When to plant -- Plant
your seeds when you receive them for best results.
Getting started -- Use
small pots or cups with drainage holes. For soil, use a well-draining mix. A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or
coarse sand. An alternate mix is 3 parts perlite to 2 parts coir fiber, with some slow-release fertilizer added.
If you use peat moss instead of coir fiber, add a small amount of agricultural
lime (dolomite lime, not hydrated or quick lime).
Fill the pots with soil, place a seed or 2 on the surface, and sprinkle a
very thin layer of soil over them - just enough to partly cover the seeds.
Add water until the soil is evenly moist).
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist. A plastic dome or bag may be used to
maintain moisture, but leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in. You may need to drip a few drops of water over the seeds every day to keep the seeds
The ideal temperature for germination is between 65 to 77 degrees F (18-25°C).
Slightly cooler at night is ok.
Avoid letting them get above 80° F (27°C). I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots,
especially if using a heating mat.
Keep the pots in a bright
spot out of direct sun. A fluorescent or LED bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm)
away provides the right amount of light.
They should start germinating in 3 to 5 weeks, but allow up to 8 weeks for any slow ones to sprout. For the first 2-3 weeks after sprouting, continue keeping the
soil surface moist.
Lighting -- This Impatiens prefers bright shade, or filtered sunlight. Avoid prolonged direct sun, unless it's early-morning sun.
Transplanting -- When your plants are 2-3 months old, you may gently transfer them to a larger pot. Water the soil first, and avoid letting the soil ball break
apart, which can damage the roots. After transplanting, avoid packing the soil down, and do not fertilize the first week.
Watering -- Aim to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, most of the time. You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture levels down in the root zone.
Climate -- This Impatiens prefers mild temperatures.
It should have a
minimum of 50 degrees F (10° C) and at least about 45% humidity. I have no
information on how much heat it can take, but it's possible that it may not
thrive if temperatures are consistently above 85° F (30°C), particularly if
nights are warm. Indoors, if your room humidity gets too low, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which you can
get at home improvement stores and thrift shops.
Fertilizing -- Once they are 1 week old, give a very light dose of liquid
fertilizer (about 1/8 strength), and repeat every 10 days.
Hydroponic fertilizer is
ideal for young seedlings,
since it is easily absorbed and complete. Once they are 6 weeks old, you
may switch to a granular, general-purpose fertilizer, following the
dosage and frequency on the package, or about every 2-3 months.
It's normal for a leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the plant may need more fertilizer,
particularly nitrogen. Also check that the soil isn't too dry down in the root zone.
Pests to watch for -- Look for any pests that can affect your other
plants. Be careful when choosing chemical remedies, because some may harm the plant.
Contact me if you have questions.