Impatiens scabrida: a second look
When I saw the first flowers on this annual I immediately posted about the plant. I was so excited to have this plant; partly because the seedlings popped up in the pot of another plant I had bought, so were free and partly because I liked the pale yellow flowers. The two seedlings were potted and one planted in the garden, in the shade of the house and the other left in the greenhouse where it is rather starved but is setting seeds, which was the point.
Impatiens scabrida is native to Pakistan, Nepal and Sikkim. It is an annual that will probably self seed. Like all impatiens it has explosive seed pods that fling the seeds some distance from the plant. I think the seeds need a cool period after sowing to germinate so should be sown at ambient temperatures in spring. My seedlings appeared in pots of other impatiens kept in a cold greenhouse. I think one of the reasons I have developed a fondness for this plant is gratitude because not all the impatiens I bought have done well or even survived. So I am pleased that this interloper has grown so well and looks so pretty.
I know that there is a chance that, in two years, I will be posting again and cursing this plant if it spreads too far and I think I will need to move any subsequent seedlings to wilder parts of the garden where it can seed around without doing any harm. But, for now, I like it.
The plant is about 60cm high and the same in width. It has not stopped blooming since it started and, as long as the nights are free of frost it looks as if it will continue. In deeper shade and if the plants are crowded I think it will be taller and less bushy. Bees, especially bumblebees, adore the flowers. I suspect that it would not be a good idea to plant this near wild woodland or near natural streams but I will keep you updated about how invasive this becomes.
It’s a good colour, very attractive but I will still not attempt to grow it – I fear the habits of impatiens in the garden!
I understand completely and I will watch it like a hawk!