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Friday, March 5, 2010

My Potted Impatiens Flowers

This week was one big week at the office as we finally had our first run of the training program we've been developing for the past year. Since I got back at work in January, I've been fighting tooth and nail just so everything will run smoothly. This was one tough week but I'm glad I pulled things through. I didn't realized I'm kinda stressed until I woke up with a big headache this morning. I thought it might be because I ate too much Yema last night but it crossed my mind that I could be exhausted without even knowing it. When the training program finished this afternoon, my headache went away--so that's probably stress and tension, right?

Anyway, what brightened my day (and somehow made me realized that I must be doing something good) was this very thoughtful gift from my trainees.

The flowers are called "Impatiens" and they were potted so I took them home. Hopefully, they won't die on me hahaha.

I googled how to care for Impatiens right away and here's a few tips I got from eHow:

Impatiens are a summer annual that are available in a wide variety of colors. They grow in mounded balls up to 18 inches tall. Impatiens provide a splash of color to any spot in the yard, or as container plants on the patio or balcony. Provide your Impatiens with a good soil, water, fertilizer and a little sun, they will not disappoint!

1. First, select the location. Traditional Impatiens like dappled sun throughout the day. Or will thrive in morning or evening sun but should not be placed in the heat of afternoon sun. Newer varieties, such as SunPatiens will thrive in the sun. Traditional Impatiens, if placed in the sun will droop and wilt while the hot suns rays are hitting them but will then perk up later.

2. Caring for your planted impatiens. Water Impatiens well but be sure not to over water. If the leaves are turning yellow that may indicate that the roots are too wet. If planted in a container, be sure the container has good drainage. Fertilize Impatiens with a water soluble fertilizer once a week, or use the pelleted sustained release fertilizer to last a few months.

3. Keep your Impatiens full by pinching off any long, leggy stems at the base. Pinch them off high enough that you leave behind an approximately 2 inch stem that has lots of places for branches to form. Take the pinched stem that you have removed and place it on your kitchen windowsill in a glass of water. It will drop its leaves initially but the flowers will remain and it will flower for a week. Also, roots will quickly sprout and you can transplant your new Impatiens plant back outside while you bring in more to root!

4. Overwintering Impatiens. While this is stressful to the plant, it will keep the plants alive through the winter. Dig up the Impatiens, clip off the plant down to about 3 or 4 inches tall. Plant into a container with good potting soil. Bring inside and put in a southern window. Water well throughout the winter but do not fertilize. The Impatiens will put up flowers through the Winter holidays but will begin to struggle in February and March. As soon as the days begin to lengthen and the air gets warmer, trim back the leggy winter growth and begin to fertilize. Move outdoors after the last frost is past.

I've always liked flowers inside the home but seldom buy them because they don't last. I secretly wished that hopefully one day my trainees would give me potted flowers instead of bouquets. Not only do I feel appreciated but I'm happy that that finally my wish came true.