Sunpatiens: a Flower-Making Machine

Feb 10, 2017 | Love This!

Imagine: Dedee walked through the display garden with an eye on the plants but her mind on her new patio. It was going to be her first outdoor room and it was nearly complete. She’d have space for 2 lounge chairs so that she and her BFF could relax and talk with coffee or cocktails. There was enough room for a table with shade umbrella. She just knew that she and her husband would serve Sunday brunch to her parents here, while the kids raced around the backyard. She’d already planted an assortment of shrubs and perennials in the beds circling the lawn and surrounding the flagstones, but there were spaces for what her landscaper called “summer color.”

And then, rounding the corner in the test garden, she saw the plant she’d been waiting for. Masses of flowers covered the attractive foliage and she saw one in her favorite color. Dedee bent over to look at the tag. It said, Sunpatiens.

Name: Impatiens hawkeri Sunpatiens Series – aka sunpatiens

Type of Plant:  This is a type of New Guinea impatiens that tolerates full sun and part-shade. Some grow to be just over a foot high and others will stretch to three feet or more. These annuals were developed by Sakata Seed of Japan. They were a cross between the original New Guinea impatiens and wild impatiens, and were chosen because of their prolific bloom as well as tolerance of full sun.

Why I love this: I love these impatiens for their flower power…pure and simple. Bright flowers are abundant on these plants. No deadheading, no pinching…just a dependable annual that is a flower-making machine. No downy mildew, no pests or problems. Just pure enjoyment.

A Word to the Wise: Don’t plant this impatiens in full shade – it won’t flower. Be sure to check the label for height as well, since some of these wonderful plants are quite tall and thin while others are shorter and rounder in form.

Some Sunpatiens have variegated foliage so you get two-for-one. This Salmon variety will have a place in my gardens in 2017. 

A couple of years ago I combined a bright pink Sunpatiens with Bidens Goldilocks Rocks and Frosty Night Lobularia (from Proven Winners) along with blue Victoria salvia planted from six-packs. I ended up with C-O-L-O-R from June through October. 

When I was at the trial garden at Costa Farm in Florida this winter this Sunpatiens won my heart. It’s called Spreading Pink Kiss. Look for varieties with “spreading” in the name for rounder, shorter growth habits.



The variegated white spreading plants are wonderful. The foliage adds a touch of yellow without screaming YELLOW. So warm and cool at the same time. Imagine this plant combined with any blue-flowering annual. YUM.


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