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Busy Lizzies


By balcony


Does anybody remember the old Impatiens Sultani, the old Busy Lizzie that used to grow tall & lanky with almost leafless stems with just a “crown” of leaves & flowers at the top? It used to exist in practically every house in the country – or so it seemed! As universal &, almost, as indestructible as Mother-in-law’s tongue! I haven’t seen a plant of that for donkey’s years! I used to fill our windowsills with the plant when I was a teenager! I used to find myself forever cutting them back to encourage them to flower from lower down & to get rid of the dreaded red spider mite!

Now we have the most beautiful plants you could hope for, you can buy a little plastic box, just like a mini greenhouse, in any supermarket with a dozen tiny plants that will grow & flower for at least 6 months & all for a couple of quid!

I love them for their exuberant flowers & versatility! :)

Here are some Busy Lizzie plugs that I transplanted into small black pots,15 of which fit in a seed tray.

Here is a photo of the same Busy Lizzie plugs above but about 3 weeks later.

This photo is of a Busy Lizzie which we had growing on our kitchen table for some months during 2007. This photo was taken in May.

Being such versatile plants you can grow them as pot plants, like the one above, in hanging baskets, in wall pouches or as bedding plants.

Here is a photo of a double red Busy Lizzie at very close quarters! I took this photo in July last year.

I really loved this lavender coloured double Busy Lizzie growing in a wall pouch back in August, 2005.

Here you can see some Busy Lizzies I had put in 12.5 cm pots. I think they stayed there all summer till the autumn frosts but I don’t remember now as this photo is from July 2005.

This year I plan on buying some more Busy Lizzies to grow in the pouches on the walls at both ends of the balcony. Like the 3 below

This is what a fully grown wall pouch looks like when you have a dozen plants filling it up! Spectacular!!!

This is what a pouch looks like while the plants are settling in & haven’t filled it as yet. Still pretty.

As they are frost tender you can’t put them outside before May so I start them off in small square pots, see above, then I put them in the pouches which I have to grow indoors for a couple of months before hanging them on the balcony walls.

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Lots of clever planting ideas on this blog.
Balcony, well done :o)

10 Apr, 2009


I still have these leggy things on the windowsill at work. I just keep taking cuttings year on year.

10 Apr, 2009


A very versatile plant - and it will grow in shade, too! Mine haven't arrived yet - I have some singles and a few doubles on order.

10 Apr, 2009


Yes, they're great. I used to grow many of them from seed when I was at my old house (They are so easy to germinate and grow). My wife loves them but I can't grow them very well in my new garden because it is south facing and a bit too hot for them! Good blog and photos.

10 Apr, 2009


I haven't seen the tall ones for years. I always had a few . The new ones are more colourful and compact but I don't seem to be able to keep them for so long.

11 Apr, 2009


I,,ve never been very successful growing them from seed ,dont know why, however my local Wilko,s had some in a couple of weeks back 3 packs for £5 so I now have lots potted on at home...............

11 Apr, 2009


Just Saturday I bought a couple of packs of Busy Lizzies, plugs, from the supermarket. I intend to put them in the wall pouches I have at either end of the balcony. They should look lovely when they flower! :)

12 Apr, 2009


About 3 weeks have passed since I planted them in the wall pouches & there not looking so good. They seem to have made little progress in during this time. Perhaps because they don't like the cold nights. Other years I've kept them in the house till the end of May but I have no room to do that this year.

I put two of the plugs into small pots & put them on a bedroom windowsill. They have made quite a bit of progress & I expect to see the first flowers in a couple of weeks. There are plenty of buds visible.

6 May, 2009


That was very early to put them out, but they may benefit from covering with fleece at night till the nights become reliably warm.

6 May, 2009


Enjoyable blog and photos ! Thank you.

15 Apr, 2010


Thank you, Gurthbruins. :-) I'm glad you liked my blog. These Busy Lizzies certainly live up to their name - both in English, they never stop flowering, & Spanish, Alegrias, Happiness or joyfulness or cheery. As you can see from my few photos, happy & joyful they certainty are!

17 Apr, 2010

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