Impatiens, sometimes called bizzy lizzies, are a flowering plant from tropical southern Asia. Often used by gardeners in warm months to bring color to shady parts of the garden, impatiens thrive under trees or in the shadow of a building.

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Impatiens are tropical plants that can die quickly when hit by frost.

Frost Tolerance

The succulent stems and thin leaves of impatiens do not endure temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Even with temperatures below 36 degrees, low elevations may collect frost and cause partial defoliation of impatiens. Sometimes individual plants may endure a brief encounter with 30 degrees and emerge unscathed.

Types

The thicker, more leathery-textured leaves of the New Guinea hybrid impatiens may look better in the garden after nighttime lows in the 30s. They, too, are usually killed once tissues are frozen at 32 degrees.

Prevention/Solution

Don't plant impatiens outdoors until the last expected spring frost date passes. If you wish to protect impatiens from late springtime or early fall frosts, place stakes over the flowers that rise 6 inches above the tops of the plants. Cover the plants with an old bedsheet or frost-cloth to retain ground heat and prevent plant damage.