Update 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.