Alphabetical Plant Listing

Impatiens sodenii (Poor Man's Rhododendron)

Poor Man's Rhododendron, Impatiens sodenii subsp. sodenii var. ugandense, Impatiens ugandensis, Impatiens sodenii subsp. oliveri


Impatiens sodenii (Poor Man's Rhododendron) is an evergreen, bushy perennial or subshrub with a woody base and semi-succulent stems bearing bright green, narrowly-oval, toothed leaves, 6 in. long (15 cm), arranged in whorls of 6-12. Blooming throughout most of the year, with a peak in summer, pale pink flowers, 2.5 in. across (6 cm), fading to white, are borne singly or in pairs at the tips of the stems. Behind each flower is a long, elegant petal spur. Popular with hummingbirds, the blossoms give way to seedpods that burst open at a touch when seeds are ripe. Fast-growing, this semi-tropical shrub, native to the tropical East African highlands in Kenya and Tanzania, is tolerant of seaside conditions. It will die with the first fall frost and obligingly reappear in spring if the root crown survives. Adding a splash of color, Impatiens sodenii can be used as a foundation shrub in a shady part of the garden or even as a hedge in milder climates.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Can grow up to 4-8 ft. tall (120-240 cm) and 8-10 ft. wide (240-300 cm), but is usually about half this size.
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in moist but well-drained soils. Provide a sheltered location and protect from frost. Takes sun in cool summer areas.
  • Great for beds and borders, cottage gardens, coastal gardens.
  • Keep an eye out for glasshouse red spider mite, vine weevil and aphids if grown indoors.
  • Prune lightly year-round to shape, but do not prune too heavily at any one time, or you will reduce flowering.
  • Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings.
  • Native to eastern tropical Africa.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 12
Climate Zones 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Impatiens
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Spacing 120" (300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Sundry Photography, Mubus7, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 12
Climate Zones 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Impatiens
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 8' – 10' (240cm – 3m)
Spacing 120" (300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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