IMPATIENS NIAMNIAMENSIS - THE CONGO COCKATOO

Impatiens niamniamensis - the 'Congo Cockatoo'





Impatiens niamniamensis is truly a marvel as far as exotic plants go. Commonly known as the 'Congo Cockatoo' it is an evergreen, perennial species that grows 2 to 3 feet tall, but give it the right environmental conditions and it can potentially reach a height of up to 4 feet!

Impatiens niamniamensis - the 'Congo Cockatoo'
It is a native to tropical Africa and as such makes it unsuitable for growing in northern Europe, unless you can provide protection of the winter months.

While it will need growing temperatures above 45°F (7°C), it is surprisingly tough and can survive down to about 35°F (2°C). However that is a little close to the bone as it is easily damaged by the lightest of frosts.

What truly sells this plant are its incredibly bright and colourful, shrimp-shaped flowers. Each large, 1½ inch blooms is painted scarlet red and yellow, with a lime green hood.  Surprisingly, these exotic blooms emerge all over the plant in an explosion of blooms, even on the old wood!.

Once established, the frame of the plant develops into a stocky, open habit reminiscent of a bonsai tree.

Impatiens niamniamensis - the 'Congo Cockatoo'
This is enhanced as the green, new growth matures to a more acceptable brown. Like other large specimen impatiens the stems are actually succulent and flexible.

As tropical plants go Impatiens niamniamensis requires little maintenance so long as you can provide high humidity and plant it into a really well-drained soil. It will need to be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent scorching, but bright shade or filtered sunlight is fine. Water as much as you like over the summer but when it is lifted and potted on for moving under protection over winter, allow the soil surface to dry out before watering again. Fortunately it grows well indoors in a pot so it is worth considering growing it as a houseplant.

For related article click onto the following links:
Blue Diamond Impatiens - Impatiens namchabarwensis
CEROPEGIA AMPLIATA - The Bushman's Pipe
HOW TO GROW THE BLUE DIAMOND IMPATIENS FROM SEED - Impatiens namchabarwensis
HOW TO GROW THE BUSHMAN'S PIPE - ceropegia ampliata
HOW TO GROW THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY - Cardiocrinum giganteum
HOW TO GROW IMPATIENS FROM SEED
IMPATIENS NIAMNIAMENSIS - THE CONGO COCKATOO
THE BUSY LIZZIE - Impatiens walleriana
The Congo Cockatoo - Impatiens niamniamensis 
THE HAPPY ALIEN PLANT - Calceolaria uniflora
THE PARROT FLOWER - Impatiens psittacina

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