How to Plant Busy Lizzie Seeds Outside


Impatiens, also called busy lizzies, are one of the most popular bedding plants in North America and Europe. These happy annuals bloom profusely and continually with little care. One of the easiest ways to add busy lizzies to your garden is to directly sow (spread) the seeds in spring as soon after your last predicted frost date as possible. This will guarantee blooms by June. To thrive, busy lizzies require a spot with well-drained soil that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.

Step 1

Mark the area where you want to plant your busy lizzies. It can be any size or shape you want. This is your planting bed. Prepare the planting bed by removing weeds, breaking up large soil clods and other debris.

Step 2

Spread 3 to 4 inches of compost over your planting bed. Use a shovel to turn or work the compost into the top 6 inches of soil. Continue mixing the soil and compost until the mix resembles dry brownie mix. If you have clay soil you may have to add up to 6 inches of compost to achieve this consistency.

Step 3

Sow the seeds in the planting bed by taking a handful and sprinkling them over the soil. Use a sweeping motion (moving your arm from right to left) as you release the seeds. Work from top to bottom and right to left for the best seed coverage.

Step 4

Use the back of the tines on the fixed tine rake to press the seeds into the soil. Start at one corner of the planting bed. Gently tamp the rake down on the soil. Do this over the entire planting bed. Do not cover the seeds with soil as busy lizzies need light to germinate.

Step 5

Water the planting bed thoroughly. Use a watering head or nozzle (either on your hose or watering can) that adjusts to produce a fine mist. This will prevent the busy lizzie seeds from washing out of the planting bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cover busy lizzie seeds with soil as they need light to germinate.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Compost


  • The garden primer; Barbara Damrosch; 1988
  • Plant Biology; Busy Lizzie

Who Can Help

  • Thompson & Morgan; seed catalog
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