Return to the Upstate New York Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
I give up on Impatiens!

Posted by lblack61 z4-5 NY (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 4, 05 at 11:21

At least for this year. I started at least 60 seeds and I have maybe four seedlings to show for it. Germination was excellent. Damping off was horrendous-- and whose to know what it needed to not damp off. I tried everything. I just don't have the patience for starting Impatiens from seed, lol.
I think I have enough WSed subsitutes to stand in for them this year. I'm thinking of bedding-type Sweet Peas, English Wallflower, and Four-O-Clocks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

  • Posted by hammerl z5-6 Amherst NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 4, 05 at 11:33

Ironically, my hanging basket of impatiens self-sowed into my croton before I brought the croton in for the winter. I had impatiens until December, sharing a pot with the croton.

And yet, none of the winter sowing I did paid off -- nothing. Nada. Just a couple containers of dirt to show for my troubles.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

You mean Impatiens that you WS?
It would be a plus if the Impatiens I had in the bed last year would reseed. I did mulch very heavily and the bed is in a protected area so I think it is possible. It would be nice since trying to start them indoors was so unsuccessful.
I do have a cutting indoors that I took of my fav from last year. I've pinched it back a few times and it's now starting to bloom.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I wintersowed impatiens last year and got nada. I also tried getting them to reseed in a protected area with lots of much but nothing that way eiter. I usually buy a six pack to put out as soon as they are available from the nursery just for some instant color until other things take off.

Penny


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

  • Posted by hammerl z5-6 Amherst NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 4, 05 at 12:04

The only way I get them to grow is self-seeding (or buying from a nursery). I usually plant some in front, where they mix and mingle with my astilbe, coral bells, foxglove, trillium and the like. They were my only flowers the first summer I moved in (in July), as they'd self-seeded from some other time. Ironically, my neighbor couldn't recall anyone planting flowers there before. The seedlings come up in between the other plants.

But wintersow them? Nothing else wintersows for me, so I doubt these would, either.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

Some people have had success with wintersowing them but they are too much trouble for me and the seed is as fine as dust.

Penny


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I've never had trouble with impatiens. I've had a couple of packages with germination problems, but I'm more than willing to blame that on the package. They get started like everything else in the basement. Well moistened seed starting mix in a container, seeds get sprinkled on top, the whole thing goes in a baggie and sits on the fluorescent light ballast for bottom heat until they germinate. Then they go under the lights until they are big enough to transplant into six packs. Right now I have about 30 white ones growing well, and about 12 red ones. That package of red impatiens seeds is one of the ones I haven't been too happy with. Usually I do much better with impatiens from Parks.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

lblack,
If you lose your impatiens to damping off (they are indeed well-known for this problem), do bottom-watering only (I do this for all my indoor seedlings now--I feel they develop stonger root system as well). I pour about an inch of water in a container and put my impatiens in until water has been soaked up enough (not quite to the surface --and don't forget them! The second time you'll know how long it takes). Is this what you do Mad_Gallica? If the surface stays dry, you have a better chance against damping off. You can also sprinkle some vermiculite on the surface when you plant, as vermiculite drains well.

I am trying the coral swirls from Park's this year and I do have some very healthy seedlings. My problem with impatiens is that they don't all germinate at the same time.

As for re-seeding, yes, a few have re-seeded for me in the past, but they came up too late to give me much flowering. A plant that reseeds is a strong candidate for WS. But of course, with annuals, if they start blooming mid-summer.. you can't enjoy them long enough...

Like you, I got some cuttings last fall (just to try) from my favorite colors, and these are now blooming. I am very limited with space for indoor sowing, so I may just grow impatiens this way next year.

Well.. try again, lblack!
Good luck,
Anne-Marie


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I think I know what one of the problems was with mine damping off. I should have transplanted the seedlings to a peaty mix rather than regular potting soil.
I saw someone made a comment about having better growth from single color packets rather than mixed color packets. I wonder if that was an issue too (although I don't know the reason why).
For the heck of it, I may try Spring Sowing some using containers (like the Wsing) once it warms up a bit. Maybe I will wind up with some plants that I can overwinter.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I've had good luck with impatiens growing under lights, I don't fuss much with em and haven't had a problem with dampening off but use only Pro-Mix for my indoor seedlings.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

lblack, they damped off after you transplanted them? Usually damping off happens very soon after the seeds germinate, when the plants are extremely young. Losing them when they are big enough to move sounds like something else to me. Like the year I lost all the pennisetum seedlings because the long single leaves got broken.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

Yep...after.
Anne-Marie I did bottom water. I am making a last attempt with peat pellets (I started the others in Parks Bio Dome) as I don't have space anymore for anything else.
I don't know if they just wanted more light or air or what. I don't have room for grow lights. As it is, I've taken up the top of the washer and drier and half the dining room table starting seeds indoors (which I said I wouldn't do, but some things require it-- Geraniums, Impatiens, Coleus, Peppers).
That's ok. I have enough of a whole lot of other things to replace them. I'm amazed that I have about five Geranium plants growing very well (which I fully expected not to have any of them survive.)


