Saving Seed from your impatiens (pic)

tom8olvr(Z5 MA)July 30, 2008

I also posted this on the imps forum, but thought it would be relivant here too... if you want to save seed...

Seed pod:

POP! Popped seed pod:

Pods contents:


Imps are doing great this year with all the rain!

Fun fun fun!

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Very beautiful. I have mostly red ones under a walnut tree not as many as yours. They bloom all summer and look good. I currently have a hot dog laying on them. I also save seeds. I think they are easy to grow from seed.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:31AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

They are too tender to self-sow, though, right? You would have to save the seed and start indoors? I saw some burst pods on mine today then saw your post.

Since they are pollinating randomly what colors are you likely to get? I have a really pretty double I bought in a hanging basket: just like little roses. I would love to have more like that, but I have mostly ordinary singles elsewhere in the garden. If they crossed IÂd bet they would all be singles. The ordinary ones are easy enough to find every spring, but I never see doubles sold as bedding plants.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:24PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

My singles are hybrids, so it's a toss up on what you'll
get. I think genetically speaking the first year you'll
end up with something close to the original hybrid, but
after that first year it's a toss up on what is
dominant/regressive. I saved seed from CRIMSON only plants
last year - I gave them to a greenhouse - they grew them
out - 95% (my guestimate) were crimson - a few were
different colors. So it's a toss up. I depend a lot on my
color scheme - try and have the same colors through the
yard - so I don't want to take the chance - but I still
give the seed away... :)

As for the doubles, MrImpatien who lurks on the other forum
mentioned to someone who was wanting to save seed on their
doubles that the doubles have difficulty pollenating
because of all the petals... so if you get seed off the
doubles, it would be interesting to see what grows
out. ??

If you look on the other forum - Imps - I posted on doubles and linked pictures from Ball - they had doubles in beds - and they looked fantastic!!! So take a look...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 11:04AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have never seen a seed pod on my impatiens. Am I growing sterile varieties or do I need my glasses changed? Al

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:00AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

If you have the pods and have looked under the foliage, you will see them. You do have to look because they are the same color as the leaves. How long have your flowers been blooming; it takes a while for the pods to get big. Some of mine seem to make more pods than others.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Hi,My flowers have pods all over but they are just the flowers,not seeds.How do I tell the difference between the flower pods and the seed pods.I keep opening them with nothing in them.Thanks

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:55AM
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I love your impatiens...very pretty. Thank you for posting this.

I'd like to start some from seeds...never done before.

Do I need to do anything special with the seeds? I'm a newbie...I know with bulbs you have to keep them cool, so was wondering if there's any special handling with the seeds?

What about my marigolds? Do these get seeds as well?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 2:13AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Sheys - Give the plant time to flower and produce seed - you
sound like your messing with the buds - give the plant time
and look closely at the 'football' looking seed pod I posted
above. And if you do have your 'football' wait until it is FAT
- if it's not fat the seeds will be immature and white
not dark brown.

KimCoco - I've never done anything real special with them -
I collect them, stick them in a zip-loc when I know they're dry
and stick them in the fridge. NOt sure what others do..
I know other folks don't refrigerate them... they seem to
do fine too.

As for Marigolds - yes, you can get seed from them. Again, if
you're collecting from a hybrid or sterile marigold (I think
they call some of them a tripolid) then your quest will be
tough. Hybrid you won't know what you'll get and a sterile
marigold will not give viable seed. If you want to try I
can post how to take seed from a marigold. (with pics).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Thanks Tom I did find the seed pods on my mothers imp,I guess mine are not ready yet. Have you any luck with the double imps also You mentioned Marigolds-Do you know if the x-large kind have a viable seed.I ordered mine from park seed and they have been beautiful this year-very large blooms.Would I have time to plant one now just to see.Thanks

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Tom, if you could post pics of marigold seeds, I'd appreciate it. I still have the marigold tags somewhere...I don't think they're hybrids.

So once I have seed, do I sow directly into the ground next year, or do I have to start indoors?

Are all of these impatiens from seedlings????

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:32PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

1st off - I'm no expert so you can take and/or leave anything
that I suggest - every person is different, every garden is
different... I'm just illustrating some of the techniques
I've used.

