.

Foliage: Leaves and the flowers which grow are produced along the brittle succulent type stem that can grow over a foot long. There are just as many leaf varieties (if not more ) than the choice of flowers available, which includes dark green, light green, bicolored, and variegated.

Growing and care: The most trickiest part of growing impatiens indoors is providing enough light, keeping temperatures above 60°F (15°C), and watering enough. More about caring below.


Origin: East Africa.
Names: Busy Lizzie and Impatient Lucy (common). -- Impatiens Walleriana (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): 24in (60cm) in height.
Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Lilac flowers

Pink flowers

Busy Lizzie Care

Temperature: Average room temperatures from 65°F/18.3°C - 75°F/23.8°C (not below 60°F/15.5°C).
Light: Bright light is key to these blooming and during winter. Direct sun light is be to avoided during the summer.
Watering: Keep the soil moist at all times but not soaking wet. During the growing season you will notice they drink a lot.
Soil: A well draining potting soil mix will suffice.
Fertilizer: Impatiens walleriana's grow well when fed with a balanced liquid fertilizer during spring and summer. I would say feeding once every 4 weeks is about right.
Re-Potting: Re-pot during spring if the plant has become pot bound, but keep in mind the patient lucy likes plenty of roots in it's pot. When re-potting use a pot slightly bigger than the last one the plant resided in - with plenty of drainage holes.
Humidity: Most indoor humidly levels are fine for this plant.
Propagation: Stem cuttings (3 -5 inches) can be taken at any time of the year and re-potted to produce new busy lizzies. These can also be grown by seed which are sown during spring.
Pruning: Trim back stems during spring to make the plant foliage look even, which should bring forth a much better fuller looking appearance during the growing season. Also remove fading flowers.

Common Problems

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