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There is hardly a garden in which one or the other hard-working Lizzies (Impatiens) cannot be found. The plant, which is one of the jumping herbs, lives up to its name because from May to late autumn it tirelessly produces new flowers and forms true carpets of flowers under optimal conditions. The flowers can be single or double, and one or more colors. Even the foliage is extremely decorative. However, balsam is not hardy.

winter quarters

The right winter quarters

Outdoors, this magical plant will not survive the winter. Even if an industrious Lieschen is usually only cultivated for one year due to the lack of winter hardiness, it does not necessarily have to be disposed of after the flowering in autumn. It is also possible to bring annual jumping herbs through the winter without any damage, so that you can enjoy this lush abundance of magnificent flowers again next year. At least one hard-working Lizzie in a bucket or flower box can very well be overwintered. Some varieties of Impatiens walleriana continue to flower even in the winter quarters.

The hybrids, most of which are the result of crossings, only reach relatively low growth heights of 15 - 30 cm, which makes overwintering easier. These tireless permanent bloomers, also known as jumping herbs or noble flowers, should move into the house early, but in any case before the first frost, because even minimal minus temperatures could cause the sensitive plants to die.

It is best to bring them into the winter quarters as soon as the outside temperatures drop permanently to 10 degrees or below, which is usually the case in September. As with all plants that have to spend the winter indoors, it is essential to carefully check impatiens for diseases or possible pest infestation beforehand.

Tip: Anyone who has planted particularly beautiful specimens in the garden can also overwinter them. To do this, however, they have to be dug up in good time, put into pots and cleared out.


Important factors when wintering

Around October, when the days get shorter and the light intensity decreases, the Edellieschen goes into a resting phase. Now at the latest it is time to move to the winter quarters.

  • Overwinter hard-working Lizzies in a bright, partly sunny and cool room
  • Hardly heated rooms optimal
  • Suitable for conservatories, hallways, stairwells, cellars, window sills or frost-proof garages
  • Ambient temperatures in the winter quarters ideally between 12 and 15 degrees
  • Temperatures should not fall below 10 degrees during the day
  • At night they should not rise significantly above 15 degrees
  • if it is too warm, long weak shoots form and plants become unsightly
  • the incidence of light should be as high as possible
  • in the south window there should be the possibility of light shading
  • dark and heated cellars and other dark rooms are completely unsuitable
  • the additional use of plant lamps can ensure a higher light yield


Care in winter quarters

In order for the hard-working Lizzie to survive the winter unscathed, it also needs higher humidity during the cold season. In order to do justice to this, you should spray it frequently with lukewarm water. In contrast to many other plants, a hard-working Lizzie needs one or the other fertilizer even in winter. However, during the entire period of hibernation, fertilizer is only applied in very low concentrations, for example with a highly diluted liquid fertilizer, and only about every 6-8 weeks.

Casting will also be significantly reduced. Water only moderately so that the bale never dries out completely. Permanently too wet soil in the winter quarters often results in leaf loss, which can cause lasting damage to the plant in question. If, for whatever reason, the plants are wintered in a warmer place, they usually have to be watered more abundantly and occasionally fertilized.

Before wintering out

Prune before wintering

A hard-working Lizzie intended for the winter can be cut back either before or after the hibernation. However, the end of the hibernation period is mainly used for this. You can shorten the plantlets by up to two thirds. A sharp knife is ideal for cutting non-lignified shoots. Plant parts that are already lignified, on the other hand, can be cut back very easily with pruning shears. With these pruning measures, you can achieve better branching of the shoots and thus preserve the typically bushy appearance of these balsam plants. After cutting, it can make sense to repot the busy Lizzie Impatiens.

Tip: The cutting tools used should always be very sharp to avoid crushing and injuring the plants.


Repot before clearing out

In early spring, when the hibernation is over and the pot or planter is heavily rooted, you should repot the hard-working Lizzie into fresh substrate. This promotes new shoots and stimulates flowering. At the time of repotting, the hard-working Lizzie should not be in bloom, nor should it have started to grow vigorously.

  • To repot, carefully remove the plant in question from the old pot
  • Remove or shake off old, loose soil from the bale
  • then cut out any dead, damaged or rotten root parts
  • the new pot not much bigger than the old one
  • two to three centimeters more in diameter is completely sufficient
  • put a thick layer of drainage in the new pot
  • Coarse gravel and perlite are suitable as drainage material
  • fill a well-drained substrate on top of the gravel
  • good drainage should be guaranteed at all times
  • finally insert the plant, fill the pot with substrate, press and water

winter out

A hard-working Lizzie should neither be wintered too late nor wintered out too early, both of which would probably cause lasting damage. You should only plant it in the garden when the temperatures during the day, but especially at night, no longer fall below 10 degrees. The danger of night frosts should be excluded. It is best to wait until after the ice saints, i.e. until mid-May, when no more frost is to be expected before wintering. Even specimens in a pot should not be outside again before mid-May. With the beginning of the growth phase, a little more can be poured again and fertilized regularly with the beginning of sprouting.

pest infestation

Pest infestation in the winter quarters

Under unfavorable conditions during the winter, it can easily become infested with pests such as spider mites or whiteflies. It is up to you whether it is worth fighting or whether you should dispose of the plant and grow or buy a new one. In the early stages of an infestation, however, combating it can be worthwhile.

spider mites

Spider mites are typical winter pests and can be recognized by the fine white webs that cover the undersides of the leaves in particular and by the white speckles on the upper side of the leaves. As the disease progresses, the leaves dry out completely due to the withdrawal of plant sap and die off.

If a spider mite infestation is found, the affected plant should first be isolated from healthy plants. Afterwards, an extensive shower, especially the underside of the leaves, can be helpful. The substrate must be covered beforehand. After the shower, put a foil bag over the plant and pot and close it. Leave the whole thing for 3-4 days. The high humidity eventually kills the pests. Otherwise, spraying with a mixture of water and rapeseed oil or natural predators such as predatory mites can help.

white bow tie

The whitefly loves plants like the busy Lizzie and can appear both outdoors and indoors during the winter. It finds optimum conditions at temperatures of around 22 degrees and high humidity. It is usually only worth fighting here if the infestation is still low and there is the possibility of overwintering the infested plant in a much cooler place.

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