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

11 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

    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.

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