I have finished a south facing sunroom and want to start impatients from seed. Are they as easy to start as other flowers such as marigolds or are there "tricks" that I need to be aware of? Any advise would be appreciated.
Thanks for the question, as I am wondering the same thing! Would love to know of any "tricks". I had no luck with planting pre-packaged impatien seeds last year (none sprouted), but I have a lot of seeds I harvested from my store-bought plants this summer and would like to plant with success.
Sow early spring in pots or modules using a soil-less compost (substrate)in indirect light. Lightly cover with perlite or vermiculite & place under protection at constant 21C (70F) if possible. Water with TEPID water only. Water straight from tap will inhibit germination or cause seedlings to wilt. Germination should take 14-21 days. Hope you find this helpful.
Of you are like me and start alot of seeds, I suggest a seedling heat mat. I built myself 2 seed starting towers. Three shelves 50 inches wide and 24 inches deep. I have full spectrum fixtures and a 48 inch heat mat on one shelf for germinating. I can buy a thermostat to keep the "soil" at optimum temps. I get seeds germinating in 3-7 days when the package states 7-21. Impatiens like near 75 degrees for germination.
I usually soak the soiless mix twice with 100+ degree water to sterilike it. Letting the mix cool before planting.
I always use a plastic bag to keep the humidity high for germination. Last year I started 4 flats of impatiens. This year I am tackling New Guinea's
I always do the baggie method. I agree with Boxcar about a heat mat - they like it nice and warm. Also, they need light to germinate. They need a humid environment, so make sure you keep a plastic lid on the flat until they get going.
I do my seeds under lights, and last year I put the lights on a table by a sunny window. Between the heat from the lights and the heat from the sun, a lot of my seedlings got fried. I won't do that again.
My impatien seedlings germinated nearly 100%. I used jiffy peat pods that you soak in water until they expand. Seeds were just barely covered. I germinated under cool spectrum florescent lights and with an electric seed-starting heat mat.
My question is... what next? I've removed the heat mat and lights. I know the heat mat is no longer needed, but what about the light? I'm in Wisconsin and have my "green house" set up in a spare room. The seedlings only have their first sprouting leaves... no true leaves yet. Does anyone know how much light they should be exposed to at this point?
I sowed my impatiens 2/7/07 trailed jiffy pellets to peat pots with seed starting mix. The Jiffy pellets are growing gangbusters peat pots at half the size as the jiffy. I have em under 2 shoplights my unheated basement and germinating area I record temps at top of 68 to high of 76.
Busylizzy, Do you keep them under the shop lights until you are ready to harden them off outside?
Right now, i am "blasting" them with lights, 16hours a day. took my first pinch to make more tonight.
I will have to move them along with my geraniums soon because I have to start my veggies in that box.
I plan to move to my bedroom, lol, is the best heated, sunny southwest windows. When it warms enough, soon I hope, I will move them again to the unheated sun porch that also gets southwest sun. I use that as a hardening off area for plants.
Sure is cold here now, got down to 6 degrees at night and recorded the lowest temps in the prop box in the basement when I got home tonight, 57 degrees. Lights were off. They didn't suffer a bit.
Last year I started seed saved from my impatients I grew in 2005. I was overwhelmed by the germation rate. I ended up with 600 plants to nurture....from just a small pinch of seed. What a job until they were ready to go outside. I grew them everywhere, flower boxes, hanging baskets,all kinds of containers once I transplanted, them and gave many away.
I had so much seed left over that I saved some for this year and started it a little later this time...4-5 days ago. What are the chances that it will germinate again this year. Actually I wasn't quite as excited to start growing them this time, knowing what I may have to care for but they are so beautiful in my mostly shaded areas.Think they will grow?
I had trouble the past couple of years germinating impatiens; I didn't use any bottom heat. I did have some germination success. This year, I'm using bottom heat mats and a heating cable in another flat. I always keep the seedlings under lights until I can get them out into the cold frame the end of April (up here in Connecticut.)