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Products > Impatiens sodenii
 
Impatiens sodenii - Poor Man's Rhododendron
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Balsaminaceae (Touch-me-nots)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [I. oliveri]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 8-10 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Impatiens sodenii (Poor Man's Rhododendron) - A frost tender shrub (often treated as a perennial) that can grow as large as 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide but is usually about half this size. It has a woody base and semi-succulent stems bearing 8 inch long dark green leaves in whorls. At the tips of the stems are the showy 2 1/2 wide pink flowers with slender spurs. The flowers bloom throughout the year at first emerging pale pink and fading to nearly white. This large Impatiens does best in a well-drained soil in light shade or morning sun, but at the coast it will grow in full sun. Grows rapidly when watered regularly in warmer gardens to occasionally along the coast, where with a little protection it is tolerant of seaside conditions. Although it is hardy to only about 30 degrees F, limiting it to the nearly frost free areas (USDA 10-11), plants damaged by a frost will often resprout at the base and seed can perpetuate the plant as an annual in even colder climates. Prune annually after frost danger is past to shape and remove cold-damaged stems then only tip prune the rest of the year; avoid cutting back hard as this discourages flowering. Native to the tropical East African highlands between 3,000 and 8,000 ft. elevation in Kenya and Tanzania.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Impatiens sodenii [I. oliveri].