Frequently Asked Questions

When grown in the ground, SunPatiens can reach anywhere between 14-28” in the ground for compact varieties and 18-34” in the ground for vigorous ones.

Although SunPatiens have some New Guinea "blood" in their breeding, they are not New Guinea types. SunPatiens will continue to set flower buds at high night temperatures (>78F), whereas New Guinea Impatiens stop flowering when the night temperature is high. Also, SunPatiens do not lose their flower buds after drought stress, whereas New Guinea Impatiens do.
Like the name implies, SunPatiens are sun-tolerant. The key is to establish a strong root system. Sometimes, the plants droop mid-day under high heat conditions, but they recover quickly later in the day. SunPatiens bloom best with at least four hours of direct sunlight a day.
"Sun scold" occurs when the petals have beads of moisture on them and are then exposed to bright sun. The water acts as sort of a magnifying glass and burns the petal. Morning sun helps evaporate the excess moisture prior to the sun exposure. If the SunPatiens are planted where it gets full-sun early, try to avoid over-headed watering in the morning (drip irrigation is better). Lighter colors, like Copact Coral Pink, Lavender Splash, White, Blush Pink, etc, don't show the scolding like the brighter tones.
Try one good soaking with fresh water to see if any of them revive, keeping them away from direct sunlight-- at least while they are being nursed back to health. If any of them make it, they should be well watered and well fed in partial sunlight, until they are fully healthy. It is more than likely, they will need to be repurchased.
It is recommended to bring SunPatiens inside when temperatures are below 50°F.
SunPatiens are susceptible to browsing deer, but may be a bit more bitter tasting than Impatiens walleriana (traditional impatiens). The below homemade deer repellant can help protect them against deer damage. Deer often look for tender, moisture-rich plants to eat so allowing SunPatiens to wilt in between waterings helps make them tough and less attractive.
1 – Gallon of Water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of plain yogurt
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of Bonide Turbo Spreader Sticker or dish soap (not detergent)
5 drops of an essential oil, like peppermint or thyme
Up to 1/3 of the plant can be trimmed back to keep enough foliage for regeneration.
For spider mites at home, Mavrik Spray Concentrate is a great water-based synthetic pyrethroid that acts as a broad spectrum insecticide.
For a DIY option: 3 tablespoons of dish soap in a gallon of water and then put in a spray bottle.

The best time to plant SunPatiens is after danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature is above 60°F.

SunPatiens do well with ½ day sun and also tolerate filtered sunshine. In general, lower light levels reduces flowering so Tropical types are ideal for shadier areas as their leaf variegation shows off nicely in the shade.

It is recommended to bring SunPatiens inside when temperatures are below 50°F.

SunPatiens are annuals and will not survive freezing temperatures (Zones 3-9).

SunPatiens may be brought indoors, however they are not indoor plants and will not do well unless they have a southern window with high light and sunshine. Additionally, there’s a risk of bringing in insects that will then infect other house plants.

It is recommended repurchasing them the following spring rather than trying to save them indoors.

In general, leaves that turn yellow indicate one of the following:

  • Excess moisture due to poorly drained soil, excess watering or excess rainfall.
  • Lack of fertilizer; especially nitrogen.Only water if the soil is dry and not just the mulch. It helps to allow the soil to dry slightly between irrigations and force the plants to work and make their roots stronger. SunPatiens can tolerate some wilt stress and forcing them to work a bit more promotes a stronger root system and overall more vibrant plant.
  • Try feeding them with fertilizer weekly with Miracle Gro at the ½ or 1/3 rate. Feeding more often at a weaker strength works better in some situations.
  • Keep mulch away from the plant stems to avoid stem rot.

In general, SunPatiens do well under warm and humid conditions, but strong drying winds can tax the plants. Stressful conditions can fade the flowers and draw moisture from the plant tissue, but the plants should be able to handle this.

SunPatiens do tolerate some wilting so be careful not to overwater them which can cause root rot. We suggest allowing the soil to thoroughly dry in between irrigations to make the plant’s roots work a bit harder which will strengthen them and tone the plants.

SunPatiens are not toxic to dogs but might cause an upset stomach. Below is some feedback on Impatiens and known toxic plants.

Sunpatiens is a rather new Impatiens hybrid. As a result, the ASPCA as well as other reputable animal care organizations have not yet listed it as a toxic or non-toxic substance. However, since it is a member of the Impatiens family, it is safe to assume that it is safe around dogs. It is also harmless around cats. Both the Impatiens and Impatiens hawker used to develop that Sunpatiens are not deemed harmful by the ASPCA.