SunPatiens and Plant Patenting

img_1025.jpgUpdate from 2018: Apologies for the tiny photo from a decade ago. I’m happy to report that SunPatiens are now very available in Minnesota. I have a whole bunch of them growing in my garden now! Unfortunately, my mom has passed away. She was a sun-loving bloomer, too.

While visiting in Florida, I took some photos of my mom’s SunPatiens. This is her second winter season growing these sun-loving impatiens, which flourish even in the relatively warm and sunny courtyard outside her condo. She thought they were so great last year that I looked for some in Minnesota, but came up empty-handed.

It turns out I was probably looking in the wrong place. According to this news report, Japan’s Sakata Seed Corp. has proprietary rights to the plants and will be offering them nationwide in the U.S. through an exclusive deal with Home Depot stores. (That’s where my mom gets her Florida plants.) Patenting plant material is increasingly common, and I can understand why companies that invest heavily in the research needed to create new plant cultivars want to protect that investment. An exclusive marketing arrangement like this is more unusual. Since I don’t live near a Home Depot and am not likely to go out of my way to get to one, I’ll have to enjoy SunPatiens on my visits to Florida.

4 thoughts on “SunPatiens and Plant Patenting

  1. I have a question, I’m a new gardner, and I just planted sunpatiens in the ground in full sun 6hrs to shade. I ordered them from QVC. I had already dug the holes before I received them in the mail. They were sooo small, that when I planted them, they sunk… concern is, do they have to be planted in a mound so the water will drain off, or will they be ok…also the leaves fell of during shipping, so they look buried.
    is that ok., I could replant and build up the dirt so water will drain.


  2. Sheila — Shipping is really hard on plants, so it’s not uncommon for them to suffer a set back when they are first planted. Did all the leaves fall off? If so, they may not be able to survive. If you still have some leaves, make sure the plant is in the soil at about the same level it was in its pot. It should not be sitting in a pool of water, so you may want to add enough soil so there is drainage. Give it time. It may recover. If not, try a local nursery for plants — that way you can get them in the garden quickly. Good luck!

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