how to grow impatiens from seed

How to Grow Impatiens from Seed: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Key Takeaways
– Impatiens are colorful and easy-to-grow flowers that can brighten up any garden or container.
– You can grow impatiens from seed indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate and preference.
– Impatiens seeds need moist, warm, and well-lit conditions to germinate and grow.
– Impatiens seedlings need regular watering, fertilizing, and thinning to thrive.
– Impatiens plants need a shady or partly sunny location, well-drained soil, and occasional pruning to bloom.
– Impatiens flowers can be harvested, dried, or preserved for decoration, crafts, or gifts.

Impatiens are one of the most popular flowers for gardeners of all levels. They are also known as touch-me-nots, balsams, or jewelweeds, because of their unique seed pods that burst when touched. Impatiens come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can add a splash of color to any garden or container.

Impatiens are easy to grow from seed, and you can start them indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate and preference. In this article, we will show you how to grow impatiens from seed step by step, from sowing to transplanting to enjoying the flowers. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks on how to care for impatiens plants and prevent or treat common impatiens pests and diseases.

How to Sow Impatiens Seeds

how to grow impatiens from seed

The first step to growing impatiens from seed is to sow the seeds. You can sow impatiens seeds indoors or outdoors, but the timing and method may differ.

Sowing Indoors

If you live in a cold climate or want to get a head start on the growing season, you can sow impatiens seeds indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Prepare the soil mix. You will need a sterile potting mix that is light and fluffy, such as a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. You can also add some compost or fertilizer to enrich the soil.
  • Fill the pots or trays with the soil mix. You can use any small containers that have drainage holes, such as plastic pots, peat pots, or cell packs. Make sure the containers are clean and disinfected before use.
  • Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil. Do not cover the seeds with soil, as they need light to germinate. You can sprinkle some fine sand or vermiculite over the seeds to keep them moist and prevent them from washing away.
  • Mist the seeds lightly with water. Do not overwater the seeds, as they may rot or drown. Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times.
  • Place the pots or trays in a warm and well-lit place. You can use a heating mat or a sunny windowsill to provide warmth and light for the seeds. The ideal temperature for impatiens seeds is between 70°F and 75°F (21°C and 24°C). The ideal light duration is about 12 to 14 hours per day.
  • Wait for the seeds to germinate. Impatiens seeds usually germinate within 10 to 21 days after sowing. You will see tiny green sprouts emerging from the soil.

Sowing Outdoors

If you live in a warm climate or want to sow impatiens seeds directly in the garden, you can do so after the last frost date in your area. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Prepare the soil in the garden bed. You will need a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost or manure. You can also add some fertilizer or lime to adjust the pH and nutrient levels of the soil.
  • Rake the soil surface smooth and level. Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the area where you want to sow impatiens seeds.
  • Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil. Do not cover the seeds with soil, as they need light to germinate. You can sprinkle some fine sand or vermiculite over the seeds to keep them moist and prevent them from washing away.
  • Water the seeds gently with a fine spray. Do not overwater the seeds, as they may rot or drown. Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times.
  • Cover the area with a thin layer of mulch or straw. This will help retain moisture and protect the seeds from birds or animals.
  • Place some stakes or markers around the area where you sowed impatiens seeds. This will help you remember where the seeds are and avoid disturbing them.
  • Wait for the seeds to germinate. Impatiens seeds usually germinate within 10 to 21 days after sowing. You will see tiny green sprouts emerging from the soil.

How to Care for Impatiens Seedlings

A photo of impatiens seedlings growing indoors under a grow light

The second step to growing impatiens from seed is to care for the seedlings. Whether you sowed impatiens seeds indoors or outdoors, you will need to provide them with some basic care to help them grow and thrive.

Watering

Impatiens seedlings need regular watering to keep the soil moist but not soggy. You can water them with a fine spray or a watering can, depending on the size and number of your containers or plants. Avoid watering the leaves or the stems, as this may cause fungal diseases or rotting. Water the seedlings in the morning or evening, when the temperature is cooler and the sun is less intense.

Fertilizing

Impatiens seedlings need some fertilizer to boost their growth and development. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, diluted to half-strength or according to the label instructions. You can fertilize the seedlings once every two weeks, starting from when they have two true leaves. Do not overfertilize the seedlings, as this may burn their roots or cause excessive growth.

Thinning

Impatiens seedlings need some thinning to prevent overcrowding and competition for space, light, water, and nutrients. You can thin the seedlings by cutting off the weaker or smaller ones with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Leave about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of space between each seedling. You can also transplant some of the seedlings to other pots or trays if you have enough space and containers.

