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Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) Not to be confused with
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Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) Not to be confused with vinca vine, a perennial ground cover, this annual resembles impatiens more closely than any other substitute, and is available with lavender, white, red or pink blossoms. Can handle some shade, but flower size increases dramatically with sunlight exposure. Perfect for hot, dry sites, this plant is drought-tolerant, "self-cleaning" (no deadheading necessary) and can be brought indoors for winter windowsill color. Grows 6-16 inches tall and wide.(Credit: Goldsmith Seeds)

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7 impatiens alternatives to plant this year

So what can you plant this year instead of impatiens? I've spent the long off-season pondering that dilemma. In addition to coleus, a colorful foliage plant, I can recommend some great flowering annuals with a long bloom cycle that are low-maintenance, can tolerate at least some shade and have the same suitable-for-bed-or-container habit as our beloved standby. It wasn't easy, but I did find seven solid alternatives I think you'll like.-- Jessica Damiano

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