How to Grow Impatiens From Seed

Overview

Impatiens are prized as a bedding and container plant. They quickly fill in and cover borders and edging as well as bring profuse blooms to full garden beds. Available in a range of colors from pale pink to blue, they grow from a few inches high to nearly 2 feet in height. An annual flower, impatiens bloom for most of summer. Because you need a large amount to fill an entire bed, it is much more economical to start impatiens from seed than it is to buy nursery-grown seedlings.

Step 1

Fill small pots with a well draining, quality seed-starting soil. Mix up your own by combining 1 part peat moss and 1 part vermiculite.

Step 2

Plant two to five seeds in each pot, sowing them directly on the soil surface. Cover with a thin, approximately ¼ inch layer of vermiculite.

Step 3

Water the soil then cover each pot with a plastic bag to preserve moisture in the soil. Place the bag-covered pots in a warm place to germinate. Impatiens germinate in approximately seven to 10 days.

Step 4

Remove the plastic bag once seedlings appear. Move the pots to a warm and sunny windowsill or place under grow lights if a suitable window isn't available.

Step 5

Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 6

Thin out the plants in each pot once the strongest has developed its second set of leaves. Cut the weaker plants off at soil level with small scissors so there is only one plant per pot.

Step 7

Transplant outside once all danger of frost has passed. Prepare the impatiens for transplanting one week before. Place the plants outside for two hours the first day and gradually increase the time each day, so they spend an entire day outside on the seventh day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Impatiens may become leggy in poor light conditions. Pinch back each stem by one inch when transplanting to encourage bushier growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Plastic
  • Grow lights
  • Scissors

References

  • University of Vermont Extension
  • Iowa State University Extension
Keywords: growing impatiens seed, planting impatiens, seed starting indoors

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.