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Are Impatiens Perennials? Do They Come Back Every Year?

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Over 1000 species of this plant are spread out throughout tropical regions and the northern portion of the world. Who would not love to have this plant in their gardens the whole season? We will touch all the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ here, so scroll down to find what you came here for!

Are Impatiens perennials? 

Impatiens are not perennials outside the tropical region. Impatiens are commonly grown as annuals in the States because they cannot withstand cold. This species of the plant perishes as soon as frost arrives. However, you can make your impatiens live through unforgiving winter.

Impatiens are planted for their attractive and vibrant, colorful petals. They can enhance the beauty of any corner of your gardening space—their average height ranges from 5 centimeters to 2.5 meters.

Impatiens are classified into hardiness zone 10-11 by USDA. This means Impatiens can hardly survive temperatures below 40-degree Fahrenheit, let alone icy winter. Impatiens are perennials where the temperature does not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.

Frost is the main enemy of Impatiens. So, they are grown as annuals even though these plants are inherently perennials. Impatiens or commonly known as “snapweed,” are hardy in warm atmospheres.

They can quickly propagate through seeds and cover up a vast portion if not met with any restrictions.

As most of the regions in the states fall under USDA hardiness zone 9, Impatiens have no chance of surviving the winter in the states unless it is in the most southern province. Still, many enthusiastic gardeners overwinter their beloved Impatiens.

If you find yourself in a non-Impatiens-friendly zone, do not worry. We will discuss how you can overwinter your impatiens in a later section.

Are Impatiens annuals or perennials?

Impatiens are planted as annuals in the majority of the states. This species of plant has both annual and perennial varieties. But the frosty winter is too much for the Impatiens to handle.

Impatiens are both annuals and perennials. They are hardy in tropical regions where the winter does not get frosty. Some Impatiens require direct sunlight, whereas others flourish in partial to full shade.

From their 1000 species, the majority of Impatiens belong in the perennial group. All Impatiens flowers are not perennials. They only constitute the species grown in Asia or warmer climate zones.

These perennials become annuals as they propagate towards countries with colder climates.

Impatiens can only withstand temperatures above 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. For ease of calculation, you can watch the map provided above to get a clearer idea.

If you live in a region where the climate gets colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you will have to give up on keeping your plant next year.

You do not have to worry about growing Impatiens next year as they can self-propagate. Impatiens self-propagate through seeds, but this process takes up a lot of time, and you might have to spend the whole spring Impatiens less.

How long do annual Impatiens last?

The longevity of annual Impatiens depends on its propagation and geographical location. Impatiens can grow of their own seed every year. Re-seeded Impatiens will bloom late because it takes up too much time germinating. They grow and bloom in the second half of May month.

Impatiens in the southern regions will last for a longer time as the summer comes there faster than in the northern regions. On average, an Impatiens plant will bloom for 200-220 days considering weather and availability of sunlight.

Impatiens lose life as soon as they come in contact with frost. Places near California will have Impatiens for a longer time as frost comes after December. The further north you go, the shorter lifespan you’ll get out of your impatiens.

However, if you want more bloom time, you may transplant impatiens soon after 6-8 weeks of departure of the last frost. Also, you can overwinter Impatiens indoors for permanency.

Are these Impatiens perennials or not?

Impatiens are generally grown as annuals, even though they are perennials. Here we see which Impatiens have a higher chance of surviving harsh winter.

Beacon Impatiens:

No, Beacon Impatiens are not perennials. They are grown as annuals throughout the states. Beacon Impatiens cannot withstand frost. They bloom with a variety of colors, and after every winter, they bloom in new colors.

New Guinea Impatiens:

New Guinea Impatiens are not perennials. Gardeners prefer New Guinea Impatiens over others for their low maintenance and high utility. They are annuals and will lose life as soon as winter hits. However, you can overwinter them.

Dwarf Impatiens:

Dwarf Impatiens are perennials, but they cannot survive a temperature drop below 50-degree Fahrenheit. So, Dwarf Impatiens are generally grown as annuals.

