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These impatiens perform brilliantly in full sun and heat, giving growers, landscapers, retailers and consumers plenty of reasons to be excited about this series.
By Joshua Siskin
Once upon a time, coleus and impatiens were shade garden standbys, but not anymore.
For several years, large-leafed sun coleus has been available and just this year, SunPatiens, which grows in full sun in humid climates, has become part of many retail nurseries' stock of annual plants. SunPatiens is a hybrid impatiens developed in Japan more than five years ago but only now has it become widely available in Southern California.
Cape mallow (Anisodontea spp.), from South Africa, is a highly drought-tolerant member of the mallow or hibiscus family, requiring water no more than once or twice a month during the summer. It has demure rose-colored flowers, up to 2 inches across, and is most wisely placed close to entrances and walkways where its understated beauty can be best appreciated. Given proper care, meaning a minimum of summer water and fertilizer and half of the day's sun, it may slowly grow into a robust shrub that is 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide.