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Growing impatiens from seed

Impatiens are moderately difficult to grow from seed, but a little TLC will give satisfying results.

Impatiens require a warm soil and light to germinate. A soil temperature (not room temperature) of 75° F is perfect. If a constant soil temperature is not maintained during the germination period the seed may rot.

Impatiens seed is fairly large compared to petunia or begonia seed. Under ideal conditions it will show a white sprout in about 5-7 days. Some seed may take a little longer. The white root sprout is the first to slowly poke out; the green bud (the leaf part of the seedling) slowly follows.

1.Sow seed in a peat-light mix or sterilized well-aerated soil mix.

2. Fill the flats or pots (depending on which you prefer to use) full; level and firm around the edges and corners.

3. Water thoroughly with hot water (100°F or more). Wait 30-60 minutes or more and repeat this procedure.

4. Let the starting mix cool to a touchable temperature.

5. Sow the impatiens seed thinly (about 4-6 seeds per inch), by pressing the seed into the starting mixture -- do not cover the seed with starting mixture.

6. Cover the flat, tray, or pots (whichever you have chosen to use) loosely with plastic wrap to hold in humidity.

7. Place flat, tray, or pots on bottom heat. Bottom heat will maintain the proper temperature. Strive for a soil temperature of 75-78°F (but never go over 85°F). If you cover the flats, trays, or pots with glass to keep humidity high, you will run the risk of cooking the seeds. It is best to cover loosely to let in some air.

8. Set in full light.

9. A mist system may help in the germination of impatiens seed. Be careful not to overdo and drown the seed. Misting may be suspended on cloudy days. Bright, hot days may require additional misting. Use caution, it is easy to overdo misting. Impatiens seed germinates very successfully without the use of a mist system, if covered loosely.

See all our impatiens

Read the next Article: Marigold History

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Tailor the menu at your bird feeders to discourage unwanted visitors. Thistle seed attracts finches, pine siskins and redpolls, but most sparrows, squirrels and blackbirds do not care for it.
    Safflower seed attracts cardinals and discourages squirrels and sparrows. To discourage pigeons avoid ground feeding and use seed mixes without cracked corn.
    Before filling feeders for the first time this fall, thoroughly clean them using a 10% bleach to water solution. Do the same for birdbaths and houses.