Double Impatiens: 

Double Impatiens are classified into USDA hardiness zone 10-11, which means double impatiens cannot withstand harsh winter. So, they are not perennials. Double Impatiens are also known as Impatiens walleriana.

Do Impatiens come back every year?

Yes, Impatiens will come back every year by re-seeding. Re-seeded Impatiens take time to bloom after frosty winter, so they are planted as annuals and transplanted in spring. However, you can overwinter your Impatiens to make sure it lives through harsh winter.

Gardeners prefer transplanting Impatiens over waiting for them to re-seed. Transplanted Impatiens bloom faster while re-seeded Impatiens take up the whole May month to bloom. Impatiens are low maintenance plants which further motivates people to plant Impatiens as annuals on a yearly basis.

Potted Impatiens do come back every year if proper care is taken. Overwintering takes up so much energy and resource, so you might think twice about putting in the effort. But one thing gardeners will say is that it is worth the struggle.

New Guinea Impatiens best suited as potted plants. Propagating this plant through seedlings is hard for their hybrid-ness. You will not get a quality outcome.

Nonetheless, growing New Guinea Impatiens from cuttings is much easier, and it ensures the long life of your beautiful flowering plant. Double Impatiens is an annual. This is another plant that can do with low maintenance. Double Impatiens love partial to full shade and moist soil.

Will Impatiens come back after frost?

Impatiens will not come back after frost. There are both annual and perennial impatiens that gardeners grow. This species of flowers are categorized in the USDA hardiness zone 10-11.

Impatiens are perennial in southernmost Florida, Hawaii, and some other regions, including Biscayne Bay, Key Largo, and Key West. But there is a catch.

Impatiens are perennial plants that come back from their seed each year. But for that to happen, you will have to live a winter without impatiens. In the right conditions, Impatiens can survive a cold winter if you bring them indoors.

Impatiens flowers look attractive throughout the cold months. They can be replanted in the garden in the spring after the winter is over and the snow is out of sight.

How to bring Impatiens back to life after frost?

Impatiens are comparatively easy to grow. Impatiens best grows beside long trees, in partial to full shade. Most of these species are tender perennials, which are grown as annuals. Impatiens will lose life in frost, so here are some tips to bring back Impatiens after biting cold.


Impatiens self-seed themselves and occupy a vast area in the tropical region. Their seed burst open, hence the name “snapweed,” and it spreads everywhere. Impatiens re-seed themselves throughout the blooming season to propagate next year.

Their seedlings grow in late May. It is a relatively slow process, so gardeners prefer propagating through cuttings.


It is the most followed way to propagate Impatiens. Cut off a plant’s stem with leaves about four to six inches in length. Get rid of the lower leaves and seed pods. Freely float the cuttings in water. Place the container with cuttings in a bright place.

Replace the water when it becomes murky. Plant the cuttings in a potting soil mixture. Place the pot in a bright area. Keep the soil moist and make sure it has a sound drainage system.

Keep the plant indoors until frost has finally passed away. Bring it outdoors in part to a whole shady area when there’s no fear of frost.


Even though Impatiens are perennials, they are planted as annuals. Overwintering Impatiens is no big task.

Dig up Impatiens from the soil when it is near 50 degrees in fall. Make sure to get as much root as possible. Find a suitable pot for your plant and bring them indoors. Keep the temperature at 60-70 degrees.

Impatiens love warm surroundings, but you should not keep it around any fireplace.

Water your plant regularly and fertilize the soil once every four weeks. Once the final frost has passed away, it is time for you to introduce your plant to the world. Do not keep it in direct sunlight.

Transplant the potted plant into the soil. Here you go! You have your Impatiens back for another year.

Final thoughts

Who would not love to have Impatiens all year round? But the reality is they are annuals in the states. Impatiens are popular for their diverse color and ease of maintenance. Both its annual and perennial versions are available. Make sure to buy what suits you more.

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