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What is the difference between regular Impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens?

As the weather gets warmer and the Impatiens start blooming- many people get confused about the difference between regular impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens and where to plant each.

new guinea impatiens photos

Here is a simple explanation. New Guinea Impatiens are a hybrid and they have been called “sun impatiens” because they tolerate more sun that the standard variety. However, they still do not like full sun all day. New Guineas are generally grown from cuttings and have larger leaves and larger blooms, up to 3 inches across. Their long, narrow leaves come in different shade of green, bronze, purple and some have variegated foliage. New Guineas branch well, are sturdy, and grow taller than standard impatiens. Most are 1 to 2 feet tall.

impatien carpet

Standard impatiens are easy to grow and are generally smaller than New Guineas. They prefer shady areas and become carpeted mounds of color. They can become leggy over the summer, so it is good to pinch or scissor them back and they will flush back up again in a week or two. From partial shade to full shade, New Guinea Impatiens and standard Impatiens will give you an amazing show all summer long in a huge array of colors. They both love water so keep them moist but not soggy. Use well-drained soil and mulch the top of the soil around the plants to retain moisture. Fertilize often or use a slow-release fertilizer. Enjoy!!

The difference between Impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens

20 thoughts on “What is the difference between regular Impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens?”

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      Hi Jeanie, have you tried Griffin Greenhouse Supply? They are a broker of many growers and should be able to find you impatien plugs, I know we get ours through there.

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      I’m not as familiar with the climate of Hawaii to say whether they would take it, my opinion would be that it would be too hot for them to be in that kind of full sun. There are Sunpatiens which look just like New Guinea Impatiens and they would probably be able to take that kind of sun since they can withstand more than the New Guineas.

    2. Regular impatiens do very well in Hawaii, but they do best in shady areas of the yard. I live on Oahu and my backyard is filled with impatiens!

      1. Crocker Nursery

        They are an annual for us (Zone 7). They don’t like cold weather so it’s best to wait to plant them until mid to late May

    3. I have them in fl in hanging baskets, full sun, just water them 2-3 ti.es a day, Bern blooming since last July 2019

    4. I live on Oahu and No they can’t handle full sun. I have mine outside but moved it in a more bright but shaded area. I left it during morning and afternoon sun and she was just not having it. She was milting for the gods. But I must say mine was able to come back to life like it was nothing after I moved her in a shadier place. So maybe they could, but I wouldn’t just cause I feel like it would stress them out with that scorching sun. So morning sun is perfect. But not during afternoon. Hope that helps.

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      It depends what it is. If the whole leaf is chewed off then it is probably a larger animal like deer or rabbit. They can be deterred with repellents or fencing. If it’s a bad problem for you, it might be best to plant something they won’t want to eat, since they do like impatiens. If it’s a sunny spot you could use Cleome, Zinnias, Ageratum or Lantana and if it’s a shady spot, wax begonias are a great choice.

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      Not really. The plant may survive a light frost but will probably experience some leaf burn. They prefer the warmer summer temperatures so it’s best to only put them out when there’s no threat of frost.

  1. The leaves have become very limp on one pot with New Guinea impatient and the pot next to it is doing great. They are in large pots on my West facing deck. Any ideas as to why the leaves are limp?

  2. If you look at them both side by side you can tell right away the differences between the regular and the New Guinea Impatiens. But if you want to know which is better you’d have to decide that for yourself by trying them both. Each gardener has his or her own idea after all.

  3. I have planters at my front door that is under entrance roof. They get plenty of light but no direct sunlight, will new guinea impatiens work there?

  4. The hybrid Impatiens DO NOT TOLERATE MORE SUN!!!! They only tolerate an hour! This information about in is incorrect. Regular Impatiens can be grown in ANY location and tolerate just about any weather or sunlight. Everyone online writing about these is wrong it’s the opposite.

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