Vibrant summer blooms

Spice up your summer garden with colorful New Guinea impatiens

Fanfare orange main

Fanfare 'Orange' New Guinea impatiens

Rob D. Brodman

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  • /impatiens

    Deep green foliage sets off the bright pink flowers of Paradise ‘Orchid’ New Guinea impatiens.

For flashy flowers and bold foliage, it's tough to beat New Guinea impatiens. These summer annuals come in a palette of brilliant colors, from hot pink and bright orange to red. Their foliage, in mostly solid colors ranging from green to bronze to burgundy, makes them easy to use in the garden and in containers. And with blooms that can reach 3 inches in diameter, they're sure to grab attention.

Plant a few New Guineas this month; they'll bloom until weather turns cold.

What's new

Smaller sizes. Plants in the new generation of New Guinea impatiens are more compact. The shortest of these ― in the Celebrette, Compact Sonic, and Paradise series ― range from 8 to 18 inches tall and are especially suited to smaller containers. Plants in the more vigorous Celebration, Pure Beauty, and Super Sonic series grow 18 to 24 inches tall and perform well in large containers and the landscape.

New hybrids, new uses. Two new series ― hybrids between New Guineas and other impatiens species ― can take more heat than standard New Guinea impatiens.

Sun lovers. SunPatiens, developed by Japanese breeders, thrive in full sun and heat and grow 15 to 20 inches tall. There are three brightly colored varieties ― 'Tropical Mango', 'Tropical Orange', and 'Tropical Punch' ― as well as the white 'Tropical Ice'. In tests at Sunset's headquarters, the plants bloomed prolifically over a long period. Grow them in pots or in the ground.

 Trailer. Fanfare (shown at top left) is a mounding, trailing heat-resistant impatiens that's perfect for containers and hanging baskets. The flowers are slightly smaller than standard New Guinea impatiens, but they blanket the plant all season long. Flowers come in four bright colors as well as blush.

 

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