Impatiens walleriana

Common Name: busy lizzy 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Balsaminaceae
Native Range: Tanzania, Mozambique
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Pink, rose, red, lilac, purple, orange, white & bicolors
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, grow as bedding annuals, container plants or houseplants. Easily grown in evenly moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Although some varieties may be grown from seed started indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost date, numerous selections are available for purchase each year in inexpensive cell/six packs from a myriad of retail outlets ranging from nurseries to corner grocery stores. Unless a hard-to-find variety is desired, most gardeners simply purchase cell packs in spring, enjoy the long flowering season, allow the plants to succumb to frost in fall and then purchase new plants the following spring. Set out plants after last frost date. Pinch back stems of young plants to encourage branching and/or compact growth. Consider taking cuttings from unique and/or favorite plants in late summer or potting up the occasional unique plant itself in fall for overwintering. Overwintered plants need bright light but not direct sun, with reduced watering for the winter rest period.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Impatiens walleriana, commonly called impatiens or bizzy Lizzy, is the most popular annual bedding plant in the U.S. today. For easy-to-grow, non-stop flowering in shady conditions, it has no equal. It is a bushy, succulent-stemmed tender perennial that grows in a spreading mound to 6-24” tall depending on variety. It has been extensively hybridized to produce a large number of cultivars featuring flowers in various shades of pink, rose, red, lilac, purple, orange, white and bicolor versions thereof. Showy, slender-spurred, five-petaled (some doubles are available) flowers (1- 2 1/4” wide) typically cover the plants with colorful bloom from spring to frost. Single flowers have a distinctively flattened appearance. Ovate to elliptic leaves (to 3” long) are light green to dark green, sometimes with a bronze-red cast.

Genus name comes from the Latin word impatiens meaning impatient in reference to the violent seed discharge from the ripe pods.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants


Mass in shady beds, borders and woodland gardens. Ground cover. Edging along walks or paths. Containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. Houseplant.