Parrot Impatiens

Impatiens niamniamensis

Parrot Impatiens

Impatiens niamniamensis
This is the very spectacular Congo Cockatoo!
This lovely African native plant has lovely bright flowers and is about to become a very popular house plant and patio plant in Europe. When this plant feels at home, it will produce its striking flowers all year round. The Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) likes it warm and humid and can go outdoors on the patio or decking from May on - somewhere shaded. The Congo Cockatoo's foliage is also eaten as a veg in Africa. The flowers too are edible although they taste somewhat bitter. They do make a lovely garnish. Congo Cockatoo (or Congo Parrot Plant) can go in a large planter outdoors but do bring it indoors again at the start of September.
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Specifications:
Latin name: Impatiens niamniamensis
Delivery type: Supplied as container plant
Guarantee: 6 months growth and flowering guarantee
Color: Yellow,Red
Preferred location: Half shadow, Shadow
Green stayer: No
Leafs all year: No
Hardy plants: No
Self polinating: No
Edible: No
Scented: Not Scented
Grafted: No
Cutting flowers: No
Flowering: May - October
Growing Height: 50 - 70 cm
Planting distance: 40 - 50 cm
Planting+

A Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) is best treated and kept as a tub plant. Use a large planter with holes in the base. Layer the bottom with potsherds or hydro-pellets. Add potting compost and plant your Congo Cockatoo at the correct depth. Fill up with more potting compost and press firmly in. Water generously as soon as you have planted your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis).

Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) as a houseplant

Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) makes a lovely houseplant. Give this evergreen a light spot but do protect it from full sun. Your Congo Cockatoo will prefer a cooler spot (10-15° C) in the winter, with very little water. In March cut back the twigs by half then stand the plant where it is a bit warmer. You can now water your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) more generously, with a regular addition of plant food when watering.

Care+

If you keep snipping off the overblown flowers on your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis), you will encourage new flowers to grow. Regular feeding with soluble fertiliser in the watering can will promote more profuse flowering.

Keeping your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens Niamniamensis) over the winter

Although not hardy, you can save this plant over the winter fairly easily. Stand your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) indoors in a cool, light spot (10-15° C) - such as an unheated bedroom - before the first frosts. Water sparingly. From March on, stand it in a warmer spot and water your Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) more generously. Cut all twigs back to about half and set your potted Congo Cockatoo outdoors again from May on... but beware of late frosts. If you store it cooler, it will lose its foliage but will shoot again in spring. Storing it dark will not be a problem for your Congo Cockatoo.

Extra+

The Congo Cockatoo (Impatiens niamniamensis) has a bi-coloured bloom that can appear throughout the year as long as the plant feels 'at home'. In Africa where it originated, it can reach a height of 2 metres but here in Europe the plant is often no taller than 90 cm. It will however, be the talk of the town on your patio or decking!
Congo Cockatoo is an African plant (as you may have guessed, having Congo in the name) which is also known as parrot plant as the flowers resemble a parrot head.
Impatiens is of course classified under Balsaminaceae.
 

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