Why Impatiens Don't Bloom

Blooming impatiens
Blooming impatiens (Image: impatiens image by palms from Fotolia.com)

Impatiens, according to Iowa State horticulturist Richard Jauron, are the most popular bedding plants in the United States. Jauron praises impatiens for beautiful flowers and long bloom periods. When impatiens do not bloom, the reasons may be location, water stress, disease or pests, and fertilizer problems.

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These annuals prefer partial-shade locations with filtered sunlight two to four hours a day. Direct sun or heavy shade inhibits blooming.


Impatiens grow best in moist soils. They drop flower buds or do not bloom when water-stressed by too much or too little water. Water once a week in warm weather or when soil is dry.


Plant impatiens in moist, part-shade locations. These same conditions encourage bloom-inhibiting fungus disease usually treatable by common garden fungicides.

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Encourage impatiens blooms with regular fertilizer. Horticulturist Jauron suggests mixing slow-release fertilizer into the soil at planting time. Apply water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.


When impatiens languish with few or no blooms and lackluster foliage, cut back to healthy foliage, re-fertilize and water to stimulate new blooms.


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