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

How in the world do you expect to grow these things inside without any light? They either have to be sitting on windowsills, or under lights. Most people chose lights because they can be put anywhere, even inside a closet.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I have started my impatience every year from seed. I buy my seed from Parks when I want all of one color the rest I save my seed from year to year. I use soiless mix I do not do anything special I have them on window sills under lights and even spread some seeds on the ground in early spring. I find them to be the easiets of flowers to grow. I do not have luck with reseeding as this winter we got to -34. Right now I have white ones I started the 1st of Feb and they are in bud. I have not transplanted any of them yet. In a couple of weeks I will do this and they will be sturdy enough to withstand transplanting. I think when seedlings are too young and spindly they can not stand the shock and also the temperature changes. Try them in a shallow roasting pan that has a clear cover when they emerge take the cover off and use it as a bottom tray just let them grow until they are 2 inches tall then transplant I guarentee you will have an abundance of impatiens. I have raised nearly 200 like this.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

Here's another alternative to growing impatiens from seed. I always take cuttings in the fall from the impatiens that I like in my garden and grow them as house plants. By this time in the spring, I take cuttings off of my original cuttings, root them and plant them up for the next season's garden. This method saves you from having to deal with seedlings and gives you larger, healthier plants in the colors you like. Hope this gives you some ideas.

-Channon


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I've got a bunch of lilac impatiens from Parks I started in peat pellets under my lights. They are doing well so far (watch now I'll go check them and they'll be keeled over!). Peat pellets are very easy to bottom water and I know some people are very much against them, but I have had great luck with them for the past 3 years.

Good luck.

~Deb


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

Mad Gallica, they were in a sunny room with southern exposure. That was the best I could do because I don't have room for a light set up. I want to find a way to get them without having a light set up (although I did use a heating pad...that I have room for, on top of the dryer).
The funny thing is, I had more Double Impatiens surviving than the regular ones (until I started those others very recently in peat pellets)!
I think I made two mistakes:
1. not taking the cover off of them soon enough
2. transplanting them into potting soil that had fertilizer in it.
3. not starting them in a container all by themselves. I had other flower seeds in with them.
Their water requirements seem to be less than most seedlings I've come across.
I'm over being exasperated about them. I still did better with them than I did last year. Now I know more about what they need so I can have better success next year :-)


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

I use milled sphagnum moss (available at most garden centers under the name of 'No Damp Off') as a topping for seed containers and also after transplanting. Just a dusting of it will do the trick or a pinch of it around the base of the plant. It's ground up so fine it's like dust and a small package lasts for several years. It has some kind of antibiotic action so damp-off just never gets started no matter how wet the potting soil gets.


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

Impatiens is about my main flower "crop". Every year I raise around 200 of them. I plant them in small 6-packs, mixing the seed with colored sand in a salt shaker. It allows me to get a fairly even planting of tiny seeds. I've begun seeding in 6-packs, as it makes transplanting easier. I use Pro-mix, cover with sifted Pro-mix or vermiculite, then mist the top of the planter. Then they go in a sprouting box--light bulbs underneath for heat only. I take them out of the sprouting box as soon as some of them sprout--otherwise they get leggy.

From here on, what they need is warmth as much as light. If the dirt is allowed to stay wet and cold, they will damp off. I have a rack in front of a register where they do stay warm. I would think the bottom heating pads would work well also.

I transplant whenever I think I can handle them. They're remarkably resilient. I transplant into new Pro-mix. As soon as they have some true leaves, I fertilize with a balaced liquid fertilizer. You shouldn't fertilize until the roots have reestablished themselves after transplanting.

I bottom water at this stage, and let them dry out slightly between waterings. When they start to bud, I begin fertilizing with a "high middle number" fertilizer. This forces blooms. This all depends on IF I want them blooming--depends on how close we are to end of May. When we set up the greenhouse (mid-April), I move them to there.

Much as it hurts, I do pick off the blossoms when I set them in the summer planters. I've even pinched any leggy ones back, and they quickly bush out and are blooming in no time.

They do reseed themselves during the summer. I find many young plants coming up in the planters. I've never harvested my own seed.

This year, I ordered separate colors from Parks, for a "neon" effect. Normally I've had all red. Interesting that this year, the red ones sprouted better and look healthier than the other colors. Red also seems to be available locally in the seed racks. Wonder why?

Sue


 o
RE: I give up on Impatiens!

oldroser, I think that is a big part of growing these particular babies. I've learned this year and now know better for next year (yes, I'll probably try again because they are a staple in one part of my yard that absolutely loves them).

I have one that is getting its first set of true leaves. I'm praying I don't kill it. On the other hand, the one I took cuttings from in the winter has buds on it for the second time (I pinched the first ones off). The way that particular plant I got the cutting from grew last year, it may fill up every bed I have! So all is not lost.
I am having such success at Wsing (being my first year at it) that I guess I'm not used to failure anymore. That's nice :-)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Upstate New York Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here