Help with Double Impatiens

broseJuly 29, 2007

Wow, it's hard to find information about Double Impatiens!! I've looked and looked and looked and...

I read somewhere yesterday that Double Impatiens do not produce seed; but I find that very hard to believe. I've tried everything, and thought I found one a couple weeks ago. It was a very tiny speck of a seed that looked just like Rose Moss seed, almost microscopic. : ) Anyway, I grabbed a few of the blooms the other night before they fell thinking that I might be able to get the seed before it tumbles to the ground, and low and behold, there were tiny black seeds (??) that fell into my hand when I turned them upside down. Are these seeds? If not, how can I keep the Impatiens for the next season?

Anyone have any ideas? This is a pretty expensive flower bought in the stores, and I enjoy doing them myself, anyway. The Double Impatiens is such a beauty, too!

Thanks, and Happy Gardening!


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Double impatiens do produce seeds, but unless you are making the original crosses that the commercial company does to get the desired cultivar, you are unlikely to have much success getting doubles with saved seeds. Park and Burpee usually offer seeds of reliable doubles and will tell you what percentage of doubles to expect.
The best way to maintain double impatiens for me has been to winter over a choice plant indoors. They will continue to bloom and look good with adequate light but will get leggy and unattractive under less than optimum conditions. That really does not bother me-in February I take cuttings and pot them up and by late April the new plants are flowering and I have mature plants to set out after frost. I have been growing this one for 5 years now using that method.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:31AM
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hiya poisondartfrog, (cute name, by the way!) Ok, so I am brand new at gardening. I've done house plants for years, had fifty at a time, but my ex would not let me dig in our 12+ acre lot, so I've just been digging outside for about three years now.

If you please, how do you take a cutting and pot it up? This is what I read when I googled the other day, but I can't imagine potting a cutting. ??

Your double impatiens is beautiful; I clicked to try to make the picture larger and all I got was photobucket! Lol! It's the same one I've got. I love it!!

Thanks for the help and Happy Gardening,


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:28PM
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Hi Brenda,
I cut a length of stem 4-6 inches long and just below a pair of leaves. I cut on an angle. You can use rooting hormone, but I never bother with impatiens as they root easily. Remove all of the leaves except the top 2-3 and remove any flowers. I usually put the cuttings in some seed starting medium or perlite. They seem to do fine in soilless potting mix as well . Keep evenly moist, but not wet. In a few weeks you should begin to see new growth.
I have also rooted impatiens by putting the stems in a glass of water and forgetting about them. You can pot them up when they develop nice root systems.
The same works great for all of the impatiens I have grown, including the African types. I wish you success!

I hope this works as well for you as it does me.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:20AM
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Hey poisondartfrog, Thank-you so much for the follow-up. I've taken starts like this before on some of my other house plants, and when I've broken plants outdoors or wanted a start and couldn't get one. My landlord cut back a lilac bush clear to the ground a couple years ago; I was in shock. It was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen, cut to the ground. (Shaking my head in disbelief.) Since all the starts are coming from the very large roots, it's hard to find a start. What I did was broke of pieces and took them inside to a vase of water. I've done this with many plants. I am going to try your method with my best plant this year into some perlite. Wish me luck!

It's nice to finally know how to get starts from them; they are one of my very favorites and I would just love to keep the original. I'll try to remember to let you know how it goes. (I'll be honest. : ) )

Again, thank-you and Happy Gardening!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 12:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Pdfrog...pretty photo. I haven't grown those doubles yet, but your photo sure makes me want to put those on my list for next year. I wondered about what kind of indoor lighting you use to winter over the doubles? Did you also mean that you have overwintered New Guinea Impatiens too? I tried those two years in a row with no luck. Almost made it through the winter once, but they succumbed to something about the beginning of March. Annoying! [g] I don't have more than a almost full sun west window. Wish I had a southern exposure window, would be great for wintering over.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 5:18AM
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Good morning prairiemoon2. I put impatiens walleriana plants in a west window when I bring them in for winter and that seems to provide adequate light until mid December. I have florescent fixtures that I add and use on a timer from mid-December through the 1rst of February to supplement that light.
I meant Impatiens repens when I mentioned African types, sorry to be unclear, but the same technique works for New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri). I save a stock plant or two of my favorites every year. They do seem more susceptible to fungal blights. Keeping them scrupulously clean with any dead or dying foliage removed immediately and careful watering seem to be the best way to prevent that indoors. Still, they do not look their best by February, but that is when I start rooting new plants and I can discard the old one.
Good luck with your impatiens!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:09AM
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basilbird(z6 RI)

I think it depends a lot on the original. I have some red doubles that I rooted as cuttings at least five years ago. They get ugly in late winter but they always make it through. Others, especially the varigated ones, don't seem to make it at all. I had about 40 cuttings all die off on me at once a couple of years back.

Apart form my non-stop reds, I managed to over-winter some double magentas I bought last year at Home Depot. Although they survived the winter, they have barely come back this summer and I don't hold out much hope for them.

The original cuttings for the reds, by the way, were taken out of a window box in a "posh" area of town in late September. Maybe they just have a better pedigree!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Patty zone 5

I love these as well and am hoping to successfully overwinter some.

This last one is from a couple of years ago and is combined with coleus "Lava Rose" which was nowhere to be found last year. This year, I have thankfully found it in several places. Just to be safe I plan to overwinter some of that as well.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 6:14PM
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