Impatiens Morsei

lavonn(6B)June 3, 2012

My Impatiens Morsei is dropping leaves like crazy! Can anyone give me some growing tips? I have 6 small plants. 2 are dropping leaves much worse than the others. They are all in the same spot & getting the same treatment. They are by a South Window. Humidity is about 60%. I have them in a well draining mix & have been watering before they get real dry. Any help appreciated!

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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

the plant is being overwatered if you let them sit in a tray of water comstantly. if that is the case, put them in the sink to drain. the other issue could may as well be spider mites of aphids, both devastating houseplant pest. move it away from other plants as a precaution. post a photo of it

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:37AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's not an easy plant to grow well. It likes morning or late afternoon sun (toward evening) and a soil that stays moist but not wet, so if you're describing your soil accurately, you should be ok. They ARE mite magnets, for some reason - much more so than other Impatiens I've tended. I've grown several morseis and have had to treat each one for mites, so please look into that as a possible cause of the leaf loss. Have you moved the plant recently? I fertilize with a 3:1:2 ratio soluble fertilizer. MG 24-8-16, and 12-4-8, as well as Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 are examples of 3:1:2 ratio fertilizers that would work well.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Thanks, Al & Teengardener.....I got my moisture meter out & my soil PH is close to alkaline. Was thinking of adding a teeny amount of lime to my water.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Lavonn. There's always one odd-ball and follower in a crowd. lol, j/k.

Impatens are mite magnets, so inspect all, 'not only the two plants dropping leaves,' but all six.

Do you know how to check for insects? If pests are the case.

You have two options, after figuring and resolving the problem.

One is to let your Impatiens be. Eventually, new leaves will sprout.

Or if spindly

Prune/Pinch. I recently pruned my Morsei. Although trunk and stems are healthy, new foliage was small and spindly.

Will your Imatiens be summered outdoors? If you have a shady to semi-shady spot, set them outside. They love summer vacations.

Drainage is essential. Do pots have drain holes?

I Morsei 21-days after purchase

By November

Don't have a pic, but around Feb new leaves were and remained small. Some dropped. Il winters are too grey.

Since I've never grown Impatiens indoors before Morsei, I reseached soil, fertilizer, etc.

It's recommended fertilizing every two weeks w/higher Nitrogen, (first number) fertilizer during growing season.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Impatiens prefer a slightly acidic medium. 6.0 - 6.2 is commonly offered as a preferred pH range, so I think it's a serious mistake to add lime to the soil of this pH-sensitive plant. This is especially so if you're depending on a pH meter you can't calibrate and really don't know what the actual media pH is.

Because of the plant's sensitivity to ammonia, it will also shed foliage if you fertilize when soil temperatures are below 55* or are falling below 55*. IMO, you would be better served if you make every attempt to get the cultural conditions you can control in the highly favorable zone. Soil, watering habits, light, fertilizing properly ..... need attention more than trying to adjust the media pH w/o good reason to think it's grossly out of whack. Guessing at what a problem might be, then proceeding as though it was the actual problem is more likely to end in disappointment than a favorable outcome. Still, I realize it's your plant, your call. I'm just trying to lend you the benefit of my experience & give you something to consider before you act.

Best luck, no matter what you decide. It's a beautiful plant when it's happy.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I couldn't see any Mites. But sprayed with Schultz. I fertilized with Fish Emulsion. Am using a Moisture Meter for safety in watering. The PH is real close to Alkaline...didn't know if maybe I should add a tiny amount of lime to next watering.

Thanks Everyone!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:25PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Adding lime would make the soil even more alkaline. The combination moisture/pH meters are notoriously unreliable. For instance, they don't measure moisture levels at all - they measure EC (electrical conductivity), which is more useful for determining fertility levels than moisture content. If you stick the probe in a cup of distilled water, the meter shows 'dry'. Add a little fertilizer, and it shows 'wet'.

While it's better to catch the plant just before it wilts, wilt is regularly used as a watering indicator in the production of Impatiens. Allowing the medium to dry down significantly promotes deep rooting and less gangly plants. You'd be better served to allow the plant to dry down until you see the beginning signs of wilt than to risk over-watering. Almost all of us have probably witnessed the almost miraculous resurrection of apparently lifeless Impatiens after they have collapsed in a heap from lack of water.

Also, Impatiens generally like a low concentration of nutrients in the soil solution, so be very careful about over-fertilizing. It's one of the things that can cause leaf loss.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:33AM
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Thanks, Al! I didn't realize Mositure Meters were that useless. I'll just go back to using my judgment. As for the Lime I was totally backward on my thinking for that too! I thought I'd read that they grow in a terrain that has lots of lime....thus my thinking for the Lime! Everyone can tell that I Love Plants....but am not very good at growing!
I did move the 2 smaller plants outside today. The smallest dropped another leaf as I carried it out! I'll continue to update you on my Morsei's Decline or I Pray Resurrection!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:54PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

does your plant have webs on it

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:43PM
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No Webs!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:35AM
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