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Large, romantic flowers in a wide variety of colors and an appealing variety of varieties make the Edellieschen a popular houseplant. The balsamine plant (bot. Balsaminaceae), which originates from East Africa, belongs to the perennial plants in its original distribution area and many gardeners are therefore wondering whether Impatiens 'New Guinea' can easily overwinter in the garden or whether winter protection is necessary. Since this is a busy Lizzie, the answer to this question for experienced gardeners is obvious.
Is the Edellieschen hardy?
Impatiens 'New Guinea' is not a plant species, but a group of varieties of the genus Impatiens and represents a hybrid that has the same growth characteristics as the plants of the genus. For this reason, the Edellieschen is not hardy and is even extremely sensitive to cold, which often explains why it is kept as an annual garden plant in Central Europe. The following two causes are the reason for a dying impatiens:
- Outside temperatures below 10 °C
- Wind temperatures below 10 °C
Therefore, if you do not want to compost your impatiens specimens at the end of the season, you will need to prepare appropriate winter quarters. Only then does the impatiens survive the cold season and can then be planted out again in spring after the ice saints in mid-May.
tip: Even short periods at a temperature below 10°C are harmful to the crop, which makes keeping it in a container so efficient. If such cool temperatures are only reached for a short time at the beginning of autumn, but are then followed by warmer days again, you can bring the plant indoors for a short time for safety reasons.
You cannot overwinter impatiens without preparation, especially if you originally planted the plant in the garden. Since the plants are not hardy, the outdoor space is just too cold. Therefore, you need to get them out of the ground and into planters potso that they can move to suitable winter quarters. The substrate for the plants should have the following characteristics:
- pH: 5.5 - 6.8
For this reason, the following substrate mixture is well suited for indoor plants:
- 2 parts high-quality compost-based potting soil
- 1.5 parts of arable soil
- 0.5 parts of sand; Silica sand is ideal
- 1 part lava granulate, perlite, expanded clay, pumice gravel or lavalite
This ensures a sufficiently permeable substrate, which in turn ensures good air circulation and water distribution. Since Edellieschen rarely have to be repotted, the substrate must meet these requirements in order to be able to offer the plant a permanent home. The best time for potting is mid-September, as there is no real risk of cold temperatures at this time. In October, the temperature can already be too low. When potting, proceed as follows:
- Carefully remove the plant from the bed
- Remove soil from roots
- Check the plant for rotten and dead roots
- Cut away accordingly
- use clean scissors for this
- Fill the planter halfway with substrate
- Use Busy Lizzie
- fill up
- carefully press the substrate
- this closes cavities
- Protect the plant from direct sun for 2 - 3 weeks
- move to winter quarters
You do not have to repot specimens that have already been potted. You'll catch up on that in the spring.
tip: You can easily adjust the pH of the substrate with the field soil. If it's too high or too low, add or remove soil accordingly until you're in the range of 5.5 to 6.8.
After you have potted the plants, it is now time to overwinter the Impatiens 'New Guinea'. This extremely important step in the care of the Balsaminaceae protects them from inevitable death during the cold season and supports the budding of the attractive flowers in the following season. With these instructions, the plant can easily get through the winter:
The winter quarters are the first step in the winter care of the plant. This must meet the requirements to which the Edellieschen is accustomed in its homeland. Since the plants take a break over the winter, the location must be similar to the location in summer, but slightly adjusted. This means:
- Light requirement: bright
- no direct sun at noon
- Morning sun recommended
- Temperature: 16ºC - 20ºC
- somewhat higher temperatures are tolerated
- lower temperatures are not tolerated
- no cold drafts
Considering the properties mentioned above, the following rooms are a good choice as the best location in winter:
- Guest room
- dining room
- garages (frost-free)
- basement rooms
Classic living spaces, which are used throughout the day, are usually too warm and dry and therefore unsuitable as winter quarters for the Edellieschen. The rooms mentioned above offer the ideal conditions, as they can be heated a little if required.
Make absolutely sure that Impatiens 'New Guinea' is not too warm. The 24°C, which is popular over the summer, inevitably leads to yellow, ailing leaves in the winter quarters, which has a negative effect on the growth of the plant in the long term. In the long run, cooler temperatures will definitely lead to the death of the plant and transparent leaves, which indicate temperatures that are too cold.
Make absolutely sure that the rooms are bright if you want to overwinter an industrious Lizzie. The following points of the compass are therefore particularly suitable for aligning the windows in the rooms:
If you don't have a bright enough room, you'll have to help out with LED lights. Special plant lights ensure that the room is bright enough so that the Edellieschen don't slow down their metabolism too much. These are attached directly above the Impatiens 'New Guinea'.
do not change location
Once you have found the right place for your hard-working Lizzie to spend the winter, it should not be changed throughout the winter. The plants are not really site-loyal, but a sudden change can stress the plant, which is not recommended over the winter. That's a big mistake in nursing.
There is less watering than in summer. The water additions should never be stopped, as the plant continues to grow over the winter despite the dormant phase and is permanently dependent on moisture. However, you have to be careful not to water too much or it will come off quickly waterlogging and root rot. Just water like in summer, only reduce the additions significantly. The following tips will help with watering:
- use soft water
- The plant does not tolerate lime
- Check the substrate with a finger test
- watch out for waterlogging
Therefore, only use filtered or stagnant water for watering, as this contains only small or no amounts of lime. Although rainwater would also be possible, this is difficult to get over the height of winter. If you live in a lime-poor region, you can of course use the tap water.
Fertilization is carried out every four to six weeks throughout the winter. Use a suitable liquid fertilizer for this.
Regularly check if the room is too dry and spray water around the plant. Drought can lead to infestation of the Edellieschen by pests such as spider mites, which must be avoided at all costs. Alternatively, you can place an electric humidifier nearby. However, be careful not to spray water on the leaves, as the Impatiens 'New Guinea' cannot tolerate it.
Check the soil and plants regularly for pest infestation or mold and apply appropriate countermeasures.
From mid-March to April, cut back the plant by up to 60 percent to encourage sprouting. From mid-May you can then take your hard-working Lizzie back into the garden.
tip: some gardeners try to get their potted plants through the winter with freshly collected snow, but this is only of limited use, since a lot of snow has to be melted for one liter of water, since snow is not very dense. In addition, snow binds more pollutants from the air and is therefore not really recommended compared to rainwater.