The Brown-Thumb's Guide To Growing Ridiculously Gorgeous Flowers

works for me wednesday at we are that family

This WFMW was originally posted last May, but due to some desperate queries regarding it lately, I feel it warrants a re-post. This method really does grow 'em as high as a pre-schooler's eye! Every time. Read on, soon to be master gardener..

When we moved into our house about 4 years ago we were most taken with the curb appeal of the front flower bed. It was October and it was just stuffed with beautiful, brightly coloured amazingly tall and lush impatiens.

We decided that despite our somewhat dodgy past adventures in gardening, this was something that we wanted to keep happening in our front yard, so we consulted with The Lady of the House (ex owner)who is an avid gardener and she talked us through the process.

To our great wonder and amazement by following her instructions to the T, the flowers sprang up just as vibrantly for us as they had for her and the front bed continues to be somewhat of a legend in these parts, because nobody has ever seen impatiens grow to the size that they do. It has become a family tradition to devote an afternoon each May to plant our Impatiens together (and this year, the irony of the flowers name was strong as my kids were anxious to get to the pool for the first time this season).

We have kept our mad scientist methods a closely guarded secret up until now but in a rare flush of generosity and the desire to make the world a more beautiful place, I decided to share.

Ok so this is what you do.
1. First you buy Impatiens which are designed to grow bigger then the average type. The type we buy are the Blitz variety. The darker colours seem to do better then the lighter ones but we always throw some white into the mix because it makes the other colours pop.

2.Procure the magic serum from your local nursery. If they don't have it, tell them to order some.

3. We mix it up according to the instructions in old milk jugs and pour an inch or two in these old cake pans. Be prepared to devote the rest of their lives solely to this cause.

4. We take the plants out of the flats and let them soak in this solution for about 10 minutes while we dig the holes.
5. We pour a little bit of the solution into each hole before we place the plant in there.

Pull the roots apart a little before you put them in their holes

6. Pat down the soil. Stand back and watch them grow. Small children and animals may get lost in the foilage.

7. We give them a little shot of Miracle Grow about once or twice a month for maintenance. We water them daily (unless it rains or is exceptionally humid).

They grow from just after the last frost in May til well into October. Our kids have fun stomping down the huge stalks on Hallowe-en night when they start to look tragic.

Hermione, Malfoy and Potter pose in front of their herbology project

Go to, and plant!

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{april kennedy} said...

Kirsty just wanted to tell you I'm lovin' your blog. Not only does it look great, but it is chock full of goodness!

but i seriously dislike word verification, it's hard to type something you can't pronounce :)

Holly said...

I've always had good luck with impatiens, but maybe it's time to take it to the next level. Thanks for the tips!

Clean and Classic Interiors said...

I don't know what color my thumb is but it is not green! I'm so going to try this! I also would love to link it to my newsletter this month! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

How cute are those kiddos???

Okay anyway, I love impatiens too. I've never used your magic potion but they do grow rather well here in NJ, land of humidity. They are fairly maintenance free.


Home School Dad said...

Good post. We are working on a vegetable garden this year. We do absolutely nothing to our flowers and they come up good every year.

{ L } said...

Wow, I'm impressed. That is a lot of work! I love the title of this post, because I am definitely a brown thumb. :( Great tips, I would love to secretly use these ideas and impress and shock my husband, lol.

Sharon said...

Great tip! We live in the land of humidity and some wonderful afternoon summer rains. I'll have to try this! Thanks!!

Beverly said...

I have good luck with impatiens, too, but not like this. Now I'm glad it's been raining and I haven't gotten my annuals in the ground yet. Will be procuring magic serum today!

Jerralea said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I do have a brown thumb...

I wonder if this works for other annuals? I can't grow impatiens in my yard because I have no shade. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

And impatiens is my favorite flower! I have to enjoy them in pictures and other people's yards ...

Hoosier Homemade said...

Great tip thanks! I usually use the good ole' Miracle Grow. But I may try this, this summer. Hoping to plant in a couple wks. Still chilly here in NW Indiana.

BeckyB said...

I love this idea! And your blog too! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Elizabeth said...

I've always loved impatiens, my mom used to grow them. But I have a black thumb and kill everything I attempt to grow, so I honestly haven't tried. After reading your simple, fail-proof instructions, I think I might give it a go!!

PS - I left a little something for you on my blog of the award variety - I hope you like it! :)

Watch Nena Save said...

I am going to have to try this. DH and I have a major green thumb!

Would this work with other plants too? Should I look for that specific brand of fertlizer?

Thanks :)

Jenny said...

Hi. I was just surfing around some blogs, and I came across yours. It's pretty nifty and I'm really enjoying my stay here. I've bookmarked your site for daily visits, and I hope you'll visit me. I'd love to have you. :) Have a great day and I'll see you around the blogosphere. :)

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Here in the southerwestern desert, impatiens do not do well. Howver, their sun-loving cousins love it! They are vincas, and they look a hole lot like impatiens. They don't mind very little water, either.

Two years ago I didn't pull my vincas out until they froze at our first frost. Unbeknownest to me, they had gone to seed. In the spring, they came up all over. I moved them to where I wanted them and had twice as many as the year before.

Our first frost came a month late, so we had vincas until a week before Christmas! They were huge like yours.

This year they are coming up again. I transplant them in the evening, making sure to water them in real well when I move them. (They tend to come up at the edge of the bed instead of further back, so I move them to be near the drip lines and so that they can get plenty big within the planters).

We really love the white ones, because they are visible at night, but my husband likes the bright colors of the others for the varitation they provide.

I wish you had posted a picture of your front yard from the street so that we could see how big of a space your flowers fill!

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Wow! This is the most awesome gardening post! I LOVE the garden and usually do ok, but this is a wonderful new trick! Thank you so much! Can't wait to try it out!


The Halbert Home said...

I am glad you reposted this on WFMW this week because I read it last year and didn't book mark it and have often tried to remember what you did to make the flowers grow so tall. Thanks!

Sharon said...

I'm going to try this! Thanks for the tip.

Kasey Hunt said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the tip on the fertilizer! New to your blog.