Double blooming impatiens (this is coming from Mr.Impatien
who is the expert on the impatien forum) are sterile. He
says they spend most of their engergy making lovely petals
and blooms and are for the most part sterile - and the way
to propagate them would be cuttings - I've done that
several times - with success. I have not seen the little
football seedpods on any doubles I've grown.

I'd imagine that your large marigolds would be the same as
any other marigold as far as seeds, Shey. I think the only
problem saving seed would be hybrid (getting something that doesn't look like the original plant) or getting a sterile
marigold - but it doesn't hurt to try - germinate them and
see what happens...?? Give it a whirl.

Kimco - I'm a deadheader when it comes to marigolds, but I
DID find an appropriate flower that illustrates saving seed
on marigolds quite well... nice dead flower... :) Here


HA! here's a spent blossom:

Picked spent blossom:

Break open the bottom:

Pulled apart:

Looking familiar yet?

pull off the petal - and here's your seed!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:13PM
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This is the first I've checked out this part of GW, and has been very interesting reading. I've learned a lot! Tom, your pix and notes explain things very well. I've always just tossed the spent marigolds. Now I know better! Thanks for sharing your information.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:31PM
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appaloosa909(6b Central NJ)

LOVE your pictures!!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:45AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Yes Tom, your pics are VERY helpful. Love it.

I have an interesting marigold this year - the stem and leaves are turning a cool purple, still healthy, probably cross pollination via a bumble bee? I'll definitely save those seeds. I'll have to post a pic. I'll probably have more questions for you...don't go too far! :)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 12:36AM
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FINALLY----- I just got my first seeds out of those pods,I guess mine were taking awhile to pod.Anyway I will still take cuttings from my pretty red imps.I did plant one of those marigold seeds from my big beautiful marigolds about two weeks ago but I have seen nothing.So afraid they are sterile.I sure enjoyed them this year.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 7:49PM
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I have a question what is the red and white mixed (looks like a peppermint candy) one called of the impatiens I would love to have some seeds of it and knowing the name would help me find some. thanks


    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 6:45PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Those are red star. They have many 'star' types - red, purple, crimson, scarlet 'star'...

I did purple last year - but I think it was closer to pink:

This is this year - red star:

I loved these cuz they were like tye dye...

Cherry star:

This is a new guinea - Coral Flame Java... (I include this b/c it sorta has that 'star' pattern too - but not with white... ? you know?

They have few varieties of 'picotee' too - which is I believe lighter in the middle and darker edge, but not star.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:10PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Here are some more 'red star' pictures. I like the fact
that they AREN'T uniform - you don't know what you'll get.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:19AM
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alwaysagarden(CA 9b)

My goodness what gorgeous impatien plants! I grew them about 10 years ago when living in Southern Calif. and I loved looking for the plump ready to burst pods and harvesting the seeds. I waited for the seeds to dry and then would plant indoors on windowsill that stayed warm but no direct sun and got tons of baby plants this way. Gave away many babies. Ones I planted in my garden usually always grew very well and healthy. The color variety here that gardeners have posted are beautiful! I now live in Northern Calif. and new gardener up here very different climate, but I do have shaddy warm areas I think they may do well in. Anyone have extra seeds they want to swap or can send SASE...

Cindy : )

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:51PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

please give me your e mail address and I'll contact you - I'll share my imp seeds with you - they'll be a mix...


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I love those pics. I would also love to do a trade with you. Please check out my trade list and see if there is anything that interest you. I am currently collecting seeds from my own impatiens but they are all the solid colors. I tons of other plants though. Let me know thanks


    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 12:30AM
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Hi all,
this is my first post on this fabulous website.
i have just started saving seeds from a plant that my wife planted and i have no idea what it is. It has seed pods that are green and furry (as most are) and the plants grow to about 3 feet high.
The pods do "pop" open as well.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:16PM
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^What you have there is Balsam (Impatiens Balsamina). They are very easy to start from seed.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:49PM
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Thank you kindly, i wasn't sure what it was.
I am new at this and i am enjoying it.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 7:51AM
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This is really helpful

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 5:56PM
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