Impatiens Seeds - pollinating

jenniferl77July 18, 2008

I have been collecting impatiens seeds for a year now and this year I have started my seeds and some grew into a different color than the parent plant. This year I would like to get the same color as the original parent plant. How do you pollinate the impatien to get that color? Also, the seeds I collected from last year, since they are hybrids, will they produce a seed or are they sterile?

Any expert advice, will be much appreciated!!

Thanks from Minnesota!

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MrImpatiens(Zone 9 CA)

Many of the bedding Impatiens have a complex color history. For the most part they will come true but there will be some variation. The best way is to hand pollinate. Dab some pollen on your finger or a small brush from a flower in the male phase, this is that little ball like thing in the center of the flower. Then dab it on the tip of a flower in the female phase, they ball has fallen off. This should work for the most part but I think you may still get some variation.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 12:00PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

My kids love 'popping' the impatien pods - as we were going along I collected the seed from only the RED flowers... I gave the seed to a greenhouse - they grew them out. they were pretty much all red - but not entirely. it's pretty neat to see what you'll get!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:18AM
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julie0625

Hi everybody. I was wondering if anyone knows when to pull the pods...do you wait until the end of the season? Once the seeds are out of the pods do you have to dry them out? How do you store them? Does anyone know where to find them on the double impatiens? Sorry for all the questions. I love my impatiens and have successfully planted them by purchased seed but would now like to collect seeds from my current plants. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 12:47PM
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jenniferl77

Thanks for the advice mrimpatiens! I love all of the different varieties of colors I have this year!!! As for julie0625, you can pick the seed pods anytime they are 'ready'. Don't wait too long or they will pop before you get to them, and won't get the seeds. What I did was trial and error. There are so many seed pods on the plant, don't worry about wasting any seeds, plus the seed pods can hold at least 50 seeds! They will become balloon like, like they are holding a lot of water. Pop the seed pods,if they haven't already, in a container or in your hand so the seeds don't fly everywhere. If the seeds are brown, that was the right time to pick. Put the seeds in a container/paper envelope and let them dry out. The seeds won't change in size. The seeds look like little brown commas. As for double impatiens, I had no luck but noticing some seed pods this year. The best for them is to tear away the inner petals to get to the male and female parts. Try that. Good luck, let me know if this works.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:56PM
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MrImpatiens(Zone 9 CA)

Double Impatiens are sterile for the most part. They spend all their time making petals that they have reproductive organs. I know there is a series of doubles by seed, these may produce seed but I doubt it. The only way to get more doubles for next year is to do cuttings.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:26AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Thanks for the info on where to find the pollen and female parts. I looked at the flower and couldn't recognize the parts. Since the pollen is first and then falls off, does that mean they are naturally crossing with other flowers or does the pollen fall off on to the stigma below?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 1:08AM
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julie0625

Thank you, jenniferl77 and mrimpatiens for the advice. I am going to try getting some seeds tomorrow but I thought I read somewhere that the pod is almost transparent when it is time to pluck them and I haven't seen that,yet. I have seen some pretty fat ones that look ready, but not transparent. I'll give it a try anyway. As for the doubles, I keep trying to find the 'parts' and I can't. I will do some more research and keep trying-I have tons of them. In the meantime, I tried the 'pinch and poke' method with them. I couldn't believe it-I cut a few of the gangly stems and poked them back into the soil and at first they looked like they were not going to make it-but I left them there and now they are standing tall and strong! I am truly amazed. I have some grow lights set up for the winter and I will try taking cuttings for plants for next year. Is it better to root them in water at that point or just stick them back into more soil? I have so many I could try both! Thanks again for the help. I am going to try to post some pics of my flowers soon.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 8:52PM
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implover

I just started collecting seeds via seed pods. Should I have these dry out before putting them away for the year? How long do they have to wait to be planted for the next batch - I'd like to start some this winter - is that too soon? I'm really new at this, so can need all the help I can get! Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 7:21PM
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implover

One thing I have noticed is that if you pick the pods too soon and they are not readily opening by the touch, you can keep the pods just as they are for a week or so. After they start to shrivel up a bit, you can pop them open with your thumb and the seeds (which were white before popping the pod at this stage) will be brown and ready to plant. I harvest mine into plastic cups marked with the color of the plant that I am harvesting on the outside of the cup, like - magenta, pink burst, purple, white - you get the picture...This works very well because before, I was picking the pods too early and the seeds inside were white and not ready. Leaving the pods unpopped while they mature a bit more will make them feel as if the seeds are still getting nourishment from the pod even though they've been plucked off the plant already. Works VERY WELL!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 2:15PM
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jenniferl77

Hi all, I see some of you are going to try to start seeds now in the winter! Excellent. If you have grow lights, start in Feb. If not, you can start now. If the seeds are not by light they will get pretty long and stringy. Best is a grow light. Once the "true leaves" are grown, pinch that set off and the impatien will grow fuller. I have have plenty of seeds left from last summer, 2008, that I am willing to send - you cover postage. I have about 15 different colors. I hate to see these seeds go to waste, not sure if they will last until next year. I also have seeds from summer of '07, does any one know if these seeds will grow this year? I did try to start some, actually planted them last week to see if they will grow. I read somewhere that the seed only last 1 year.

Happy Growing!!!1

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 5:35PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

My apologies to anyone who has seen this already:
Pod to the left of the flower:

Pod that's ready:

Popped pod:

seeds that are ready:

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:56AM
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nanareg

I have the seeds and would like to now how to store them through the winter. Do the containers need lids and refrigeration? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 5:29PM
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