August 27, 2013
When the summer temperatures are sweltering, gardeners still have the option for bright landscape color. Today I'm at Mississippi State University's Truck Crops Experiment Station looking at the 2011 Mississippi Medallion winner, sizzling summer SunPatiens. Sunpatiens are an improvement in New Guinea-type impatiens that can be grown in the full sun. They bloom from the time they are planted in late April or May, through the fall. In fact they were three feet tall and covered with blooms at the Fall Flower and Garden Fest last October. Sunpatiens seem to flaunt their brilliant flower colors. There are 15 selections of Sunpatiens in three different growth categories: vigorous, compact, and spreading. Vigorous Sunpatiens feature colors of variegated coral, lavender, magenta, orange, red, and white. These plants will fill in quickly, even in larger landscape beds. The Compact series has flower colors of blush pink, deep rose, coral, white, lilac, orange, and magenta. They have outstanding tight branching characteristics that guarantee a lot of color. The spreading series flower colors come in variegated white and variegated salmon. The foliage is a beautiful creamy yellow with bright green edges. It's important to remember Sunpatiens will require consistent moisture. Regular watering will keep these plants happy during the hottest temperatures. Sunpatiens have the variety to meet most landscape and garden needs during our Mississippi summers. I'm Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.