How to Transplant Impatiens Seedlings

A photo of transplanted impatiens seedlings in garden beds with other plants

The third step to growing impatiens from seed is to transplant the seedlings into the garden or containers. You can do this when the seedlings are about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) tall and have at least four true leaves. You will also need to wait until the danger of frost has passed in your area, as impatiens are tender plants that cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

Transplanting into the Garden

If you want to transplant impatiens seedlings into the garden, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a location for your impatiens plants. Impatiens prefer a shady or partly sunny location, as they do not like direct sunlight or high heat. They also need a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost or manure.
  • Prepare the soil in the garden bed. You can loosen the soil with a fork or a spade, and add some fertilizer or lime if needed. You can also dig some holes for your impatiens plants, about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) apart, depending on the size and variety of your impatiens.
  • Harden off your impatiens seedlings before transplanting. This means gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions for a week or two, starting from a few hours per day and increasing the duration and intensity each day. This will help them adapt to the change in temperature, light, and humidity, and prevent shock or wilting.
  • Transplant your impatiens seedlings into the garden. You can carefully remove them from their pots or trays, keeping as much soil around their roots as possible. You can also gently tease apart any tangled roots if needed. Place them in the prepared holes, and fill in with soil around their roots. Press down lightly to firm the soil and eliminate any air pockets.
  • Water your impatiens plants thoroughly after transplanting. You can also add some mulch around their base to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

Transplanting into Containers

If you want to transplant impatiens seedlings into containers, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Choose a container for your impatiens plants. Impatiens can grow in any type of container that has drainage holes, such as plastic pots, ceramic pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, or wooden barrels. The size of the container depends on how many impatiens plants you want to grow in it, but generally, you should allow about 6 inches (15 cm) of diameter per plant.
  • Prepare the potting mix for your container. You can use a commercial potting mix that is designed for flowering plants, or make your own by mixing peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, compost, and fertilizer in equal parts.
  • Fill the container with the potting mix. Leave about an inch (2.5 cm) of space from the top of the container for watering.
  • Harden off your impatiens seedlings before transplanting.
  • Transplant your impatiens seedlings into the container. You can carefully remove them from their pots or trays, keeping as much soil around their roots as possible. You can also gently tease apart any tangled roots if needed. Place them in the container, and fill in with potting mix around their roots. Press down lightly to firm the soil and eliminate any air pockets.
  • Water your impatiens plants thoroughly after transplanting. You can also add some mulch around their base to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

How to Enjoy Impatiens Flowers

A photo showing impatiens flowers in full bloom on the plants

The final step to growing impatiens from seed is to enjoy the flowers. Impatiens flowers are beautiful and versatile, and you can use them for various purposes, such as decoration, crafts, or gifts.

Harvesting

Impatiens flowers can be harvested throughout the blooming season, which usually lasts from spring to fall. You can cut the flowers with a sharp pair of scissors or a knife, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) of stem attached. You can harvest the flowers in the morning or evening, when they are fully open and fresh.

Drying

Impatiens flowers can be dried for long-term preservation and use. You can dry the flowers by hanging them upside down in a dark, dry, and well-ventilated place, such as a closet or an attic. You can tie the stems together with a string or a rubber band, and hang them from a hook or a nail. It may take several weeks for the flowers to dry completely.

Preserving

Impatiens flowers can also be preserved by using glycerin, which is a liquid substance that can replace the water in plant cells and keep them soft and pliable. You can preserve the flowers by following these steps:

  • Prepare a solution of glycerin and water in a ratio of 1:2. You can use any container that is large enough to hold your flowers, such as a vase, a jar, or a bucket.
  • Cut the stems of your impatiens flowers at an angle with a sharp pair of scissors or a knife. You can cut them to any length you want, depending on how you plan to use them later.
  • Place the flowers in the glycerin solution, making sure that the stems are submerged and the petals are above the surface.
  • Leave the flowers in the solution for about two to three weeks, or until they feel soft and supple. You can check on them periodically and change the solution if it becomes cloudy or discolored.
  • Remove the flowers from the solution and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can also trim off any excess stem or leaves if needed.

Using

Impatiens flowers can be used for various purposes, such as:

  • Decoration: You can use impatiens flowers to decorate your home, garden, or office. You can arrange them in vases, baskets, pots, or wreaths. You can also mix them with other dried or preserved flowers or foliage to create beautiful bouquets or centerpieces.
  • Crafts: You can use impatiens flowers to make your own crafts, such as cards, bookmarks, candles, soap, or jewelry. You can glue them on paper, fabric, wood, or metal. You can also press them between wax paper or laminate them to preserve their shape and color.
  • Gifts: You can use impatiens flowers to give as gifts to your friends, family, or loved ones. You can wrap them in tissue paper, ribbon, or cellophane. You can also attach a tag or a note with a personal message or a meaning behind the flowers.

Conclusion

Impatiens are colorful and easy-to-grow flowers that can brighten up any garden or container. You can grow impatiens from seed indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate and preference. Impatiens seeds need moist, warm, and well-lit conditions to germinate and grow. Impatiens seedlings need regular watering, fertilizing, and thinning to thrive. Impatiens plants need a shady or partly sunny location, well-drained soil, and occasional pruning to bloom. Impatiens flowers can be harvested, dried, or preserved for decoration, crafts, or gifts.

Growing impatiens from seed is a fun and rewarding activity that anyone can do. It is also a great way to save money and enjoy fresh flowers all season long. Why not try growing impatiens from seed today and see for yourself?

If you have any questions or comments about growing impatiens from seed, please feel free to share them below. We would love to hear from you!

About The Author

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Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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