The Impatiens niamniamensis, or the Parrot Plant, is a small shrub native to tropical East Africa. Grown mostly in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, this plant is a fantastic addition to any garden. The Impatiens niamniamensis can grow to a height of 2-5 feet, making it an excellent choice for a border or low edging. They require a bright position out of full summer sun and prefer semi-shade. Regular water is necessary to keep the soil moist in the spring and summer and a slight reduction during the winter months. Minimum temperature 50F.
The flowers of the Parrot Plant come in a variety of colors, ranging from crimson and vinous red to vivid yellow and orange. Each flower has a curled spur and the colors can even vary from plant to plant. The Impatiens niamniamensis require rather acidic, well-drained soil to allow them to reach their full potential. Additionally, pinch out growing tips to encourage side shoots, and fertilize and water the plants regularly during spring and summer.
For those in colder climates, the Parrot Plant can grow in pots, as long as extra care is taken. Select a pot with adequate drainage and use a well draining soil for best results. When the temperature drops to 45F or below, it is best to move the pot to an area with more sunlight. Watch the soil and water as needed, but be careful not to overwater in the winter. Fertilize every month and deadhead to encourage continued blooms.
The Parrot Plant may not be the most common plant, but it makes up for it with its unique and eye-catching flowers. With just the right amount of light and plenty of water, anyone can enjoy this fascinating plant. There's a reason why it's been around for so long; it really is a Parrot Plant.