Germinating the seeds
When to plant -- Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination rate.
You may start the seeds in small containers 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) tall, that have drainage holes. The soil mix should be loose and well-draining. A typical mix is 2 parts of potting soil to 1 part perlite.
Fill each container with the soil mix, but don't compress it. Water it so it is evenly moist (but not soggy). Place a seed on top and drip a few drops of water on it so it settles in between the cracks in the soil. The seeds germinate best when exposed to some light, so don't bury them.
The seeds need to stay moist in order to germinate. Until they sprout sprout, ensure that the surface soil around them never dries out. If you enclose the pots in a plastic container or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air to enter. You may need to drip a few drops of water on the seeds each day to keep them moist.
The seeds germinate well at 68-76 degrees F (20-25°C). I don't know how well they will sprout outside this temperature range. I recommend placing a thermometer near the pots, since the temperature can vary in different parts of a room. Keep the pots in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. A fluorescent bulb kept 5 inches (12 cm) away provides the right amount of light.
They should start sprouting in 3-4 weeks, but allow up to 8 weeks for any slow ones to sprout.
Once they grow their second set of leaves, you may allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings, but aim to keep the lower soil moist (but not soggy) all the time. If you're unsure if the soil down in the root zone is moist, use a moisture meter probe, which you can buy inexpensively at garden shops and home improvement stores.
I recommend growing the seedlings indoors for at least the first 2 months. Filtered sun or bright shade is best when they are young. Or you may use a fluorescent bulb kept about 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) from the plants. After 2 or 3 months, you may give them more light, but protect them from strong sun exposure. Over about 40% humidity is recommended.
Repot to a larger container after about 2 months. Water the soil before repotting, so the soil ball doesn't break apart, which can damage the roots. A mature plant may be kept in a 3 gallon (12 liter) pot, although you may keep younger plants in smaller pots.
This species has fertilizer needs that are typical for Impatiens. If your potting soil contains fertilizer (check the label) your seedlings shouldn't need fertilizer the first 3 weeks. Then feed about every 2 months with a slow-release (pelleted) fertilizer.
It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the plant may need more nitrogen fertilizer, or the soil may be too dry.
Pests to watch for - spider mites, whitefly, aphids, scale (brown disks on the stem).
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Strange Wonderful Things