The spectacular New Guinea impatiens have been one of the great plant
success stories of the past few years. The relatively high cost of the
patented, cutting-grown plants has kept them out of the mass market, but
it is now possible to grow one kind, ‘Sweet Sue’, from seed.
At maturity, plants are 18- to 20-inch mounds of bronzy green
foliage with scores of brilliant, pure orange flowers. Bloom lasts from
early summer until frost. An occasional plant will show a big creamy spot in the center of each leaf.
Now is the time to order seeds and start them in a greenhouse or on
a warm windowsill. Packets of 20 seeds are available from the Geo. W.
Park Seed Co., Box 31, Greenwood, S.C. 29647, For $1.75 plus 95 cents
for handling and shipping. You can get 10 seeds for 85 cents (plus
$1.10 for shipping) from Thompson and Morgan, Box 1308, Jackson, N.J.
Like other impatiens, ‘Sweet Sue’ requires warmth
(70[deg.]) to germinte. Sow seeds indoors in loose potting mix; do not
bury the seeds–they sprout best with light. Prevent drying out by
covering the pot or flat with a piece of glass or clear plastic film.
Sprouting usually takes two to three weeks.
When plants have three or four true leaves, transplant to
individual pots of rich mix. Set plants outdoors in beds or pots when
weather warms up and danger of frost is over. Feed and water well.
Plants appreciate a little more light than common impatiens, but they
won’t take full sun. Usually grown as annuals, plants can be