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Yellow Jewelweed (Impatiens repens)

Impatiens repens, a.k.a yellow jewelweed is one of the most stunning and unique plants that a hobbyist can place in a vivarium. It has been around for a very long time in the wild and has adapted perfectly to almost any habitat from overly moist areas to slightly dryer environments.

This plant’s bright yellow hue and its cascading vines add both color and texture to any available terrarium

Quick Stats:

Scientific Name: Impatiens repens

Family: Balsaminaceae

Common Name: Yellow Canary, Yellow Impatiens, Yellow Jewelweed

Habitat: High Moisture

Height: 5-50 cm

PH Range: 5.5 to 7.5

Temperature: 65°F to 75°F

Lighting: Bright

What Is An Yellow Jewelweed?

Yellow Jewelweed is an evergreen, tropical-looking perennial vine, native to areas of Southern Africa, Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula, and India. It has been known to last for decades in the wild and can now be found all over the world in cultivated cultivation environments.

The leaves of this vine vary in shape; from lanceolate, ovate, or slightly elongated, having spirally-arranged patterns along its light yellow stems. The unique yellow flowers and bright berries it produces confirm its adaptation to its environment. 

Impatiens Repens "Yellow Jewelweed" Care Guide | Vivarium Plants

Yellow Jewelweed Facts

This tropical vining plant can also be known by its many other common names such as “Yellow Jewel,” “Yellow Trumpet,” or “Yellow Sail.”  This hardy perennial with its vivid hue makes it a popular choice for terrariums and vivariums alike with its easy-to-take care of sprouting. 

In some terrariums, Impatiens repens can risk invasive and quickly become the center of attention if allowed to grow too much.

Description

The yellowish stems of Impatiens repens are usually 1-5 cm in diameter, which branches off into numerous, 1-2 cm long, yellow-colored flowers that have 5 fused petals and can bloom throughout the year.

During this period, the vine may produce round, purple-to-black non-edible berries on the undersides of the petals. The relatively large leaves of this plant, 3-4 cm in length, are bright green, with diamond-patterned veins and a cordate base.

Habitat

The most suitable terrariums and similar setups for Impatiens repens are moist, humid forest environments. This plant loves an environment with a consistently high level of moisture and likes to grow in full light, which makes it wonderfully suitable for most vivariums.

PH Preference

Impatiens repens makes use of its wide tolerance range when it comes to the levels of potential hydrogen in its environment. The PH level of its environment should be free of extreme disparity, ideally ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. This will ensure the plant is getting the necessary nutrients and minerals to thrive.

Vivarium Type

The Yellow Canary is quite an easy-going species. With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to the type of enclosure it is grown in. The best piece of advice that can be given, is to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide the vine with the basic needs it will require to thrive. The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant. Be sure to go with setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

Impatiens repens love to have lots of room to create their cascading vines, this makes it an ideal foreground accent when placed above a mesh or light soil-based substrate.

Although it can be rooted in an inorganic medium or grown on a surface, it grows best when placed within the substrate of a terrarium.

Substrate

Substrate-wise, Impatiens repens prefers to grow in slightly damp, moist substrates like sphagnum peat, coconut ruin, and any other organically based terrarium soils. It will also do well when placed in heavier substrates like aquarium soil, vermiculite, and perlite. However, it is important to remember that although it can be placed underwater, it is best to not submerge it in water as it runs the risk of rotting.

Lighting

For ideal growth, Impatiens repens should receive nine hours of natural or artificial terrarium lighting per day. While it can tolerate medium or bright artificial lighting or the occasional direct sunbeam, moderate to bright indirect sunlight is best. The light should not be too strong, since, in the tropics, Impatiens Repens grow in shaded forests.

Buy Yellow Jewelweed

When it comes to buying a Yellow Canary, there are a few things to keep in mind. Making sure that the plant being bought is healthy is essential for its success in a vivarium. Vegetation that is already in poor conditions, will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments. Always make sure to buy from a reliable and honest establishment.

Whether it is an online store or a physical location should not matter. However, online stores might need to be researched a little bit harder to make sure that they are legitimate and are sending the correct plants. In addition, always check the foliage closely for yellowing, wilting, black spots, or any signs of damage.

Pay close attention and look for any pests or fungal diseases. Inspect both sides of the leaves to avoid missing any red flags.  Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info about this plant:

Yellow Jewelweed Care and Propagation

Due to Impatiens repens’ relatively easy care, the demand for this beautiful vine for terrariums, paludariums, and vivariums has grown considerably over recent years across the globe. Propagation is achieved by either splitting up the plant’s rhizomes or cuttings. 

How to grow

To grow Impatiens repens, it needs to be rooted in moist soil, moss, or another organically based medium and should be placed in an area where its long vines can be displayed and crawl down the vivarium terrace.

When used in terrariums, the soil should be light and should remain lightly damp to the touch. As it is a natural climber, the yellow canary will appreciate the presence of wood or bark pieces to wind its way around or else use a trellis to hang down from.

Watering

The watering requirements of yellow canary are considered to be climate-specific, dependent on the temperature fluctuations of its environment. When the temperature is on the warm side, it requires more frequent watering than it does in a cool climate.

It is best to water the soil directly rather than misting or fogging, as that can lead to disturbing the collected elements from the soil. Allow the top layers of soil to become dry before lightly misting Impatiens repens.

Plants Similar To Yellow Jewelweed

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment. Furthermore, if for some reason you find Yellow Jewelweed hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are some other vine plants you might find may do well with or in the place of Impatiens repens:

Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus Radicans)
Creeping Fig (Ficus Pumila)
Golden Pothos "Devil's Ivy" (Epipremnum Aureum)

Conclusion

Overall, yellow impatiens are an excellent addition to any biotope-type vivarium. This vine is easy to take care of, requiring little attention yet bringing magnificent cascading vines and eye-popping flowers and berries to an enclosure. Therefore, making it a wonderful and effortless choice for a beautiful terrarium centerpiece.

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