Impatiens are prized for their colorful flowers and appearance in beds, borders and baskets. Available in colors ranging from red and pink to violet and blue, impatiens have a long blooming period. They prefer cooler weather away from the heat of the summer sun, and do well in shaded areas where other flower plants don't. While impatiens prefer cooler temperatures in the shade, they must still be planted outside only after all danger of frost has passed. Starting them indoors from seed ensures you have plenty of bedding plants ready come planting time.
Start impatien seeds six to 10 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Fill seed-starting flats with a sterile potting soil mix or make your own by combining one part sterilized compost, one part peat moss and one part vermiculite.
Water the soil until it is evenly moist throughout. Water it from the top as usual, or submerge the flat halfway in water until the soil surface begins to moisten.
Scatter the impatien seeds, which are very small, thinly on the surface of the soil. Cover with a ¼-inch layer of vermiculite.
Mist the top of the soil with a spray bottle filled with water until it is moist. Cover in plastic wrap to preserve the moisture during germination.
Place the flat in indirect bright light, either a sunny window or under grow lights, in a warm room that is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds germinate in approximately 14 to 21 days.
Remove the plastic once sprouts appear. Keep the soil moist at all times and rotate the flat daily if it is in a window so all seeds receive equal light.
Transplant individual seedlings into small pots or plant cell pack when they are seven days old. Fill the pots with soil and moisten. Gently remove the healthiest plants from the flat and plant them in the pots to the same soil depth they were at in the flat.
Keep soil moist and provide eight hours of indirect natural light or 12 hours of artificial light daily. Transplant outside after all danger of frost has passed into a well-drained garden bed in partial shade.